The Sphere movement was started in 1997 by a group of humanitarian professionals aiming to improve the quality of humanitarian work during disaster response. With this goal in mind, they framed a Humanitarian Charter and identified a set of humanitarian standards to be applied in humanitarian response.
The Sphere standards are a set of principles and minimum humanitarian standards in four technical areas of humanitarian response: water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH); food security and nutrition; shelter and settlement; and health. Sphere is one of the earliest initiatives aiming to improve the quality and accountability of the humanitarian sector. Initially developed by non-governmental organisations, along with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the Sphere standards have become a primary reference tool for national and international NGOs, volunteers, UN agencies, governments, donors, the private sector, and many others. Today, Sphere is a worldwide community which brings together and empowers practitioners to improve the quality and accountability of humanitarian assistance.
Sphere’s flagship publication, the Sphere Handbook, is one of the most widely known and internationally recognised sets of common principles and universal minimum standards in humanitarian response.
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