Sphere (1997; Geneva; 7 staff; www.spherestandards.org)

Is a non-profit organization acting as the “successor of the Sphere Project, a time-bound initiative of multiple humanitarian agencies.” It created a Humanitarian Charter as well as a widely known and internationally recognized set of humanitarian standards detailing common principles in life-saving areas of humanitarian response. Sphere’s main purpose is to “improve the quality and accountability of the humanitarian sector.”

Areas of interest:

  • Water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH)
  • Food security and nutrition
  • Shelter and settlement
  • Health


  • Applying humanitarian standards to fight COVID-19 (2020, 12p): “offers guidance on the COVID-19 response by establishing what needs to be put in place for affected populations to survive and recover with dignity.”
  • Reducing environmental impact in humanitarian response (2019, 8p): “offers hands-on guidance to practitioners looking to consider environmental issues in their humanitarian programmes.”
  • The Sphere Handbook (2018, 458p): aims to “improve the quality of humanitarian response in situations of disaster and conflict, and to enhance the accountability of humanitarian action to crisis-affected people.”

Leadership: Balwant Singh (Executive Director)
Budget: $ 1.5m

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