Global consultation on humanitarian standards moves into top gear
Make your voice heard!

07 February 2013 | Sphere Project

Participants at a focus group discussion on humanitarian standards in Paris, 18 January 2013.

We are in the thick of the Joint Standards Initiative consultation that was launched in December 2012 and ends on 1 March 2013.

An online survey has been widely circulated in four languages, focus group discussions are taking place across the globe and regional consultation events start this week. Here are some of the ways you can participate before the end of the month:

Online Survey

Some 640 field and headquarter staff have already taken part in the online survey. Share your views and encourage your colleagues to do the same by responding to the 10-minute survey for humanitarian workers in either Arabic, English, French and Spanish.

Focus Group Discussions

Focus Group Discussions are happening with agencies, donors, governments and affected populations in places as far afield as India, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Italy, London, France and Geneva, with many more planned over the next three weeks.

The discussions are focusing on the key lines of enquiry: use and accessibility of standards, implementation of standards, compliance and verification and future needs.

Why not organise a focus group discussion yourself? Detailed and simple guidelines on how to do this are available for download in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.

Regional Consultations

Regional Consultation events are occurring in regional hubs over the next few weeks. Keep up to date with what's happening near you and how to be involved by visiting the JointStandards.org website.

  • East Africa - Nairobi (IAWG) on 19 February; Juba (South Sudan NGO Forum) on 20 February
  • West Africa - Dakar (OFADEC) 11-15 February
  • Asia - Bangkok (CWS) on 26 February
  • Latin America - Panama (SCF) the week commencing 25 February, Ecuador (Rendir Cuentas) (to be confirmed)
  • Middle East - Cairo (Humanitarian Forum) on 18 February, Lebanon (to be confirmed)
  • US - Washington DC (InterAction) on 11 February, New York (OCHA-IASC) on 12 February
  • Europe - Brussels (VOICE) on 25 February, Copenhagen (invitation only) 11-12 March

The Consultation team is happy to provide additional guidance and support. Please send questions and queries to Lois Austin.

The Joint Standards Initiative is a collaborative process set up by three humanitarian standards-setting initiatives: the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) International, People In Aid and the Sphere Project. Its goal is to seek greater coherence for users of standards in order to improve humanitarian response.


  • If you would like to know more about the Joint Standards Initiative, visit the the JointStandards.org website.
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