New film shows humanitarian standards being applied in the field

26 June 2013 | Sphere Project

A new short film features examples of humanitarian agencies around the world working with the Sphere Handbook.

The Sphere Project office has released Humanitarian standards in context; Bringing the Sphere Handbook to life, a 20-minute movie filmed in Africa, South America and South Asia. The film depicts the contribution Sphere standards make to improving quality and accountability in humanitarian response.

The film's key message is that each humanitarian response must be respectful of people's rights, as spelled out in the Humanitarian Charter, and based on a sound understanding of the context. Although Sphere standards are universal, key actions and indicators need to be interpreted according to specific circumstances and constraints.

Several experiences of working with humanitarian standards in the field are shown. Each focuses on one particular standard and one of its indicators, explaining how the agencies involved work towards meeting the indicator.

In Pakistan, the film features a livestock-restocking program in Sindh province after the 2010 floods, and the development of economic opportunities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province after the 2005 earthquake.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), we see the distribution of clean water and a school supplemental feeding program.

The last experience is in Bolivia, where broad institutionalization of Sphere principles and standards contribute to effective countrywide disaster-preparedness and disaster risk reduction policies.

"We are very happy to offer this film to the Sphere community," says the Sphere Project manager John Damerell. "It is very well made and shows the challenges of humanitarian work, but also the creative solutions found to make a real difference in the lives of the people involved. Letting people tell their own stories themselves makes the film lively and brings the various situations closer to the audience."

In order to underline the added value of working with the Sphere Handbook in its entirety, the film makes frequent reference to relevant Core Standards and Protection Principles. There are also references to linkages with three Sphere companion standards: the Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards, the Minimum Economic Recovery Standards and the Minimum Standards for Education.

An accompanying Video guide will help trainers to use the film in learning and training contexts. The guide provides background information for each of the experiences featured and, based on them, proposes an outline for a training session on contextualizing Sphere standards.

Watch Humanitarian standards in context on YouTube.
Download the Video guide.

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