Sphere Annual Report 2017

| Sphere Project

Sphere authors meet in Geneva for the first time in January 2017 to kick-start the third revision of the Sphere Handbook.

From the unparalleled consultative process which nurtured the revision of the Handbook to the growth of its global community, many achievements marked 2017 as an important year in Sphere's history.

2017 represented the first year of Sphere’s operations as an independent organization. Since 2016, the Sphere Project has transitioned from a time-limited initiative to more fully develop its global role as a convening platform for quality and accountability in the humanitarian sector.

At the same time, Sphere launched the global consultation process to prepare the fourth edition of the Sphere Handbook, integrating evidence and global practice into the minimum standards guiding humanitarian action.This Handbook revision was the most far-reaching and inclusive in Sphere’s twenty-year history. The consultations demonstrated a deep commitment within the humanitarian community and with other stakeholders to contribute their experience and knowledge to the global process. The process consolidated more than 4,500 individual comments online and brought together some 1,400 professionals in 40 countries across all world regions.

The Sphere network grew further in 2017, welcoming six new Focal Points in Asia and Latin America. Sphere Focal Points from different regions met at a global conference in Bangkok, Thailand. This was a rich opportunity for Focal Points and trainers to exchange directly on the challenges of implementing humanitarian standards, share good practice in advocating for their use and uptake within national structures, and explore ways to further strengthen the connections with other practitioners through a global network.

Sphere trainers continued to deliver workshops and train new trainers in 13 countries across the globe. Sphere revised and expanded its offering of training materials, while exploring innovative and more inclusive approaches to learning.

The members of the Humanitarian Standards Partnership launched a mobile application which brings the work of all its members together in an innovative tool. The app makes the Humanitarian Charter, Core Humanitarian Standards, Protection Principles and nine technical Standards easily accessible and searchable for aid workers to foster linkages across different sectors.

New funding sources diversified the financial support of Sphere, including multi-year agreements. The Sphere General Assembly met for the first time in September, electing officers and setting the framework for expanding membership.