Sphere e-learning course incorporates the CHS, goes mobile

24 March 2017 | Sphere Project

A revamped version of the highly successful Sphere Handbook in Action e-learning course now includes the Core Humanitarian Standard and is accessible on smartphones and tablets.

With over 30,000 humanitarians enrolled since it was first launched four years ago, the Sphere Handbook in Action course is definitely a success story. According to an on-going feedback survey, 98% of users who completed the course consider it helped them improve their work and over 99% would recommend it to their colleagues.

The course aims to increase the understanding and effective use of the Sphere standards. Through real-life scenarios, it helps learners get acquainted with the Sphere Handbook's core messages and understand how to use it in a holistic manner.

The revamped version developed by Sphere in collaboration with the Humanitarian Leadership Academy incorporates the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), which has replaced Sphere's Core Standards. It also reflects recent developments like the creation of the Humanitarian Standard Partnership.

Available in English, Spanish, French and Arabic, the course is now mobile-friendly, with an improved navigation that makes its sections more manageable. Taking the course is, as always, free-of-charge.

Perhaps the best indicator of its relevance is the fact that the number of Arabic-speaking users of the course has grown exponentially from barely a hundred in 2013 to nearly 1,700 in 2016. In just the first two months of 2017, some 800 Arabic-speaking users enrolled in the course.

The course explores key aspects of humanitarian work like accountability to affected populations, needs assessment, impartiality, keeping populations safe from harm and looking after oneself as a humanitarian worker.

The course is an integral part of core learning for humanitarian staff and complementary to traditional training methods like workshops. Each person may take the course at her or his own pace. Learners need to invest between 15 and 20 hours to complete it.

The Sphere Handbook in Action course is currently available on 13 learning platforms. An ambitious self-training programme on Sphere principles and standards, the course's completion rate is 24%.

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