Sphere training materials for the Syria response

18 January 2017 | Sphere Project

Syrian family at makeshift camp at former bulgur wheat factory, Suruc, south-eastern TurkeyA Syrian family at a makeshift camp in Suruç, Turkey, near the Syrian border. Photo © Caroline Gluck/European Union/ECHO

A new version of the Sphere Training Package customised to the Syria response is available for download in Arabic from the Sphere website.

This new version of the Sphere training pack was developed by the Sphere community to strengthen the capacity of humanitarian staff working in and around Syria. It seeks to help them professionalise and improve the effectiveness, quality and accountability of the response.

The training package includes the following modules:

  • What is Sphere?
  • The Humanitarian Charter
  • Protection Principles
  • The Core Humanitarian Standard (which replaces the six Core Standards of the 2011 edition of the Sphere Handbook)
  • Sessions on each sectoral chapter of the Sphere Handbook (Water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion; Food security and nutrition; Health action; Shelter, settlement and non-food items)

In addition to a new session on gender developed for this training package, gender was also mainstreamed throughout the four sectoral modules.

The training materials are complemented by case studies based on the Syrian context and examples of annotated workshop agendas.

The development of these materials was led by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Turkey in collaboration with CARE, Save the Children, POINT and the Sphere secretariat.

They will support the professionalisation of Syrian civil society organisations and the integration of international standards and coordination mechanisms into their work.

Contributors to the customisation process included Sphere trainers and resource persons from Syrian and international NGOs, the NGO Forum for NGOs operating in northern Syria, the Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster and UNOCHA Geneva.

Three workshops piloted the modules with staff with operational responsibilities in the Syria response. The final version was used in a training of trainers course in Gaziantep, Turkey in December 2015, which laid the basis for the development of a pool of local Sphere trainers.

Ever since, the modules have been used in more than 20 training workshops in the region.

For additional information about the modules, please contact the Sphere focal point for the Middle East and North Africa region and/or the OCHA office in Turkey.


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