Sphere Handbook 2018
The principal users of The Sphere Handbook are practitioners involved in planning, managing or implementing a humanitarian response. This includes staff and volunteers of local, national and international humanitarian organisations responding to a crisis, as well as affected people themselves. The Handbook is also used for humanitarian advocacy to improve the quality and accountability of assistance and protection in line with humanitarian principles. It is increasingly used by governments, donors, military or the private sector to guide their own actions and allow them to work constructively with the humanitarian organisations that apply the standards.
The Handbook was first piloted in 1998, with revised editions published in 2000, 2004, 2011 and now 2018. Each revision process has relied on sector-wide consultations with individuals, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), governments and United Nations agencies. The resulting standards and guidance are informed by evidence and reflect 20 years of field testing by practitioners around the world.
This fourth edition marks the 20th anniversary of The Sphere Handbook and reflects changes in the humanitarian sector over that time. It includes new guidance for working in urban settings, for addressing Minimum Standards in protracted crises, and for delivering assistance through markets as a way to meet the standards. All technical chapters have been updated to reflect current practice, and the harmonised Core Humanitarian Standard replaces the previous Core Standards.