The Sphere Project Handbook: Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards...

This publication "Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Responses" commonly referred to as the Sphere Handbook was developed by the Sphere Project.

“The Sphere Project was initiated in 1997 by a group of NGOs and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to develop a set of universal minimum standards in core areas of humanitarian response: the Sphere Handbook. The aim of the Handbook is to improve the quality of humanitarian response in situations of disaster and conflict, and to enhance the accountability of the humanitarian system to disaster-affected people. The Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response are the product of the collective experience of many people and agencies. They should therefore not be seen as representing the views of any one agency.” (Sphere Project Handbook p ii)

Each standard outlined in the handbook includes key actions, key indicators and guidance notes.

The Handbook is available in 14 different languages


  • What is Sphere?
  • The Humanitarian Charter
  • Protection Principles
  • The Core Standards
  • Minimum standards in Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion
  • Minimum standards in food security and nutrition
  • Minimum Standards in Shelter, Settlement and Non-Food Items
  • Minimum standards in health action
  • Key Documents that inform the Humanitarian Charter .
  • The Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief


The Sphere Project (2011). Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Responses. (3rd ed.). North Hampton, UK: Practical Action Publishing. Retrieved from

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Evaluation Specialist, Better Evaluation.
Gold Coast, Australia.


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