Disasters and crises have a direct impact on people’s lives.
They may lose their homes, they may be displaced, lose their jobs, their livelihoods and animals.
They need clean water, food, shelter.
Some may get sick or injured.
Schools may be destroyed, families separated, and markets disrupted.
During crises, people have the right to protection and assistance.
They have the right to life with dignity.
Humanitarian standards translate these rights into concrete actions to support boys and girls, women and men, whatever their age or ability.
People responding to crises can use these standards to identify needs and decide what to do.
Affected people can refer to them to understand their rights.
20 years ago, Sphere developed minimum standards in four life-saving sectors: water, food, shelter and health.
Over time, more standards have been developed following Sphere’s approach and built on the same foundations.
These standards cover Education, Livestock, Economic recovery, Child protection, Market analysis and Inclusion of older people and people with disabilities.
But people don’t live their lives in sectors.
So to support them in the best possible way and to encourage collaboration, coordination and learning across sectors, we have created the Humanitarian Standards Partnership.
All standards are grounded in the Humanitarian Charter and supported by the Protection Principles and the Core Humanitarian Standard.
Once you understand the approach and logic of one Handbook, you will know how to use them all, in any context.
To develop and revise these standards, thousands of people around the world contribute their knowledge, experience and expertise.
You can use humanitarian standards in many different ways, for example: to understand needs and jointly prioritise actions; to work with governments, communities and partners, to design, implement and improve a response; to measure how effective a programme is and takes steps to leave no-one behind; or to prepare before crisis strikes.
You can easily access these standards in many different languages and formats: PDF, online, hard copies… and as an App.
They are free and available for everyone.
Today’s humanitarian crises are more frequent, touching the lives or more people for longer periods.
Humanitarian standards help you bring order out of chaos and focus where assistance is needed most.
Life with dignity is everybody’s right.