Intellectual property of Sphere’s Handbook, resources and other content

This page is written for Sphere members, trainers, focal points, other partners, and any other person or organisation that would like to use, reference, share or adapt Sphere’s intellectual property and/or other resources available for download from the Sphere website.

The page is organized into four main sections based on the content in question: The Sphere Handbook, Sphere resources other than the Handbook, Third party resources (which are available for download from the Sphere website), and the Sphere logo.

 

The Sphere Handbook (current edition, 2018)

Copyright for the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability © CHS Alliance, Sphere Association and Groupe URD, 2018

Copyright for the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief © IFRC and ICRC, 1994

Copyright for all other elements of the Sphere Handbook © Sphere Association, 2018

All rights reserved. This material is copyrighted but may be reproduced without fee for educational purposes, including for training, research and programme activities, provided that the copyright holder or holders are acknowledged. It is not intended for resale. For copying in other circumstances, posting online, reuse in other publications or for translation or adaptation, prior written permission must be obtained by emailing info@spherestandards.org.

 

Sphere resources

For the purposes of the descriptions on this page, “Sphere resources” are documents available for download from the Resources page of the Sphere website where Sphere is recognised as the sole author or one of several authors.

Example 1: Sole author (Sphere resource):

Example 2: Co-author (Sphere resource):

Counterexample: Non author (third party resource):

Licencing: How can Sphere resources be used?

Unless otherwise stated, Sphere resources (except for third party intellectual property within Sphere resources) are released under the Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) creative commons license.

This means that you are free to share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) and adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially) provided you follow the following two license terms:

  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Third party intellectual property

Identified source

If the source of a diagram, illustration, image, photo, flowchart, graphic, table or other object within a Sphere resource is identified, this is third party content which has been used in this document by permission of the intellectual property owner.

In this case, Sphere does not have the right to use this content for any other purpose nor to license this content for use by other third parties. Sphere’s CC BY 4.0 license does not apply to such content, and you must seek permission directly from the intellectual property owner if you wish to adapt this material.

If a Sphere resource contains third party content from one or more identified sources, you may share the entire resource in its original format without permission, provided you follow the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.

Unidentified source

If the source of a diagram, illustration, image, photo, flowchart, graphic, table or other object within a Sphere resource is not mentioned, this specific piece of content may belong to Sphere, or it may belong to a third-party.

In this case, Sphere may not have the right to use this content for any other purpose nor to license this content for use by other third parties. Sphere’s CC BY 4.0 license may not apply to such content, and you must seek written permission from the Sphere office (info@spherestandards.org) before adapting this material.

If a Sphere resource contains third party content from one or more unidentified sources, you may share the entire resource in its original format without permission, provided you follow the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.

 

Third party resources

The Resources page of the Sphere website includes content submitted by third parties. While anyone can submit content, the platform is designed for listed trainers and focal points to showcase their work.

Unless otherwise stated, third-party (non-Sphere) resources (except for third party intellectual property within resources) are released under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) creative commons license. Please read the terms carefully as this license is more restrictive than the CC BY 4.0 license applied to Sphere resources. If you wish to remix, transform or build upon these materials; or use them for commercial purposes, please contact the owner to seek permission.

Note: Sphere’s small resource library is focused on humanitarian standards content. For a more expansive set of Humanitarian Evaluation, Learning and Performance resources, refer to ALNAP’s HELP library.

 

Sphere logo

Regular Sphere logo

The regular Sphere logo, with or without the word “Sphere”, is protected by trademark in some territories.

Regular Sphere logo:

Since 2022, the regular Sphere logo may be used only by the Sphere office, or with the express permission of the Sphere office for a specific and time-bound purpose. Contact info@spherestandards.org to request permission.

Permission is typically be granted for the following reasons only:

  • For listed Sphere trainers, focal points, regional partners and members only for use on training event certificates of completion. (In this case, the logo indicates that the event is indirectly endorsed by the Sphere office through an existing trainer, focal point, membership or regional partnership agreement.)
  • For any other party that has a current contractual or partnership agreement with Sphere for use in a list of clients or partners. (For example, translators, IT services providers, etc.)

You are not permitted to alter or adapt the Sphere logo for any purpose nor to integrate all or part of the Sphere logo into your own organizational logo.

 

Sphere network logos

Listed Sphere trainers, current members (all types), regional partners and focal points are encouraged to use the Sphere network logos, also known as Sphere badges.

Network logos:

 

These may be used by active listed trainers, members, regional partners and focal points, accordingly, for any reasonable purpose without the express permission of the Sphere office.

Network logos are available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. Badges are provided in male and female versions where applicable. Download vector (SVG) and rasterised (PNG) versions here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ojIeccq6aZ6Q5d8cOPv67D_74U46vSR2?usp=sharing

If you would like a Sphere network logo in another language, please contact the Sphere office.

 

Sphere focal point organisational logos and naming conventions

This section applies to potential focal points and to existing focal points that are considering renaming and/or rebranding.

In general, Sphere focal points are established organisations before they seek focal point status, and, as such, have their own existing organisational logos. In a few cases, new structures are formed expressly to become Sphere focal points, e.g., Sphere India, Sphere Community Bangladesh (SCB), Alliance of Sphere Advocates in the Philippines (ASAP), Red Esfera Bolivia, Venezuela Sphere Trainers, etc.

Such organisations may:

  • adopt the focal point badge without alterations as their organisational logo; or
Acceptable:
Sphere focal point network logo (Spanish version)
Used by Venezuela Sphere Trainers and others
  • design their own logo which is not substantially similar[1] to the current Sphere logo.
Acceptable:
Previous “Sphere Project” logo
Used by Sphere India
Acceptable:
Unique, new, or proprietary logo
Designed and used by Sphere Community Bangladesh (SCB)

Such organisations may not:

  • create an organisation logo by adapting the current Sphere logo.
NOT acceptable:
Adaption of current Sphere logo
Fictitious, and substantially similar to the current regular Sphere logo.

[1] See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substantial_similarity for a definition of substantial similarity. In practice, if you are designing a new logo for your Sphere focal point, please discuss your design with the Sphere office before finalising it.


Page updated August 2023