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2018: A year with Sphere

Dear Sphere friends,

As a very busy and successful 2018 draws to an end, we would like to thank you for your support and engagement over the past many months. The Sphere network has been growing stronger each year and 2018 was no exception. You are all playing a key role in this global community of purpose as we continue to improve humanitarian quality and accountability together.

The year kicked off with our final revision workshop to produce the fourth edition of the Sphere Handbook. That workshop concluded a far-reaching and inclusive global consultation process which included feedback from practitioners in more than 65 countries. The product of those consultations – the new Sphere standards – are clearly built on local knowledge and established practice.

Since its launch in November, the Handbook is available through a new interactive online platform which will allow users to contribute their own learning and directly comment on the Handbook from next year.

Sphere launched its first open call for membership in June, inviting organisations and individuals to join and contribute to the future of humanitarian standards. The Sphere General Assembly now comprises 35 member organisations and 38 individual members. In November, the Assembly elected Colin Rogers of Plan International as President, and nine members to the Executive Committee. You can find more about the new Executive Committee composition on the Governance page).

The network continues to expand as well, with new focal points in China, Czech Republic, Germany, Syria, and Yemen. The Sphere focal points, active across 48 countries, continue to work locally, advocate for the Sphere approach, promote the application of the Sphere standards, and adapt the tools to their own working environment.

The year ahead promises to be just as eventful and exciting. Our partners around the globe are organising several special events to introduce and share the 2018 Handbook and tools to support its use. Please remember to check the Sphere calendar periodically for updates. And let us know if you are planning any events yourself!

In 2019, a new range of training materials and online resources will be developed to support you even more in your own humanitarian work to improve quality and accountability. Most importantly, we will continue enabling exchange and debate so that you can bring the Sphere standards to life.

We look forward to continuing this crucial work together.

Wishing you all a peaceful and joyful new year,

The Sphere team