Sphere was established in 1997 as an inter-agency project in response to concerns about the performance, accountability and lack of coordination among humanitarian actors during the Great Lakes refugee crisis. Sphere developed standards for humanitarian response which have inspired generations of humanitarians, and transformed from a project to an independent non-profit membership organisation in 2016.
Sphere is now a diverse global community that brings together frontline practitioners, humanitarian agencies, community organisations, trainers, donors, policy makers, government agencies and affected communities, around a common goal – to improve the resilience of, and outcomes for, people affected by disaster and crisis. We establish, promote and review standards for humanitarian action which provide an accountable framework for preparedness, resource allocation, response, monitoring and advocacy, before, during and after disasters and crises.
With this new strategy, Sphere aims to reinforce its leadership role in promoting the global relevance, importance and consistent application of humanitarian standards for accountability to affected communities, through a global Sphere community of purpose and practice. Extensive global consultations in 2020 with members, focal points, humanitarian experts, donors and other stakeholders informed the development of this strategy.