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Sphere releases new training tool tailored to Syria response


Humanitarian practitioners working in Syria can now have a revamped tool to support them in providing high quality and accountable assistance. Sphere recently released an updated version of its Syria training pack, a set of Arabic-language materials that contain guidance on how best to apply the Sphere standards in responses to the country’s conflict.

The pack includes enough material for a five-day workshop but is easily adaptable to shorter or more focused training sessions. A team of experienced Sphere trainers – Aya Yagan, Mohammad Abo Nabout, Rami Rajjoub, and Mamdouh Tello – developed the content. They interviewed and surveyed humanitarian practitioners across Syria to ensure the materials cover and are sensitive to the different operating environments in the country. The pack was then tested during online and offline workshops to gather feedback and additional materials.

“The Syrian training materials offer practical examples, good practices, and context-based recommendations for each of the handbook’s four technical chapters”, explained Sphere trainer Aya Agan, who coordinated the production of the pack. “Humanitarian practitioners in the region can use the materials to understand the local challenges and adapt the Sphere standards to those specific needs. Remote management, response in armed conflict, protection risks, and exploitation are among the issues tackled. In addition, the case studies will help practitioners prepare for field operations and learn from a practical perspective.”

The original version of Sphere’s general training pack was updated in 2019 following the release of the fourth edition of the Sphere Handbook. The Syria pack is based on this update and includes all the latest additions to the Sphere standards. It also features additional case studies and multimedia content gathered in and around Syria, and modules were partially reworked to make them relevant to the challenges of the response.

Around 11.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance as the conflict enters its ninth year. Given the complexity and protracted nature of the crisis, conducting tailored Sphere training among agencies and responders will help to ensure that communities’ dignity and wellbeing are at the core of their interventions.