The Sphere Project was initiated in 1997 by a group of NGOs and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to develop a set of universal minimum standards in core areas of humanitarian response: the Sphere Handbook. The aim of the Handbook is to improve the quality of humanitarian response in situations of disaster and conflict, and to enhance the accountability of the humanitarian system to disaster-affected people. The Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response are the product of the collective experience of many people and agencies. They should therefore not be seen as representing the views of any one agency. The Humanitarian Charter, the Protection Principles and the Core Standards articulate Sphere’s rights-based and people-centred approach to humanitarian response. They focus on the importance of including the affected population and local and national authorities at all stages of the response. The Protection Principles and Core Standards are grouped together at the beginning of the Handbook so as to avoid repeating them in each technical chapter. Sphere users, including specialists in one particular technical area, must consider them as an integral part of these chapters.
Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response