THE SPHERE HANDBOOK: HUMANITARIAN CHARTER AND MINIMUM STANDARDS IN HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

AUTHOR: The Sphere Project

LAST UPDATED: 2011

TYPE OF TOOL: Handbook

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, environmental management, The Sphere Project, handbook, risk reduction, shelter, water, restoration

FORMATS: Handbook available for purchase in 18 languages; open-access website available in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish; Training modules in English

LANGUAGES: Arabic, Armenian, Bangla, Braille (English), Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Haitian Creole, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Kyrgyz, Nepali, Russian, Sinhala, Slovenian, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu, Vietnamese

WEB LINKS: http://www.sphereproject.org/handbook/ (handbook); www.SphereHandbook.org (web site)

ABOUT THE TOOL: The Sphere Handbook: Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response, is one of the most widely known and internationally recognized sets of common principles and universal minimum standards in life-saving areas of humanitarian response.  The Sphere Handbook is designed for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation during humanitarian response. It is also an effective advocacy tool when negotiating for humanitarian space and for the provision of resources with authorities. Furthermore, it is useful for disaster preparedness activities and contingency planning, with donors increasingly including the standards in their reporting requirements.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: In 1997, a group of humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement initiated the Sphere Project.  The Sphere Project is a voluntary initiative that brings a wide range of humanitarian agencies together around a common aim–to improve the quality of humanitarian assistance and the accountability of humanitarian actors to their constituents, donors and affected populations.  They based Sphere’s philosophy on two core beliefs: first, that those affected by disaster or conflict have a right to life with dignity and, therefore, a right to assistance; and second, that all possible steps should be taken to alleviate human suffering arising out of disaster or conflict.

INTENDED USER: The principal users of the Sphere Handbook are practitioners involved in planning, managing or implementing a humanitarian response. This includes staff and volunteers of local, national and international humanitarian agencies. In the context of fund-raising and project proposals, the minimum standards are also frequently referred to. Other actors, such as government and local authorities, the military or the private sector, are also encouraged to use the Sphere Handbook. It may be useful in guiding their own actions, but also in helping them to understand the standards used by the humanitarian agencies with whom they may interact.

EMERGENCY SHELTER ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND ACTION CHECKLIST

AUTHOR: Global Shelter Cluster

LAST UPDATED: frequent periodic updates

TYPE OF TOOL: Guidelines

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, environmental management, Shelter Cluster, guidelines, shelter, impact assessment, restoration

FORMAT: Downloadable Word document, 48 pages

LANGUAGES: English

WEB LINKS:

https://www.sheltercluster.org/Pages/default.aspx (shelter cluster)

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:i1zbo4hBND8J:https://www.sheltercluster.org/sites/default/files/docs/Shelter%2520Environmental%2520Impact%2520Assessment%2520and%2520Action%2520Tool.doc+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari (checklist)

ABOUT THE TOOL: “This Emergency Shelter Environmental Impact Assessment and Action Checklist provides emergency shelter project managers and field staff a means to:

  • Quickly assess shelter-related environmental impacts and,
  • Quickly identify practical local actions to address these impacts.

The Checklist is explicitly designed for emergency and transitional shelter situations. The Checklist does not replace (but can supplement) full and formal environmental impact assessments for permanent reconstruction of shelter or related infrastructure.

The Checklist focuses on four stages in the shelter life cycle:

  1. Selection of the shelter site
  2. Construction of buildings and infrastructure on the site,
  3. Management of the site while it is occupied, and
  4. Decommissioning (closing) of a site when it is no longer needed.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: The Global Shelter Cluster (GSC) is an Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) coordination mechanism that supports people affected by natural disasters and internally displaced people affected by conflict with the means to live in safe, dignified and appropriate shelter. The GSC enables better coordination among all shelter actors, including local and national governments, so that people who need shelter assistance get help faster and receive the right kind of support.

INTENDED USER:  Emergency shelter project managers and field staff

SHELTER CLUSTER REFERENCE DOCUMENTS

AUTHOR: Global Shelter Cluster

LAST UPDATED: frequent periodic updates

TYPE OF TOOL: Guidelines, handbooks, and planning toolkits

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, Shelter Cluster, guidelines, handbook, shelter, risk reduction, impact assessment

FORMAT: Web site, Specific tools available primarily in English

LANGUAGES: English

WEB LINKS:

https://www.sheltercluster.org/Pages/default.aspx (global shelter cluster)

https://www.sheltercluster.org/References/Pages/default.aspx (resource page)

https://www.sheltercluster.org/References/Pages/Environment.aspx (documents search engine)

ABOUT THE TOOL: “The Shelter Cluster web site contains real-time documents and materials for use during the emergency and recovery phase of humanitarian responses across the world.” The references sections of the site provide a number of basic documents on:

  • IASC Guidance: Documents from the Inter Agency Standing Committee on the cluster approach, the Humanitarian Reform and the transformative agenda.
  • Shelter Cluster Guidance: A number of documents explaining the Shelter cluster team role and members, case studies on Shelter Cluster field-work and documents on Shelter Cluster policy.
  • Technical resources: All available documents on Sheltering Standards, Settlement Planning, Shelter Specifications, Shelter Programming, Non-Food Items (NFIs), and Cross Cutting issues.
  • Coordination: Reference materials on Shelter Cluster coordination.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: The Global Shelter Cluster (GSC) is an Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) coordination mechanism that supports people affected by natural disasters and internally displaced people affected by conflict with the means to live in safe, dignified and appropriate shelter. The GSC enables better coordination among all shelter actors, including local and national governments, so that people who need shelter assistance get help faster and receive the right kind of support.

INTENDED USER:  “The Shelter Cluster website is a resource for humanitarian agencies working in the Shelter sector.”

DISASTER RELIEF TRAINING COURSES

AUTHOR: Redr UK

LAST UPDATEDTrainings offered periodically

TYPE OF TOOL: Training courses

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, training course, Redr UK, water, impact assessment, restoration, risk reduction, shelter

FORMAT: On-site training courses

LANGUAGES: English

WEB LINK:

http://www.redr.org.uk (Redr UK)

http://www.redr.org.uk/en/Training-and-more/find-a-training-course.cfm (course info)

ABOUT THE TOOL: The Redr training course website provides information on a wide variety of Redr training courses related to disaster relief and management. Courses take place all over the world and cover a number of different topics, including safety and security, humanitarian essentials, response preparations, management, facilitation, logistics, water/sanitation/hygiene, needs assessments, shelter, gender, and health.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: “Redr Uk is an international humanitarian NGO which supports aid organizations and other humanitarian actors across the world by developing skills and providing expertise. They act to ensure disaster-prone communities are resilient by giving them practical life-saving skills, advice and support, which help them prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and man-made disasters.”

INTENDED USER: Disaster relief and humanitarian professionals generally; intended users vary by course

GENDER AND DISASTER RISK REDUCTION TRAINING PACK

AUTHOR: Oxfam

LAST UPDATED: July 2011

TYPE OF TOOL: Training Course, Handbook

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, Oxfam, training course, risk reduction

FORMAT: Downloadable PDF document, 84 pages

LANGUAGES: English

WEB LINK:

http://www.oxfam.org (Oxfam)

http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/gender-and-disaster-risk-reduction-a-training-pack-136105 (tool)

ABOUT THE TOOL: “The purpose of this manual is to provide a ‘gender lens’ through which Oxfam program staff, partner organizations and other agencies working in areas associated with [Disaster Risk Reduction]  can plan, implement, and evaluate their work. The focus here is on the operational aspects of projects and programs, and to a lesser extent on influencing broader institutional policies and practices through policy and advocacy work. The pack aims to develop participants’ skills and competencies in addressing gender issues throughout the project cycle, from assessment, analysis, and planning through to implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.

This manual uses a combination of traditional learning methods, such as presentations and discussions, along with more participatory and experiential learning approaches, e.g. case study- based group work, role play, and reflections on personal experience. Practical tools and frameworks are provided throughout. There are numerous references to other sources of relevant information.

The training pack is designed for a four-day workshop. We have organized the modules in a particular order, but the pack should be a flexible resource, and we would like trainers to feel that they can decide how to use it according to the needs of the participants.”

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: “Oxfam is a worldwide development organization that mobilizes the power of people against poverty. Around the globe, we work to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. We save lives and help rebuild livelihoods when crisis strikes. And we campaign so that the voices of the poor influence the local and global decisions that affect them.

In all we do, Oxfam works with partner organizations and alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty.

Oxfam is a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty. With 70 years of experience in more than 90 countries, Oxfam takes on the big issues that keep people poor: inequality, discrimination, and unequal access to resources including food, water, and land. We help people save lives in disasters, build stronger futures for themselves, and hold the powerful accountable.

INTENDED USER: “This training pack has been written for Oxfam program staff, partner organizations and other agencies working in areas associated with DRR.”

CAMP MANAGEMENT TOOLKIT

AUTHOR: Norwegian Refugee Council

LAST UPDATED: 2016

TYPE OF TOOL: Handbook

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, Norwegian Refugee Council, handbook, shelter, water, fuel and energy

FORMAT: Downloadable PDF document, 596 pages (chapters may also be downloaded individually)

LANGUAGES: English, Arabic, French, Spanish

WEB LINK:

http://www.nrc.no (Norwegian Refugee Council)

http://cmtoolkit.org (tool)

ABOUT THE TOOL: “Taking a comprehensive and holistic look at camp management as a cross-cutting humanitarian sector, the Camp Management Toolkit incorporates a wide range of relevant basic information on various aspects of camp operations.

The Camp Management Toolkit is intended for both refugee and IDP situations resulting from either conflict or natural disasters. The Toolkit defines key messages and issues in relation to the roles and responsibilities of the Camp Management Agency within each of the defined areas. It also includes tools and lists of essential reading.

The Camp Management Toolkit highlights essential issues of protection and service provision in camps and camp-like settings and provides practical advice for camp management staff on how best to ensure the overall coordination and management of a camp and uphold the rights of displaced persons. It is an advisory manual and does not attempt to develop agency policies or directives. The Toolkit is written as a complement to existing sector guidelines and standards such as the Sphere Handbook, UNHCR Handbook for Emergencies, and other technical handbooks.”

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is an independent, humanitarian, non-profit, non-governmental organization, which provides assistance, protection and durable solutions to refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide.”

INTENDED USER: Those working with populations displaced by conflict or natural disasters.

HUMANITARIAN ACTION AND THE ENVIRONMENT: ESSENTIAL GUIDELINES FOR HUMANITARIAN ACTORS

AUTHOR: Joint UNEP/OHCA Environment Unit

LAST UPDATED: 2007

TYPE OF TOOL: Guidelines

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, environmental management, Joint UNEP/OHCA Environment Unit, UNEP, OCHA, guidelines, water, shelter, impact assessment, fuel and energy

FORMAT: Downloadable PDF document, 8 pages

LANGUAGES: English

WEB LINKhttp://postconflict.unep.ch/publications/IASC_leaflet.pdf (PDF)

ABOUT THE TOOL:

This document helps to explain how disasters and conflicts, as well as relief and recovery operations, may impact the environment in ways that threaten human life, health, livelihoods and security; how failure to address these risks can undermine the relief process, causing additional loss of life, displacement, aid dependency and increased vulnerability; and how disaster managers and humanitarian workers can take action to avoid this.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: “The Joint United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/OCHA Environment Unit (JEU), housed within OCHA’s Emergency Services Branch, helps Member States to prepare for and respond to environmental emergencies.

By pairing UNEP’s technical expertise with OCHA’s humanitarian response coordination structure, the JEU ensures an integrated approach in responding to environmental emergencies.

The JEU provides independent, impartial advice and practical solutions, while working with organizations dedicated to medium and long term rehabilitation to ensure a seamless transition from emergency response to recovery.”

INTENDED USER: Disaster managers and humanitarian workers

TRAINING ON ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCIES

AUTHOR: Joint UNEP/OHCA Environment Unit

LAST UPDATEDtrainings offered periodically

TYPE OF TOOL: Training Course

FORMAT: On-site training course

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, environmental management, Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit, UNEP, OCHA, risk reduction, restoration, impact assessment

LANGUAGES: English

WEB LINK: http://www.eecentre.org/?page_id=2653

ABOUT THE TOOL:  “The Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit organizes environmental-emergencies training for international responders, as well as training to strengthen the preparedness capacity of environmental experts from national agencies and the private sector for international emergency deployments. This strengthens the international response capacity for environmental emergencies and ensures an integrated effort in the field.

Through the Environmental Emergency Centre (EEC), which is hosted by the JEU, thematic trainings have been developed on various aspects of the preparedness-and-response stages of an environmental emergency. The online training modules are free of charge, and OCHA encourages anyone interested in the topic to test their knowledge and strengthen their capacity to prepare and respond.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: “The Joint United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/OCHA Environment Unit (JEU), housed within OCHA’s Emergency Services Branch, helps Member States to prepare for and respond to environmental emergencies.

By pairing UNEP’s technical expertise with OCHA’s humanitarian response coordination structure, the JEU ensures an integrated approach in responding to environmental emergencies.

The JEU provides independent, impartial advice and practical solutions, while working with organizations dedicated to medium and long term rehabilitation to ensure a seamless transition from emergency response to recovery.”

INTENDED USER: “The course requires that prospective candidates are suitably qualified within a specific environmental discipline (e.g., sampling, analysis, assessment) to be eligible to participate.”

ECOSYSTEMS, LIVELIHOODS, AND DISASTERS: AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT

AUTHOR: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

LAST UPDATED: 2006

TYPE OF TOOL: Handbook

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, environmental management, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), handbook, risk reduction, impact assessment

FORMAT: Downloadable PDF document, 40 pages

LANGUAGES: English

WEB LINK:

http://www.iucn.org (IUCN)

https://www.iucn.org/content/ecosystems-livelihoods-and-disasters-integrated-approach-disaster-risk-management (PDF)

ABOUT THE TOOL: “The purpose of this publication is to provide recommendations for making disaster risk reduction strategies more effective. It proposes an approach that integrates ecosystem management, development planning and risk reduction strategies to reduce disaster impacts and improve both livelihoods and biodiversity outcomes.”

The publication is divided into three sections. The first explains why it is important to integrate ecosystems and long-term livelihood concerns into disaster risk reduction. The second section provides information about the Ecosystem Approach and how its application can contribute to reducing the risk of disasters and to alleviating the impacts of disasters when they do occur. The third section offers eight practical recommendations for implementing an integrated approach to disaster management, each of which is illustrated by one or more examples from the field.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: “

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN has evolved into the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its 1,300 Member organisations and the input of some 16,000 experts. IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. Our experts are organised into six commissions dedicated to species survival, environmental law, protected areas, social and economic policy, ecosystem management, and education and communication.

INTENDED USER: Organizations and professionals involved in humanitarian assistance and in environmental management

COMMUNITY-BASED RISK SCREENING TOOL: ADAPTATION AND LIVELIHOODS (CRiSTAL)

AUTHOR: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

LAST UPDATED: 2013

TYPE OF TOOL: Analytic desktop software

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), analytic desktop software, climate adaptation, risk reduction

FORMAT: Desktop application compatible with Microsoft Windows 7 operating systems and greater versions; downloadable user’s manual (PDF document, 56 pages)

LANGUAGES: English and Spanish, with translations in other languages forthcoming. Previous versions available in French and Portuguese.

WEB LINK:

http://www.iisd.org (IISD)

http://www.cifor.org (CIFOR)

http://www.iisd.org/cristaltool/ (tool)

ABOUT THE TOOL: “CRiSTAL is a project-planning tool that helps users design activities that support climate adaptation (i.e., adaptation to climate variability and change) at the community level. CRiSTAL stands for “Community-based Risk Screening Tool – Adaptation and Livelihoods.”

  • Community-based – CRiSTAL focuses on projects at the local community level.
  • Risk Screening – CRiSTAL helps users to identify and prioritize climate risks that their projects might address.
  • Adaptation and Livelihoods – CRiSTAL helps users to identify livelihood resources most important to climate adaptation (i.e., adaptation to climate variability and change) and uses these as a basis for designing adaptation strategies.”

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: “The International Institute for Sustainable Development’s mission is to promote human development and environmental sustainability through innovative research, communication and partnerships.

Established in 1990, IISD is an independent, non-profit organisation that provides practical solutions to the challenge of integrating environmental and social priorities with economic development. IISD reports on international negotiations, conducts rigorous research, and engages citizens, businesses and policy-makers on the shared goal of developing sustainably.

CIFOR is a non-profit, scientific institution that conducts research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscape management around the world.

INTENDED USER: “CRiSTAL targets project planners and managers working at the local or community level. However, a wide range of other actors may also use the tool (including policy-makers and decision makers).”