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.”

ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISOR OF THE SHELTER COORDINATION TEAM (SCT) AND RELATED GUIDANCE

AUTHOR: Shelter Cluster Team, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies(IFRC)

LAST UPDATED: 2017

TYPE OF TOOL: Knowledge platform

KEYWORDS: environmental management, Shelter Cluster Team, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies(IFRC), knowledge platform, guidelines, handbooks, shelter, restoration, risk reduction, impact assessment

FORMAT: Web site. Specific tools available primarily in English

LANGUAGES: Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish

WEB LINKS:

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

https://www.sheltercluster.org/sites/default/files/docs/700400-shelter_coordination_team-en-lr.pdf (guidance)

ABOUT THE TOOL: The Shelter Cluster website makes available a wide array of guidelines, planning toolkits, and handbooks related to contingency planning, settlement planning, shelter specifications, shelter programming, non-food items, cross-cutting aspects, and cluster coordination.  At the global level, the aim of the cluster approach is to strengthen system-wide preparedness and technical capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies by ensuring that there is predictable leadership and accountability in all the main sectors or areas of humanitarian response.  Similarly, at the country level the aim is to strengthen humanitarian response by demanding high standards of predictability, accountability and partnership in all sectors or areas of activity. The cluster approach can be used in both conflict-related humanitarian emergencies and in disaster situations.

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:  This toolkit is designed for use by coordination teams deployed by the Emergency Shelter Cluster co-chairs UNHCR and IFRC to chair in-country Emergency Shelter Cluster Working Groups.

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

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

IASC OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND NATURAL DISASTERS

AUTHOR: Inter-agency Standing Committee (IASC)

LAST UPDATED: June 2006

TYPE OF TOOL: Guidelines

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, Inter-agency Standing Committee (IASC), guidelines, restoration, shelter

FORMAT: Downloadable PDF document, 36 pages

LANGUAGES: English

WEB LINK: https://interagencystandingcommittee.org/working-group/news/iasc-operational-guidelines-human-rights-and-natural-disasters

ABOUT THE TOOL: “These Operational Guidelines are addressed to intergovernmental and non-governmental humanitarian actors when they are called upon to become active just before or in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The Operational Guidelines do not list the rights of persons as enshrined in international law. Rather, they focus on what humanitarian actors should do in order to implement a rights-based approach to humanitarian action in the context of natural disasters.They call on humanitarian actors to look beyond their core mandate and to have a holistic vision of the needs of the people they have been asked to serve. While these Guidelines have been drafted with the consequences of natural disasters in mind, most of them are also relevant in preparation for or after other kinds of disastershave struck.

These Operational Guidelines are informed by and draw on relevant international human rights law, existing standards and policies pertaining to humanitarian action, and human rights guidelines on humanitarian standards in situations of natural disaster. They cover relevant civil and political as well as economic, social and cultural rights.”

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: “The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) is the primary mechanism for inter-agency coordination of humanitarian assistance. It is a unique forum involving the key UN and non-UN humanitarian partners.”

INTENDED USER: “intergovernmental and non-governmental humanitarian actors when they are called upon to become active just before or in the aftermath of a natural disaster.”

CAMP CLOSURE GUIDELINES

AUTHOR: Global Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster (CCCM)

LAST UPDATED: 2017

TYPE OF TOOL: Guidelines

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, Global Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster (CCCM), guidelines, shelter

FORMATS: Downloadable PDF document, 32 pages

LANGUAGES: English

WEB LINK:

http://www.globalcccmcluster.org (CCCM)

http://www.globalcccmcluster.org/tools-and-guidance/publications/camp-closure-guidelines (tool)

ABOUT THE TOOL: “These guidelines have been developed by the Global Camp Coordination Camp and Management (CCCM) Cluster in response to requests from field operations faced with the need to plan, organize, implement and coordinate camp closure as an integral part of the camp management lifecycle. They are based on a collection of existing institutional policies and guidelines as well lessons learnt from field operations, with inputs from many agencies and individual CCCM practitioners.

They are a tool to facilitate the process of planning, implementing and coordinating successful closure of camps and camp-like situations. Though the guidelines focus on internal displacement, many of the processes and practices outlined are also useful in refugee camp closure scenarios.

More specifically, the Guidelines will assist Camp Management and Camp Coordination Agencies and other relevant agencies to take the appropriate steps towards operationalizing camp closure, and intervene in strategic decisions. The document will also enable donors, as well as planning and implementing partners, to better understand the complexities of camp closure.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: “The role of the Global Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster is twofold; to coordinate humanitarian actors with regards to all services provided to displaced populations within any communal settings (i.e. camps, informal settlements, collective centres); and working with the affected population to ensure representation, on-site governance and access to information about services provided.

Working with national authorities to support their responsibility to administer such sites through capacity building; expert technical support; and strategic planning to prevent and cope with massive displacement of populations; and move towards durable solutions.

Global CCCM Cluster actors ensure that systems are in place to meet minimal humanitarian standards; duplication is prevented and gaps addressed; using camps or camp-like settings as a last resort to provide assistance and protection to affected populations and exploring how to best provide services out of camps. It is also important to establish two-way communication structures that inform site residents about what is happening. Giving residents the opportunity to both participate in decisions that concern them and provide feedback to humanitarian actors.”

INTENDED USER: “These guidelines are primarily designed for use by practitioners working in camp and camp-like settings.”