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Humanitarian standards centre stage at 10th edition of HNPW

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The Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week(s) is an annual conference which serves as a platform for inter-network collaboration to improve humanitarian preparedness and response. From 400 participants at the first edition in 2015, this event now regularly attracts over 2,000 people.

For Sphere, the conference provides an excellent opportunity to organize in-person events at the CICG (International Conference Center Geneva) with its world-class facilities; invite Sphere champions from other countries and continents to visit our beautiful city; meet and network with people from all over the world; and hold meetings in the fringes.

In 2024, Sphere hosted or co-hosted six public events at HNPW, including three which we recorded so you can catch up if you missed them.


Sphere humanitarian standards in action around the world

Gain insights into the importance of coordination between agencies; challenges in shelter responses following the Syria-Türkiye earthquake; community engagement and accountability practices on Lembata Island in Indonesia; localization efforts and the implications of Sphere Standards in the wake of the 2023 West Nepal earthquake; innovative approaches to rapid assessment systems in Japan; and capacity-building efforts in Burkina Faso.

Nahoko profile photo

“Japan is known as a super-aged society. More than 60,000 people are transported by ambulance because of heat-stroke each year.

“When developing the rapid assessment tool, I needed to set indicators that many stakeholders would agree on. Sphere indicators provided a strong support.”

Nahoko Harada, Professor, Okayama University

Event recording // Event information (including presentation slides)


Responding to a response: Lessons in localisation from Ukraine

Humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis in Eastern Europe proved once again that local actors are not only the first to react and the last to leave, but also best placed to respond to the needs of their communities.

With the crisis still ongoing, what are the key achievements of these local actors, what have they learned, and how can we get better moving forwards?

Mila profile photo

“In 2022, about 9,000 NGOs and charitable foundations appeared in Ukraine. These were people of various professions who showed their leadership, and resisted the invasion as best they could.

“Accept us into this large international system of humanitarians, and let’s divide less into international and Ukrainian NGOs; but let’s all be humanitarians.”

Mila Leonova, Director, Alliance UA CSO

Event information (including presentation slides)


Keeping quality at the forefront of humanitarian assistance

“The humanitarian system is not fit for purpose.”

We hear this mantra all the time, yet sometimes it sounds like an excuse for not being able to do more or do better, because the challenges are too great and the outcomes beyond our control.

But if quality is not a priority, then guess who pays the price? For if we lose quality then we also lose dignity.

Alper profile photo

“In Gaza, 1.5 million people are living in a space where there used to be 250,000. How can we follow shelter standards – where we aim for 3 to 5m² of closed space per person – when we don’t even have 1m²?

“We don’t give up. We use this as an advocacy tool. Sphere indicators are strong arguments for me to make.”

Alper Küçük, Director General, Türk Kızılay
and President of the Sphere Board

Event recording // Event information


Lessons learnt from Kahramanmaras Earthquakes in Türkiye

One year on, what insights have we gained from the aftermath of the devastating 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes that struck Southeast Türkiye and bordering Syria on 6 and 7 February 2023?

Zeynep profile photo

“Organisations must understand and implement humanitarian standards through practices such as training, capacity building, and engaging stakeholders. Localized trainings, with practical examples and customized tools, are crucial for raising awareness. Additionally, a follow-up-and-support system is essential for effective field application.

“Donors play a crucial role in promoting Sphere by advocating for accountability and encouraging its adoption within supported organizations.”

Zeynep M Sanduvac, Board Member, Nirengi Derneği-Association
and Sphere Trainer

Event information (including presentation slides)


Scaling Up Nature-based Solutions (NbS) in Humanitarian Contexts

Increasing disaster risk, fuelled by climate change and environmental degradation, is pushing the humanitarian sector’s capacity to its limits. Addressing this challenge urgently requires innovative approaches to mitigate risks and preserve lives. Nature-based solutions (NbS) offer a vital strategy by reintegrating environmental considerations into humanitarian efforts.

William profile photo

“To be a humanitarian now is to be an environmentalist. In fact, it’s to be a climate chaos activist. It’s not an optional extra.

“The good news is we have hundreds of success stories, examples and guidance where we’re beginning to turn things around. But we’ve all got more to do because we’re on the wrong side of history when it comes to passing this fragile Earth onto the next generation.”

William Anderson, Executive Director, Sphere

Event recording // Event information (including post-event report) // Sphere NbS guide


Humanitarian Standards Tabletop Exercises (TTX) and Board Games

From simple games to more complex online and in-person simulations and tabletop exercises, discover the exciting ways we can incorporate active learning into humanitarian training!

Felicity profile photo

“While humanitarian standards are undeniably a serious subject, that doesn’t mean you have to learn about them in a serious way.

“The more active and engaging the learning, the more likely these important messages will stick – which is why board games, tabletop exercises and disaster simulations should be part of the training menu.”

Felicity Fallon, Head of Learning and Events, Sphere

Event information (including presentation slides) // Download board game