Sphere for Monitoring and Evaluation is the second guide in the “Sphere unpacked” series, after Sphere for Assessments. The guide is available in Arabic, English and Spanish. The French version will be ready soon.
Both guides explain how to integrate key elements of Sphere’s people-centred approach into the humanitarian programme cycle. They indicate the relevant parts of the Sphere Handbook at different moments of the response process and should therefore be used together with the Handbook.
Sphere provides two distinct types of guidance on monitoring and evaluating humanitarian action: which processes to monitor and evaluate, and the degree to which sectoral humanitarian standards are met.
Sphere for Monitoring and Evaluation is for all humanitarian practitioners from the assessment to the evaluation phase; for people carrying out monitoring activities and evaluations, be they internal or external. It also addresses the learning processes that should ensue from monitoring and evaluation exercises.
The guide is based on the conviction that Sphere provides useful benchmarks for the whole programme cycle, which can be especially valuable to organisations that do not have internal targets or standard operating procedures. Sphere also adds value through its emphasis on a rights-based and participatory approach.
The guide does not set out an ‘approved list’ of indicators for each sectoral sets of standards. Rather, it aims to support the effective use of the Sphere Handbook in selecting indicators and designing monitoring systems for humanitarian response generally.
The adaptability of the Sphere indicators means that they are useful for any evaluation methodology. Sphere for Monitoring and Evaluation is not a guide on how to carry out an evaluation, but on how to incorporate the Sphere standards and indicators into the methodology used by your organisation. The guide does not attempt to suggest a standardised monitoring approach, nor does it make any recommendation about specific evaluation methodologies.
[This article was updated on 17 July 2015.]