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Sphere training advances in Chile following the creation of a new National System for Prevention and Response to Disasters


By Cesar Alvarez Sanchez, Independent Risk Management Consultant and Sphere trainer

On August 7, 2021, Law No. 21,364 was enacted by the government of Chile, establishing the National System for Prevention and Response to Disasters (SINAPRED)[1]. The new law modifies the way in which the State of Chile takes charge of Disaster Risk Management, using standards, principles, policies, plans, instruments and procedures to break down institutional silos and encourage intersectoral planning[2].

Encouraged by this modernised system, emergency response and humanitarian organisations in Chile have come to see Sphere Standards as an essential tool for preparedness and response.

This is certainly the case for the NGO Asociación SAR-Chile, which, in order to strengthen its disaster response capacities, is organising a Training of Trainers (ToT) programme based on the 2018 Sphere Handbook.

The 80 participants in this 5-month programme are A.SAR-Chile members selected for their experience in adult learning, risk management and emergency response; their humanitarian values; and their positions of responsibility in response operations.

The training programme started in August 2021. Participants from various regions throughout Chile have taken part in interactive online courses, learning how to use Sphere Standards to plan and implement high quality and accountable humanitarian programmes following disasters.


Image: Participants from Asociación SAR-Chile enjoy an online virtual workshop

A group of graduates from four online courses will be invited to attend a face-to-face ToT workshop in December.

“This Sphere training programme is an important part of realising our organisation’s strategic plan. Our objective is to provide professional humanitarian assistance which respects the dignity of people affected by crisis or disaster. We achieve this by following both national regulations and the internationally recognised humanitarian standards provided by Sphere.” Carlos Jara, president of A.SAR-Chile.

“Following this training, I see that dignity and accountability in humanitarian assistance are fundamental, and that aid must be provided regardless of nationality, race, sex and political views. I have learned a lot. I am now committed not only to delivering high quality humanitarian assistance, but to educating and motivating my colleagues and partners to recognise humanitarian standards, and thus provide better assistance to people affected by adverse events.” Luz Marina Manquelepi, online course participant and member of SAR/Bío-Bío, located in the eighth region of Chile.

Cesar Alvarez Sanchez has over 30 years’ experience in emergency response and has been a listed Sphere trainer since 2012. He recently attended a ToT for Sphere trainers in online teaching methods, provided by Sphere and RedR UK, aimed at enhancing the skills of listed Sphere trainers to deliver engaging online training.

[1] https://www.onemi.gov.cl/sinapred/

[2] http://www.laleyaldia.cl/?p=13599