“The Sphere story is not only about developing humanitarian standards,” says Sphere Director Christine Knudsen, “it is also about forging a common humanitarian identity, building a shared commitment to putting people affected by disaster or conflict at the centre of emergency response, and working across organisational boundaries and mandates for better quality and accountability.”
The three-part video documentary, with each episode lasting 10-12 minutes, explores the drivers of the Sphere Project, the challenges in developing a common vision, and the impact that people experienced already in the early days, all from the perspective of the actors themselves.
“As a landmark initiative of the humanitarian community, the Sphere story deserves to be told and shared with the widest possible public,” Knudsen says, “so we are very pleased to be able to offer this documentary to the Sphere community worldwide.”
The documentary complements existing Sphere films like , which offers an in-depth view of how Sphere and its companion standards are being applied in different regional contexts.
How did the Sphere standards come into being? How were they disseminated? What were the main reactions when they were first published? What has been their impact? What are the current challenges and opportunities for improving humanitarian response?
These were some of the questions put to 11 people who played crucial roles at different stages of the Sphere Project’s development:
The documentary is available in English, Arabic, French and Spanish.
The 11 interviews were recorded in four languages and five countries. They were carefully edited with a view to spotlighting key moments of Sphere’s evolution and to making the documentary easily viewable.
Given the richness of the material, the full-length interviews will be made available in the near future. They share not only memories, but also valuable insights into key issues the humanitarian community continues to face today. Interested viewers will learn about some of the issues the documentary was not able to accommodate.
Watch The Sphere Story in other language versions: