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Sphere revision underway

The Sphere project was launched in 1997 as a joint initiative of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to improve quality and accountability in humanitarian response. The Sphere handbook forms a key tool of the project and has become one of the most recognised tools for improving humanitarian response for NGOs, United Nations (UN) agencies, donor governments and other actors.

The first edition of the handbook was published in 2000, and then following a revision was republished in 2004. Since the last revision, significant changes have taken place in the humanitarian sector - especially with regard to technical and cross cutting issues and humanitarian reform. There have been considerable developments and change in the field of nutrition in terms of the prevention and treatment of malnutrition and how it is defined.

For this reason, the handbook is now undergoing revision to produce an updated version by 2010. The revision process will be led by a project coordinator appointed through the Sphere project and involve a team of 11 focal points. Funded by the UNICEF-led Nutrition Cluster, Save the Children UK (SC UK) will act as a focal point to revise and update the minimum standards in the nutrition component of Chapter 3, as well as contributing to revisions in cross cutting issues.

Wide reaching formal consultations will be arranged for later in the year, however if you have ideas as to what should be included in the next version or would like to be included within the consultation process, please send your feedback to the contact below or through the Sphere project website.

SC UK focal point for review: Susan Thurstans, email: s.thurstans@savethechildren.org

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Sphere revision underway. Field Exchange 35, March 2009. p26. www.ennonline.net/fex/35/sphere

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