Sphere Standards

As part of its certified membership in the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership, DanChurchAid is required to have a comprehensive humanitarian quality management system. DCA uses the Sphere Standards as the foundation of all its quality assurance in its humanitarian response.

Sphere standards help aid workers determine the minimum level of quality in humanitarian aid, providing both a description of what’s required, quantitative indicators to help determine if these are met, and guidance notes as to how agencies should work with communities, in 4 key sectors: water and sanitation, health, food security, and shelter.

The Sphere project is comprised of 3 elements: a handbook which describes the minimum standards, a process of dialogue amongst humanitarian professionals about what the standards should be, and a project of disseminating Sphere to those working with disaster-affected communities in the field.

In addition to the standards, the Sphere Handbook also includes key documents establishing ethical principles that humanitarians must adhere to, including the Code of Conduct for Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements and Non-Government Organisations in Disaster Response, as well as The Humanitarian Charter.

How does DCA use Sphere standards in the field?

In the field where disaster affected people are struggling to rebuild their lives, Sphere can play a vital role in a number of different ways. For example, in the context of a water and sanitation and hygiene operation in a refugee camp setting, Sphere could be used to:

  • Establish the minimum standards of assistance to which refugees are entitled, including the amount of liters of water per person per day, the quality of the water, the number of latrines per person, and the like;
  • Establish how aid agencies should work with the affected population. For example, this would include consulting with the community about the decisions pertaining to the provision of water, sanitation, and hygiene promotion, including consulting not only with community leaders, but also with women’s groups in particular about the best way to provide services so that they are not put at risk, and ensuring that they can participate in key decisions;
  • As a tool for advocacy with local authorities and others. For example, if a camp needed more land in order to provide a sufficient number of latrines, DCA staffs can use Sphere standards to show that this is an internationally agreed standard to which they must adhere, and that extra land for latrines is therefore necessary.

Humanitarian Assistance
DCAs humanitarian work supports refugees and IDPs in several countries around the world.

Safer communities
Making communities safer builds resilience, improves human security, and facilitates long-term development.

Where we work
DCA works in different parts of the world mainly in Africa, Middle East and Asia.