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Humanitarian Sector and Standards: a practical training for Master HOPE
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Humanitarian Sector and Standards: a practical training for Master HOPE

The 15th of February our fellows of Master HOPE – Humanitarian Operations in Emergencies visited Social Change School’s Headquarters in Madrid for the first time to participate to the workshop Humanitarian Sector and Standards, which saw the participation of Ana Urgoiti, expert in the sector and consultant for many NGOs, UN agencies, organizations, governments and universities. The workshop was held from the 15th to the 17th of February and was followed as well by Tirso Puig, Head of Career Development Service of the School and Master HOPE Coordinator.

Humanitarian Sector and Standards: a practical trainingWhat are the Sphere Standards?

Sphere Standards are the minimum humanitarian standards created through the Sphere Project to improve the assistance provided to people affected by disasters and to enhance the responsibilities of the humanitarian sector during disaster response.

Our Workshop on Sphere Standards

Once they stepped into our headquarters in Madrid, students were greeted by the staff of the School and their new Sphere Handbook (2018 version), a reference handbook for all humanitarian operators. Ana Urgoiti started the workshop by mentioning how the Sphere Project was born and continued the lecture concentrating on the importance of Accountability and Quality in the humanitarian sector. After a brief introduction about the history of the Sphere Project and how it evolved during time, the lecturer gave an in-depth explanation of the Humanitarian Charter, the Protection Principles and the Core Humanitarian Standards, the main sections of the handbook. Thanks to an interactive and participative didactic formula, our fellows really appreciated the lecture.
At the end of the day the Coordinator of the Master introduced the SWOT Analysis exercise that the students will face in the following months.

The second day of workshop was very practical and interactive. Fellows were divided in groups and had the chance toHumanitarian Sector and Standards: a practical training work together to complete practical exercises with the aim to memorize the notions of Sphere Projects hands-on. The focus of  the day moved to how to practically apply the standards described in the Sphere Handbook. During the first part of the day, fellows had the chance to get to know from up close the standards concerning Education in Emergency and Child Protection. During the second part of the day, Ana Urgoiti described the Sphere Handbook’s standards regarding WASH (Water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion), Food Security and Nutrition, Shelter and Settlement and Health

In the afternoon the class continued with an interactive exercise and work groups on two case studies regarding Assessment and Analysis. By the end of the day, our fellows had learnt the contents and structure of the Sphere Handbook, mastering the meaning and differences between all the standards, key actions, key indicators and guidance note. Lastly, they went through a general overview of INEE (Education in Emergencies) and Child Protection.

The third and last part of the cycle of workshops was held on the 17th of February. This lecture was very practical as well and went through topics like the realization of a humanitarian project and the following part of Monitoring and Evaluation.

The training on Sphere Standard: our students’ opinion

Thanks to this particularly dynamic and participative cycle of workshops, our fellows learnt the main characteristics of the Sphere Handbook, and are now able to apply its principles and standards on the field.

Fellows were very impressed by Ana Urgoiti’s “ability to involve students in a participative way, something that made everybody feel comfortable enough to ask questions and express their doubts freely”. Furthermore fellows appreciated “her knowledge, teaching method and the general presentation of the training (both regarding processes and contents), and of course her energy as well”.

Find out more about Sphere Standards and read the article about the Handbook’s launch event.


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