Sphere India is a national coalition of humanitarian agencies in India. Initiated as a country pilot of the Sphere Project in India in 2003 to promote Sphere Principles, processes and Standards in India, Sphere India gradually evolved into a collaborative process and nexus of diverse stakeholders of humanitarian, DRR, Climate Risk management, Development, Peace building actors in India as a platform for Inter Agency Processes to promote Quality and Accountability in India. The diversity of the actors and outreach include representatives from Government, Private sector, UN, International NGOs, National NGOs, Local NGOs, CBOs, Professional Associations, Academic Institutions, Media, and individuals.
Sphere India promotes a rights and needs-based approach with focus on promotion of humanitarian principles, minimum standards, global frameworks for disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, sustainable development towards achieving accountability to affected and at-risk population. For this, Sphere India facilitates inter agency coordination and collaboration between diverse actors at various levels; provides a platform to different stakeholders to share and amplify their voices; facilitates sharing of knowledge and capacities, collectively develop mechanisms and initiatives for accountability to affected and at risk population.
Phase 1: 2003-2007
The genesis of sphere India lies in civil society consultations in early 2003 to promote Sphere in India facilitated by the Sphere Project. It led to the collaboration between leading humanitarian agencies in India. Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India also nominated National Centre of Disaster Management which later became National Institute of Disaster Management to participate in the processes of Sphere India. This initial phase focused on building awareness on Sphere, mobilization of stakeholders, trainings and capacity building, initial joint assessments and coordination during South Asian Tsunami 2004-05 and J&K Earthquake 2005.
Strategic Phase 2: 2007 – 2011
This phase made a strategic leap with long term strategic planning for Sphere institutionalisation focusing on (i) Sphere in Government (ii) Sphere in Members and IAGs/State Networks (iii) Sphere in communities and (iv) Program and institutional development of Sphere India. The membership and outreach of the coalition increased manifold during this period. There was also increased recognition by the Government and different stakeholder groups. The phase also led to development of Inter Agency Coordination, Training and Capacity Building, Knowledge Management, Collaborative Advocacy Programs and key consensus building on formal institutional future of Sphere India.
Strategic Phase 3: 2012-2016
This phase made a leap with formal registration of Sphere India. The key focus during this phase was to strengthen good Governance to lay the solid foundation of the collaborative institution; consolidate on the program development & delivery systems, processes, relationships with members, IAGs and key stakeholders and on building internal and external capacities to achieve the objectives of the coalition. This phase also led to evolution and improvement in inter agency coordination, advocacy and accountability tools and practices. This phase initiated the process of building the collaboration with similar humanitarian networks in South Asian region for a larger regional collaboration and the global collaboration with representation on Board of Sphere Project.
Strategic Phase 4: 2017 – 2021
Towards Strategic Phase 5: 2021 – 2025 and Visioning 2030
This strategic plan is the outcome of a wide consultation process. It involved review of Learning from Phase 3 and annual learning events, restructuring of program priorities by committee appointed by the Executive Committee, SWOT and Strategic Planning exercise, Program and Strategy Committee Presentations, Consultation with CEOs of member organisations, key stakeholder consultations, Inputs from members and restructuring priorities. It also involved aligning with the changing contexts in India and priorities emerging from new global frameworks and plans.