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 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.
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. The year 2022, marked 19 years of Sphere India's journey from Phase 1 (2003-2007) to the ongoing 5th Phase (2021-2025), shifting focus from awareness building, training and capacity building, towards comprehensive consultation processes with Strategic Planning, linking to the global objectives of SFDRR, SDGs, CCA and Agenda for Humanity with Vision 2030
The 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.
This phase made a strategic leap with long-term strategic planning for Sphere institutionalization focusing on (i) Sphere with Government (ii) Sphere in Members and IAGs/State Networks (iii) Sphere in communities and (iv) Program and institutional development of Sphere India.
The key focus was to strengthen good Governance to lay the solid foundation of the collaborative institution; consolidate on the program development & delivery systems, processes, relationships for building internal and external capacities to achieve the objectives of the coalition
It also involved aligning with the changing contexts in India and priorities emerging from new global frameworks and plans. The network grew significantly in this phase and partnerships with government at national and state level were also established.
This phase evolved from a comprehensive consultation process under the oversight of Strategy Planning Committee appointed by Board of Sphere India. The Strategy-2025 links with global goals of SFDRR, SDGS, CCA and Agenda for Humanity with Vision 2030.
Sphere India Strategic Plan 2025
While the last strategic period began with new policy frameworks for SDGs, SFDRR, CCA and Agenda for Humanity with initiatives like Grand Bargain and Charter for Change, the past couple of years saw a challenging time with COVID 19 having a devastating impact in India and the world. The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events also increased manifold compounding the humanitarian need especially of the most vulnerable groups. The civil society in India responded heroically to save lives and reduce human suffering complementing Government efforts. Sphere India participated with its unique role to bring in coordination and collaboration of stakeholders to maximize results with minimal resources. The network approach of Sphere India addresses systematic gaps at various levels through system strengthening and has brought a significant for shift in sectoral approach and multi sector coordination leading to development of guidelines and sector strategies for WASH, Protection, Education, Health, Food & Nutrition and Shelter Committees for Emergency Preparedness, Response and Resilience Building. In the next strategic phase, Sphere India aims to address the current and emerging challenges by keeping the community and inclusion of vulnerable groups at the centre and adapting new ways of working together as a nexus of humanitarian, DRR, CCA and peace organizations with its multi sector multi stakeholder network approach complementing and supplementing Government action.