As the world faces an increasing number of large-scale disasters that make the need for quality and accountability in humanitarian response ever more pressing, the Sphere Project and Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan have formed a regional partnership in Asia.
By virtue of the partnership agreement in force as of 1 January 2011, Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan (CWS-P/A) will play an increased role in promoting Sphere regionally, as well as in building and nurturing relationships with national and local partners.
This partnership agreement is part of the broader roll-out strategy of the Sphere Project. Being mainly known for its Handbook Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response, the Sphere Project works to build long-term relationships with humanitarian organizations and networks, with a view to have Sphere’s principles and standards reflected in their policies and their work with people affected by disaster and conflict.
As Sphere regional partner, CWS-P/A will help achieve global and local objectives of the Sphere Project by building the capacity of local, national, and international organizations, identifying national partners and focal points in disaster-prone countries, and providing insight on specific regional issues to strengthen the Sphere Project’s global advocacy strategy.
Since 2005, CWS-P/A has been the Sphere focal point for Pakistan and Afghanistan. As such, it has provided training, technical support, and resource material to local, national, and international NGOs, funding partners, UN agencies and communities and has advocated for quality and accountability standards throughout the region. CWS-P/A has provided training on Sphere’s Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response to more than 1,600 humanitarian workers from more than 500 organizations in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Philippines.
Building on this experience, CWS-P/A and the Sphere Project expect their partnership to help advance the region’s overall knowledge and application of quality and accountability standards in both policy and practice. The Sphere Project will continue to support CWS-P/A and other partners in the region who aim to increase the quality and accountability of response to disasters and conflict.