The Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum standards in Disaster Response are a remarkable international initiative aimed at improving the effectiveness and accountability of humanitarian assistance. This new edition of the handbook has been thoroughly revised and updated, taking into account recent development in humanitarian practice, together with feedback from practitioners in the field, research institutes and cross-cutting experts in protection, gender, children, older people, disabled people, HIV/AIDS and the environment. The revised handbook is the product of an extensive collaborative effort that reflects the collective will and shared experience of the humanitarian community, and its determination to improve on current knowledge in humanitarian assistance programmes.The cornerstone of this book is the Humanitarian Charter, which is based on the principles and provisions of international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, and on the principles of the Red Cross and NGO Code of Conduct. It describes the core principles that govern humanitarian action and asserts the right of populations to protection and assistance. The Minimum Standards are organised into an initial chapter that details process standards for the planning and implementation of programmes, together with four technical chapters covering water, sanitation and hygiene promotion; food security, nutrition and food aid; shelter, settlement and non-food items; and health services. As a practical tool, the Humanitarian Charter can be used to define overarching project goals while the Minimum Standards, together with their supporting indicators and guidance notes, enable an analytical assessment of the programme requirements and a framework for monitoring progress and evaluating outcomes. Taken as a whole, Sphere also provides a powerful tool for coordination and advocacy, particularly in its multisectoral scope and its linkage of principle to practise.Sphere Project Staff is the author of 'Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response The Sphere Project' with ISBN 9780855984489 and ISBN 0855984481.