The new Sphere Handbook released in April 2011 has several new insights and better view of the crisis situations. The fundamental approach in the book is to look at standards in humanitarian response from the perspective of affected population, in stead of the humanitarian agency, as previous two versions of the book had done. The book also has the revised Core Standards, Protection Principles and several other new features. The Key Action in every standard is really a good guide for organizations to understand what type of activities can be taken up and the Guidance Notes are elaborate and well-written.
I am in Pune since last Sunday to understand and learn this wonderful document, (I have been trained in the previous versions of the book twice before.) under the guidance of two senior trainers in RedR India. The four days long training which started on Monday has helped me understand the new standards in emergency response and how the assessment and response mechanisms can be improved, better coordinated and response to the needs of people can be with strong humanitarian imperative. Thank you RedR India!