Consultancy to author: Sphere Training Module for working with National Disaster Management Authorities At Sphere

Terms of Reference

Apply by 13 September 2021

1. Sphere

The Sphere movement was started in 1997 by a group of humanitarian professionals aiming to improve the quality of humanitarian work during disaster response. Sphere is a diverse global community of purpose and practice that brings together frontline practitioners, humanitarian agencies, community organisations, trainers, donors, policy makers, government agencies and affected communities, around a common goal – to improve the resilience of, and outcomes for, people affected by disaster and crisis.

Sphere establishes, promotes and reviews quality standards for humanitarian action which provide an accountable framework for preparedness, resource allocation, response, monitoring and advocacy, before, during and after disasters and crises. Sphere believes that people affected by crisis must be at the centre of decisions about humanitarian protection, assistance, recovery and resilience.

Sphere platforms are freely available and Sphere products are open source. We are committed to reaching as many people as possible, because we believe that principled humanitarian assistance – based on Sphere principles and standards – results in better outcomes for people affected by crisis.

2. The assignment

Sphere standards are universal and need to be interpreted and adapted to various contexts, purposes and disaster responses. National Disaster Management Authorities (NDMAs) and other civil protection actors prepare for, and respond to, disasters, often with the support of the international disaster response community. Over the past 10-15 years, several NDMAs – for example in India and Guatemala – decided to integrate international standards such as Sphere and other standards of the Humanitarian Standards Partnership (HSP) into their national disaster management policies and guidelines. Many others are yet to do so, at times due to a lack of understanding of the advantages of working with internationally recognised standards. Engaging these national actors in a discussion around these standards has been a key activity of Sphere country focal points for many years, and it remains important.

Sphere published a discussion paper in 2016 on Sphere standards in national humanitarian response: Engaging with National Disaster Management Authorities, which captured some of the valuable lessons learned. The paper was followed in 2019 by a report What makes International Standards interesting for National Disaster Management Authorities? Written by a group from the London School of Economics (LSE), this report examines the main opportunities and challenges for engaging with NDMAs and looks at how best to enable and support NDMAs to adopt international standards and principles in their national emergency response. Both papers include case studies.

In July 2021, Sphere hosted an online consultation with its country focal points on Working with NDMAs – Challenges and best practice which generated several action points, which included developing a Thematic Sheet on NDMAs and humanitarian standards and creating a half-day online training package to train and engage NDMAs. A recording of the webinar can be made available to the Consultant.

Please note: This consultancy is linked to a second consultancy [both TOR documents are available from the Sphere website here:] to develop a Thematic Sheet on working with NDMAs (earlier Thematic Sheets include Environmental Sustainability and DRR). The training module will be based on the content of the Thematic Sheet. Consultants who cover both sets of skills (document writing and development of training materials) are encouraged to apply for both consultancies, since they are strongly linked in terms of content.

3. Deliverables

The consultant will develop a minimum 4-hour training package for Sphere focal points or other actors to engage with NDMAs to explain the importance of humanitarian standards and provide an introduction to the importance of humanitarian standards for nationally-led disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

The package will include:

a. 4 hours of new online learning material and training aids such as interactive whiteboard templates, virtual handouts, etc.

b. At least 3 suggested session plans for online workshops/courses (of different durations) incorporating elements of the new materials and from the existing Introduction to Sphere and Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) online training packages.

c. A brief content development report including participant feedback from a test workshop and suggested actions for future enhancement of the NDMA training package.

The new NDMA Thematic Sheet (to be developed under the separate but related contract) will be referenced in the new NDMA training materials as pre-reading and/or other learning aid.

4. Product requirements

Key requirements include the following:

  • The materials should be designed for Sphere trainers and focal points to educate NDMA staff about Sphere and the other Humanitarian Standards Partnership (HSP) standards.
  • The materials should be designed for online interactive workshops for 16 to 24 participants.
  • PowerPoint slides should be used sparingly with preference for highly interactive group activities (using Zoom breakout rooms or similar technology), interactive whiteboard exercises (using Miro, Jamboard, or similar technology for bus-stop tours, puzzles, etc.), polls, Mentimeters, quizzes, etc.
  • Any non-interactive content (webinar-style presentations) must not exceed 20% of the training programme.
  • The package should include guidance on how to use content from existing interactive training packages for NDMA audiences but this does not form part of the 4 hours of new material.
  • Include short guidance, where needed, on how to adapt the content for F2F training.

5. Activities

  • The Consultant will draft the new training materials. They may consult with Sphere trainers and focal points by survey and/or other methods.
  • The Consultant will facilitate (or arrange for someone else to facilitate) an online workshop with a group of Sphere trainers, focal points, members of the Sphere secretariat and/or NDMA employees to test the new materials. Detailed feedback will be collected from participants. Sphere can provide Zoom and Miro platforms and can assist with technical hosting and identifying participants.
  • The Consultant will refine the new training materials and suggested training plans.
  • The final product is ready to be sent for layout and translation.

6. Consultant requirements

  • Track record of developing adult learning and developing online training tools, ideally for humanitarian audiences.
  • Experience of working with NDMAs.
  • Experience of Sphere and other HSP handbooks.
  • Experience with humanitarian standards and nationally-led humanitarian responses.

7. Timeframe and number of days

This is a 5-day contract. The ideal contract period is between Monday 4 October and Friday 29 October 2021.

8. Location

The consultant can be based in any country except those restricted by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the federal council of Switzerland. If based in Switzerland, the consultant must be registered in Switzerland.

How to apply

9. How to apply

Please submit a cover letter and CV to by Monday 13 September 2021. The cover letter should also include your skills related to this consultancy and your daily rate. Please write to that same email address if you wish to apply but cannot make the deadline.

For Latest Notifications on Telegram

Jobs By Countries