CRS had a long history of working in Somalia before 1994; CRS returned to Somalia in response to the 2011 drought emergency and has been implementing emergency response and resilience projects through local partners for the last seven years. CRS coordinates Somalia programming from the Nairobi office, but most project staff are based in implementing partner offices in Mogadishu and Baidoa. Since the 2017 drought, CRS has implemented projects in multiple sectors including food security (cash transfers), health, nutrition, WASH, and protection across south-central Somalia and Mogadishu. CRS’ humanitarian response portfolio has been implemented by 6 partner organizations and funded by multiple donors, predominantly US Government.
With funding from USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), CRS is implementing the Integrated Humanitarian Assistance for IDPs and other vulnerable Populations in South-Central Somalia project from August 2018 – July 2019.
Through an integrated multi-sectoral approach, the project provides access to life-saving basic social services for vulnerable populations, particularly IDPs in Mogadishu/Afgooye Corridor, Baidoa, and other locations. CRS is implementing the project with three local partner organizations.
What: CRS will provide an integrated package of basic life-saving services to highly vulnerable IDP, host- community, and hard-to-reach populations in Mogadishu, Afgooye Corridor, Baidoa, Cadaado, Luuq, Dollow, and Garbahaarey designed to enhance the protection of all community members, while improving the health and nutrition of the target populations. This integrated package will include access to primary healthcare through facilities or mobile clinics; a complete Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) program; prevention of gender-based violence (GBV) and comprehensive services for survivors; child-friendly spaces which promote protection, health and nutrition of children; community-focused coordination of settlements; emergency shelter; integrated hygiene, health, and nutrition sensitization; and critical WASH infrastructure and distribution of hygiene supplies. The project will include Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) activities and child-friendly spaces that will provide entry points for well-integrated service provision across partners and sectors. CRS will lead a consortium of high-capacity local partners who are well established in the target locations, providing careful management, technical direction, and strong coordination, while ensuring effective Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP).
Why: IDP populations in Mogadishu, Afgooye Corridor, Cadaado, Baidoa, Luuq, and Dollow live in desperate conditions with extreme vulnerability to malnutrition and communicable diseases, and face highly elevated protection risks. These populations continue to demonstrate critical rates of
malnutrition despite overall improvement in Somalia,1 and live in overcrowded and unhygienic living conditions, lacking access to essential services, and with limited opportunities to recover basic livelihoods. Integrated humanitarian assistance is critical to ensure that all persons, especially women, children, and those with unique vulnerabilities such as older persons, marginalized groups, and those with disabilities are protected and can access the basic services they need. Populations in under-served districts face similar needs and risks, such as in Garbahaarey, where CRS has identified a gap in health service provision as a critical priority.
CRS has worked closely with local partner Save Somali Women and Children (SSWC) since 2011, implementing continuous programming aimed at reduction in GBV and comprehensive services for survivors through a network of women’s crisis centers.
Each crisis center is staffed by a trained counselor who provides psychosocial support through counseling sessions and provides overall case management for the survivor; a GBV nurse who provides initial consultation and first aid and identifies survivors in need of referral for medical services; a lawyer who provides legal aid to both formal courts and to informal justice processes; and a network of field monitors who provide regular community sensitization, accompanied referrals, and also take up some case management functions such as follow-up to the survivor. The crisis centers provide accompanied referral for medical treatment as needed and per the wishes of the survivor; and distributes dignity kits to survivors.
Under the current project, SSWC is operating 4 women’s crisis centres:
In addition, the project supports two safehouses which provide temporary shelter (typically limited to 30 days or less) for survivors who have no safe alternative to return to, or who are in need of more intense psycho-social support before they are ready to return to their community. Staffing at these safehouses includes a dedicated counselor. The project currently supports 2 safehouses:
Based at the crisis centers, SSWC maintains a significant presence in the communities it serves, working to change harmful cultural norms, reduce stigma, prevent GBV, and encourage reporting and service-seeking by survivors. In addition to its team of field monitors who make household visits and facilitate community meetings, SSWC implements sensitization campaigns, GBV prevention and response training for community leaders and other key stakeholders including police and judiciary, trains community members (often survivors themselves) in basic PSS principles, and has created support groups meeting at facilities or in the community.
Current policy at these centers and safehouses is that SSWC does not provide services to children or adolescents, and should refer to appropriate actors. However, services for child and adolescent survivors of GBV, and children/adolescents who have experienced rights violations more generally, are significantly limited in many locations. Community leaders and other stakeholders have consistently requested SSWC
1 UNOCHA Somalia Humanitarian Bulletin. March 2018.
to also provide services in the child protection sector, as they are often perceived as the best-placed actor in the community to provide these protection series, and it is especially critical that SSWC is able to provide appropriate high-quality case management and comprehensive services for child or adolescent survivors of GBV.
As part of this project cycle, CRS and SSWC will be introducing community-based child friendly spaces (CFS) to be constructed in IDP settlements where CRS is providing integrated health/nutrition/WASH and protection services. These CFS will be supervised by child protection officers, and while designed as a community entry point for multi-sectoral interventions, they are primarily intended to provide PSS through structured play, socialization, and positive environment for children who are highly vulnerable for various reasons: they are predominantly a protection intervention. SSWC counselors with more expertise in child/adolescent- specific PSS will be important to backstop the community-based PSS provided at CFS.
In general, SSWC hopes to broaden the range of protection services it offers to the communities it serves, to include child protection services. To move towards this goal, SSWC is focused during this project cycle on 1) the capacity of crisis centers and safehouses to serve child and adolescent survivors; and 2) community-based protection interventions which include components focused on children’s vulnerabilities to rights violations alongside the focus on GBV—this includes implementing CFS, but also broadening its sensitization/awareness/training efforts to include child protection.
CRS and SSWC are committed to implementing services per the 2017 Interagency Guidelines for GBV Case Management, and intends to implement the IRC/UNICEF Caring for Child Survivors of Sexual Abuse (CCS) guidelines. CRS and SSWC anticipate working closely with the consultant and the Somalia Protection Cluster / GBV Working group to identify any additional/updated guidance that should be added or substituted.
The purpose of this consultancy is to support CRS in building or strengthening key aspects of SSWC staff and organizational capacity to provide high quality services to survivors of GBV. The consultancy aims to support three goals: