International Medical Corps identified high-risk communities in Burundi, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe that would benefit from investments in resilience. Over the next two years, the organization will work with individual, household and community partners, with results feeding into national priorities. Communities range from household clusters of 50 in South Sudan to a District of 50,000 in Burundi.
International Medical Corps commits to expanding its 'Health Care through Training' models to reach 112,000 additional women in Africa, where complex, recurring emergencies such as drought, food insecurity, or seasonal flooding demand greater resilience, reaching a total of 600,000 additional family members. The pilot in southern Ethiopia is demonstrating impressive results. Services are delivered through peer-to-peer models in health centers and schools; bringing information directly to families and equipping them to become First Responders, before a disaster strikes. In the pilot area, rates of malaria, maternal and child mortality, and diarrheal disease are all improving over baseline levels.
Peer-to-peer models such as 'Care Groups' and 'PD Hearth' prevent malnutrition; improve infant and young child feeding practices; and empower families and communities to take responsibility for the development of their children. International Medical Corps will expand and scale these programs and related models, and invest in training frontline healthcare workers to expand community-based education. Information on nutrition, water/sanitation, reproductive health, gender-based violence and mental health will be integrated where possible. Programs will be implemented consistent with pilot methodology, and executed in partnership with local government counterparts and contributing to their healthcare priorities.
To expand awareness, International Medical Corps' Global Ambassador Sienna Miller will launch the First Responder Campaign. Having seen firsthand the impact of disaster on families in Haiti, Congo and elsewhere, Miller will bring together high profile individuals to advocate for greater investment in prevention and resilience programs.
Phase One - September-December 2013: Assessment and Project Development. Months 1-4, conduct a detailed assessment and program development process engaging local communities, local authorities, relevant government partners and other stakeholders. International Medical Corps will build upon its existing programs and relationships with national governments, especially Ministries of Health; the national health care infrastructure; and other local partners to design programs that target the most vulnerable and build upon the government's existing health care plans and priorities. Assessments will engage International Medical Corps' Technical Advisors to leverage experience across countries and sectors. Based on the results of the assessment, education and training programs are developed to meet local resilience needs.
Phase Two - January 2014-December 2015: Project Implementation, Monitoring/Evaluation. Implement programs and M&E systems to include data collection, regular reporting and analysis, and program modifications as necessary.
Phase Three - December 2014-March 2015: Conduct mid-project evaluation to determine effectiveness of interventions and adjust as needed.
September 2013 - Launch First Responders Campaign
International Medical Corps will support local efforts and leverage CGI to launch the International First Responder campaign. Current celebrity First Responders include: Sienna Miller, Jude Law, Robert Pattinson, Eddie Redmayne, Tom Sturridge, Mario Testino, Anna Wintour, and Robin Wright. A multi-media, multi-channel approach will include press releases, mail, e-mail, social media and other online communication. Each year, an outreach campaign will position the First Responders in high profile media opportunities to call for greater support and investment.
Resilience is 'the ability of countries, communities and households to manage change, by maintaining or transforming living standards in the face of shocks or stresses - such as earthquakes, drought or violent conflict - without compromising their long-term prospects.' (Department for International Development (DfID), 2011). In 2012, DfID research confirmed that 'while the cost of resilience is comparatively high, the wider benefit of resilience outweighs the costs, leading to the conclusion that investment in resilience is the best value for the money.' Despite this evidence, an overreliance on rapid response in disaster prone settings is prevalent the world over.
Resilience is not just about the ability of communities to respond to disasters and chronic emergencies; building resilience acknowledges that individuals, families and communities ARE the First Responders. Giving communities the capacity, resources and tools to effectively mitigate the shock from a disaster or emergency and recover quickly is critical.
It is proven that preparation builds resilience. For example, diarrheal diseases kill over 2 million people each year, primarily children, according to the World Health Organization. Resilience is the mother in Haiti who knows the importance of home sanitation and how to access and provide clean water for her children. It is the same mom who can recognize early signs of dehydration and knows she can access health facilities where nurses are trained to treat diarrhea and supplied with prepositioned lifesaving rehydration salts.
Resilience is not only required in rapid onset disasters. The United Nations Population Fund reports that every two minutes, at least one woman dies from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth - 287,000 women a year - with one million children left motherless and at risk of premature death as a result. Resilience programming invests in training midwives and working with health systems to ensure access to safe delivery for moms world-wide.