Through the Hilton Prize Coalition Collaborative Models Program, Landesa and BRAC co-authored the collaborative issue brief, “Land Tenure as a Critical Consideration for Climate Change-Related Displacement in Slow-Onset Disaster Zones.” To coincide with World Environment Day, Jennifer Duncan, Sr. Attorney and Land Tenure Specialist (Landesa), and Ashley Toombs, External Affairs Manager (BRAC), wrote a recent op-ed that highlights recommendations from the issue brief on climate change-related displacement and slow-onset disaster zones.
This piece was originally published by Devex.
The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is connecting people to nature. There is no greater example of that connection than climate change-related displacement caused by slow-onset disasters.
The world will see more frequent and more devastating natural disasters as the effects of climate change intensify. This includes both rapid-onset disasters, such as hurricanes, and slow-onset disasters such as long-term droughts and famines. Slow-onset climate change impacts are often not apparent until it is too late, and they will increasingly disrupt the lives of rural people in the global south, especially the poor, women and children.
Right now, there are 1.4 million children at risk of death from malnutrition, due in part to severe drought caused primarily by climate change. According to United Nations estimates, nearly 20 million people at risk due to famine or near-famine conditions in four countries — South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen.
We are pleased to present a new issue brief that examines critical issues of climate change, refugees, and land tenure rights. This is the product of a collaboration between members Landesa and BRAC generated through the Hilton Prize Coalition Collaborative Models Program. Landesa led the desk research for and writing of the brief on land and climate change, with a specific focus on slow onset displacement due to drought. The brief highlights a case study by BRAC in Uganda as one of the countries where slow-onset disaster has taken a toll in recent years, and presents best practices as well as a call to action. Read more and download the brief here.
As part of the Hilton Prize Coalition Collaborative Models Program, Operation Smile hosted training sessions alongside the American Heart Association (AHA) and Help Age International at Operation Smile’s Roma Downey Center in Amman, Jordan, on March 15 -16, 2017.
With support from the Coalition, Operation Smile invited Hilton Prize Laureates to participate with Jordanian and Lebanese health care workers involved in the treatment of refugees. The program featured an AHA training session, which focused on strengthening emergency life-saving skills for healthcare professionals. Participants also had the opportunity to learn about caring for elderly populations and received instruction from experts around psychological first aid during presentations by HelpAge International advisors. Participants, including staff from the Jordanian Ministry of Health, the Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (EMPHNET), UNHCR, HelpAge Lebanon and HelpAge Jordan, as well as medical volunteers from Operation Smile Jordan, observed an Operation Smile medical mission at a local hospital as well.
Overall, a total of 30 AHA certifications – 29 Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider certifications and one BLS Instructor re-certification – were issued by Egypt-based AHA instructors.
One trainee who received his BLS Instructor re-certification, longtime Operation Smile volunteer and Jordanian emergency room physician Dr. Tareq Househ of Specialty Hospital in Amman, offered insight into the experience:
“As an ER physician, I realized that we look after and care for physically-injured casualties more often. We are not always looking out for post-traumatic psychologically-injured people who may also need a lot of help; especially women, children, adolescents, elderly and people with health conditions, disabilities and chronic illnesses.
The program gave me a new approach for these groups, namely the psychological first aid for patients, including looking and caring for their basic needs and safety, listening to them, connecting them with social support teams, screening them for disaster-related disorientation, and addressing effects on their chronic illness, mainly in the elderly.
The life support program also continued to emphasize supporting life for these groups and the value of life for all. Saving lives by providing high-quality life support and providing psychological first aid for the patient needs and their families are examples of (the Help Age International and Operation Smile/AHA training) programs working together.
I would like to thank everybody who enrolled in the Hilton Prize Coalition and Operation Smile Collaborative Education Program. I enjoyed the combination of the basic life support and the Help Age lectures since both of them support human beings in crisis. The trainers demonstrated professionalism and successfully motivated the trainee to participate. The program was well-organized, professional and friendly.”
Since 2003, Operation Smile has educated more than 25,000 health care professionals in life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills through AHA training programs. According to the AHA, when CPR is administered in the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest, a person’s chance of survival can be doubled or tripled. By providing AHA and other skill-specific training sessions for our international medical volunteers, Operation Smile improves patient safety and strengthens health systems where it works.
(AHA Training participants in Amman, Jordan)
April 25, 2017 marks the two-year anniversary of the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal. As the country continues to rebuild, we'd like to take a minute to recognize the communities across Nepal and the 12 Hilton Prize Laureates working in country – BRAC, Clubhouse International, ECPAT, Handicap International, Heifer International, HelpAge International, IRC, IRCT, MSF, Operation Smile, Partners in Health and SOS Children’s Villages.
This earthquake in Nepal and the ongoing efforts to rebuild were the focus of the Hilton Prize Coalition's first production under the Storytelling Program. Below is a recap of some of the stories from the past year that have helped us think about effective approaches to disaster preparation, as well as some updates on the work being done today.
FILM: On Shifting Ground
The pilot project highlighted six member organizations that were among those who mobilized in response to the earthquake: BRAC, Handicap International, Heifer International, HelpAge International, Operation Smile and SOS Children’s Villages. The resulting film, “On Shifting Ground,” has been shown around the world to initiate dialogue around rethinking approaches to disaster response and ways to build community resiliency. Click here to view the film.
Through the production of the film, the organizations gained greater familiarity with one another’s capacities in the region and formed a framework for collaboration that continues to this day. In March 2017, more than 10 organizations met in Kathmandu to establish protocols, building on the lessons learned and their collective experiences in the sector. Read more in this blog post by the Coalition’s Collaboration Coordinator in Nepal, Sumnina Shrestha.
BLOG SERIES: Voices from Nepal
Director Steve Connors, along with members of Storytelling crew, shared insights about their experiences during the February 2016 filming process and beyond, highlighting especially the collaborations that have since taken root.
• Part 1: Reminders, by Steve Connors
• Part 2: Bringing Together a Wonderful Crew, by Steve Connors
• Part 3: This Humanitarian Spirit, by Steve Connors
• Part 4: The Beauty of Our Journey, by Rasmi Dangol
• Part 5: Returning to Normal, by Amul Thapa
• Part 6: A Brighter Future, by Amul Thapa
• Part 7: Learning to Be a Child, by Amul Thapa
• Part 8: A Ray of Hope, by Sunil Pokhrel
We were also pleased to learn about BRAC’s ELA program in Nepal that is empowering girls today, in this blog post written by Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow Sheetal Tuladhar.
VIDEOS: Leading Thoughts
Hilton Prize Laureate organizations recognize how critical preparation and collaboration between organizations are to effective disaster preparation. Here are two clips from the "Leading Thoughts' series that address how these played out in Nepal. Click on the links or watch them on the Story Wall.
@OperationSmile: Thanks to @PrizeCoalition, we were able to provide life-saving trainings to 32 #publichealth professionals supporting #refugees in #Jordan
Collaboration in Action: HPC partners in Nepal convene in Kathmandu. "Disaster Preparedness and Response Planning workshop"
WATCH THE VIDEO
Sumnima Shrestha is the Communication and Resource Mobilization Manager with Heifer International – Nepal. She currently serves as Collaboration Coordinator for the Hilton Prize Coalition in Nepal. Sumnima holds more than 9 years of experience in the development sector, especially in advocacy, networking and resource mobilization, program development, project management, community empowerment and entrepreneurship. Here, Sumnima reflects on the Disaster Preparedness and Response Planning (DPRP) workshop held on March 2-3, 2017 in Kathmandu.
Hilton Laureates in Nepal Join Hands for Disaster Preparedness and Response
by Sumnima Shrestha
Getting different organizations and people together on one platform, and building a common understanding among them is a challenging part of any coalition. The Hilton Prize Coalition in Nepal is unique in itself. Coalition member organizations are working in diverse sectors with varied missions ranging from income and food security to disability and health. They have fascinating stories of their own, their interests are different, and above all, they are busy. When I became Collaboration Coordinator under the Coalition’s Collaborative Models Program, I had to overcome the challenge of making myself and others motivated and comfortable. I took this as an opportunity and met with each of the members, learned about their interests and worked to define one common goal to achieve greater collective impact for the world’s most vulnerable people.
The Hilton Prize Coalition in Nepal first came together under the 2016 Storytelling Program and included BRAC, Handicap International, Heifer International, Help Age International, Operation Smile and SOS Children’s Villages. Similarly, there are Hilton Laureates - Clubhouse International, ECPAT, the IRCT, Landesa, and PATH - working in Nepal with their local partners whose proactive participation has added tremendous value to the Coalition.
A common footprint manifested by each of the Coalition members was their involvement in relief and response activities during the April 2015 Nepal mega-earthquake. Though disaster relief is not the primary mission of all of these organizations, they moved out of their comfort zones and brought extraordinary results towards relief and recovery, benefiting thousands of people. Based on the lessons learned by the members and their interest to rise up during humanitarian crises, the need of a joint plan for future disaster preparedness and response was realized. A workshop on “Disaster Preparedness and Response Planning (DPRP)” was designed with objectives to understand disaster preparedness and emergency response as an integral part of development, and to develop joint response plans for working together in future natural disasters.
A total of 18 participants from 10 Coalition member organizations attended the workshop March 2-3, 2017 in Kathmandu. The theoretical sessions built capacity of the participants on disaster management cycles, preparedness and response, a vulnerability assessment tool for preparedness, and linkages with development interventions they are currently implementing. Phanindra Adhikari from CVICT, an IRCT member organization, described the event as “a wonderful experience. I had opportunity to gain knowledge as well as share my learning.”
The sessions were enriched by stories and experience-sharing of the participants. Said Sheetal Tuladhar of BRAC, “Sharing experiences of participating organizations was the most valuable part of this workshop...being a beginner in the development and humanitarian sectors, it was especially valuable to learn these concepts and match them with organizational experiences.” Moreover, the group discussion on institutional mechanisms of disaster preparedness was eye-opening to the participants. The workshop focused on developing objectives of joint disaster preparedness and concluded with an official response plan of the Coalition. A task force comprising of BRAC, Handicap International, Heifer International, and SOS Children's Villages was formed for completing this plan.
The 2-day workshop with networking and team-building activities helped to strengthen these formal and informal connections, as well as personal relationships among Coalition members. One of the participants commented, “This workshop provided a platform for networking with such good organizations and I also got to learn more about them. This helped me for future collaborations, and I will definitely work towards it.”
Without a doubt, this workshop helped to establish unity in diversity. The beauty of this Coalition is that there is no competition between its members. Each are working in individual themes that are not overlapping with each other; integrating these themes results in holistic development. The Storytelling Program pilot advanced this collaboration and I am happy to be a part of this journey.
(Group photo of workshop participants)
All over the world, people living with mental illness can face issues such as inadequate healthcare, stigma against disability, and lack of education, which contribute to their disenfranchisement and vulnerability to inhumane treatment. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), people living with serious mental illness have a life expectancy that is 10-20 years shorter than average. They are not only ostracized by their communities, but are likely to be discriminated against for employment, education, civic engagement, and basic necessities such as food and shelter. Without access to employment and basic needs, certain populations of people with mental illness live in extreme cases of poverty and cannot access the appropriate resources for help.
At the forefront of the work to empower men, women and children living with mental illness are Clubhouse International and Fountain House. These organizations were jointly awarded the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 2014 for their dedication to providing opportunities and recovery services for men, women, and children living with mental illness. With more than 340 clubhouses in 320 countries, including the United States, Clubhouse International and Fountain House have helped over 100,000 people overcome the challenges of unemployment, abuse, and isolation.
Founded in 1948 in New York City, Fountain House was the first Clubhouse established. The organization now serves over 1,300 members through community mental health programs that are based on the "Clubhouse" working community model that it pioneered. This Clubhouse model is distinguished from other programs that serve people with mental illness by its core dependence on the voluntary participation of its members. Members play a critical role in the daily operations of the organization. The opportunity to live, work, and learn within a community and environment of mutual support empowers members to make progress towards achieving their employment and educational goals. As a template for Clubhouse organizations all over the world, Fountain House continues to be an example for organizations focusing on mental health in leadership development, education, advocacy, and research on the integration of people with mental illness into society.
Recently, Fountain House partnered with WHO to establish a series of guidelines and best practices to extend and improve the quality of life for people living with mental illness. Resources produced under this partnership include articles and reports, as well as upcoming events around the subject of excess mortality in persons living with serious mental illness. These guidelines will be implemented by governments and health care professionals around the world. Read more about this initiative here.
The growing number of Clubhouses around the world demonstrates that people with living mental illness have a meaningful place in society, and deserve the right to education, employment, and stability. Clubhouse International does not define their programming as treatment, but a partnership where people reclaim their futures in a supportive, recovery-based community. Clubhouse International believes in the possibility for a time where “there will one day be clubhouses in the cities and towns of every country in the world.” In order to obtain that vision, Clubhouse International developed a program model operating on standards proven to be effective in its implementation all over the world.
The Clubhouse model is grounded in a philosophy that has high expectations for its members with the understanding that community engagement is an important addition to psychiatric and medical treatment. Through local businesses, Clubhouse provides paid employment for its members, and offers educational and social programming that promotes members' sense of self-worth, confidence, and purpose.
Clubhouse International/Fountain House and the Hilton Prize Coalition
Recently, Clubhouse International participated in a Monitoring & Evaluation capacity building survey led by PATH under the Hilton Prize Coalition's Collaborative Models program, along with BRAC, Casa Alianza/Covenant House, HelpAge International, and Landesa. The purpose of the survey was to inform the Coalition’s monitoring and evaluation strategy, and to identify opportunities to leverage the member organizations’ capacity building initiatives.
In addition to Clubhouse International’s role in the Collaborative Models program, President Kenn Dudek of Fountain House was featured in the Coalition's Leading Thoughts series under the its Storytelling Program. This series features leaders of Hilton Prize Laureate organizations sharing lessons learned from their experiences in global development and humanitarian aid. During his interview, Dudek describes how people with mental illness are treated as an illness rather than a person with an illness, and shares how the Clubhouse model pioneered by Fountain House is one that stresses empowerment and advocating for the agency of people often left unheard due to the inequalities and stigmas towards mental illness in current health institutions. Watch the video here.
Through its Collaborative Models Program, the Hilton Prize Coalition is committed to harnessing the power of its structure and the expertise of its members to strengthen organizations and build community resiliency. Catalytic funds allow the Collaborative Models Program to convene organizations around shared topics of interest, prioritizing collaboration as a means to achieve participants’ respective goals.
In 2016, the Coalition launched 5 pilot projects that currently involve 9 Coalition member organizations. Take a look at the projects below, and stay tuned to learn more about these initiatives as they evolve.
Trauma Informed Care Models
- Co-Lead Organizations: Casa Alianza/Covenant House and the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)
Covenant House, in partnership with IRCT, will develop a comprehensive set of presentation slides and printed materials in Spanish on issues related to trauma informed care. These materials will be used as training and reference resources that will assist mental health workers and specialists to better understand the effects of trauma, to create a conceptual map of how to approach traumatized youth, and to further integrate these leading edge principles into social services for youth in crisis. IRCT will lend its expertise in action-based research, knowledge-sharing processes, and survivor engagement to further substantiate the model.
In December 2016, representatives of Casa Alianza/Covenant House and IRCT convened for an open meeting around the Trauma Informed Care Models pilot project at the IRCT 10th International Scientific Symposium in Mexico City, Mexico. Participants discussed therapeutic approaches, shared experiences, and explored opportunities to support one another in their respective work.
(Closing Session of IRCT Symposium; photo credit: Gerardo Arriaga)
Train-the-Trainer Life Support Certification
- Lead Organization: Operation Smile; Contributing Organization: HelpAge International
Operation Smile will conduct an AHA (American Heart Association) Basic Life Support (BLS) training for Hilton Prize Coalition members and potential refugee population care providers based in Amman, Jordan, in March 2017. The objective of this project is to build regional healthcare capacity in the face of disaster situations. This train-the-trainer model is vital for the large number of aid organizations who serve refugee populations from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine with limited funds and little or no access to shared resources.
The curriculum for this training will be supplemented by components and/or modules contributed by HelpAge International, with a lens on elderly populations.
Monitoring & Evaluation Capacity Building
- Lead Organization: PATH; Participating Organizations: BRAC, Clubhouse International, Casa Alianza/Covenant House, HelpAge International, Landesa
PATH has been engaged to conduct an assessment in the form of a competency-based monitoring and evaluation self-assessment survey. The purpose of the survey is twofold: First, the survey will inform the Coalition’s M&E capacity building strategy, and second, it will help to identify opportunities to leverage the strengths of Coalition members in future capacity building work.
Collaborative Issue Brief
- Lead Organization: Landesa; Contributing Organization: BRAC
Landesa is leading the desk research for and writing of a collaborative issue brief on land and climate change, with a specific focus on slow onset displacement due to drought. The brief will highlight sub-Saharan Africa country case studies by BRAC and will present best practices. Through this brief, the Coalition seeks to bring attention to the critical issues of climate change, refugees, and land tenure rights.
Stay tuned for a social media campaign around the publication of this issue brief in March 2017.
- Sumnima Shrestha, Community Resource and Mobilization Manager at Heifer International Nepal, serves as the Coalition's Collaboration Coordinator in Nepal.
The position creates a mechanism for collaboration and establishes a foundation on which to build broader partnerships in years to come. The Coalition will replicate this model, beginning in the UK, with Collaboration Coordinators around the globe focused on identifying program synergies, cultivating a network and building the partnership approach within Coalition member organizations.
(Sumnima arranged a meeting for the representatives from 6 Coalition member organizations to meet in Kathmandu and discuss ongoing collaborative efforts with regard to upcoming events, disaster preparedness/response, and capacity building in the field)