As the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread globally, the risk this presents to populations living in camps and camp-like settings is most pressing, especially as recommended mitigation measures seem an impossibility in many such settings. With this in mind, the Global CCCM Cluster, has been hosting a series of webinars on “CCCM in COVID-19" every Tuesday throughout the month of April. Jointly organised by the working groups under the Global CCCM Cluster, this provides an opportunity to share operational examples and exchange on best practices for adaptation in order to ensure continuing assistance and protection to the displaced population.
The first webinar jointly organised with PHAP on “Operationalising Standards: Sphere and the COVID-19 response in Camp Settings” featured two of the lead authors of the WASH and Health chapters of the 2018 revision of the Sphere Handbook - Kit Dyer, WASH Adviser, Norwegian Church Aid and Judith Harvie, as well field examples from Antonio Torres, Global Wash Coordinator at IOM. Importantly, community engagement was highlighted as key to building understanding among the population by, Virginia M. Moncrieff, Acting Crisis Response Manager at Translators Without Borders; and further contextualized with examples from camp settings currently facing COVID-19 with examples shared by Manuel Pereira, Deputy Chief of Mission to IOM Bangladesh, response in Cox’s Bazaar; Richard Okello, CCCM Cluster Coordinator in South Sudan; Sybilla Kitsios, Camp Manager for the Salamiyah camp in Iraq with ACTED; Dher Hayo, Senior Durable Solutions Coordinator with UNHCR and previously the Whole of Syria coordinator for the CCCM Cluster. People are affected differently by the current situation – some are more vulnerable than others to both the illness and the overall disruption. While displaced people are living in different types of collective contexts - planned camps, unplanned camps, collective sites, and transit centers – how to apply the technical guidance to this new situation, was thoughtfully summarized by Aninia Nadig, Policy and Practice Manager at Sphere who highlighted the overall relevance of working together in camp settings and anticipated the forthcoming Camp Management Standards to be released later this year.
With community engagement, communication and mobilisation responsibilities of camp management organisations becoming particularly relevant during the current COVID-19 preparedness and response actions in camps and camp-like settings, the second session in the webinar series was held on ‘Community Engagement and Participation during the Response to COVID-19”. This session capitalised on IFRC’s extensive work and guidance in the Community Engagement Hub presented by Viviane Lucia Fluck, Regional Coordinator for Community Engagement and Accountability (CEA), Asia Pacific, IFRC followed by experience-sharing from camp management teams in the field who are currently involved in COVID-19 preparedness and response in camps and camp-like settings presented by Maria Celeste Sánchez Bean, Programme Manager, CCCM & Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), IOM Somalia. This webinar aimed to look into risk communication and community engagement strategies in order to ensure meaningful participation of all groups in the camp population and to increase our understanding on how this crisis affects differently each population group.
With the COVID-19 pandemic considerably reducing access to displacement sites for CCCM practitioners and humanitarian workers in order to limit possible human to human transmission, camp management teams worldwide are re-thinking their day to day activities. To support this, the third session on “Training remotely: sharing of tips and best practices for capacity building in remote management", presented two examples of providing capacity building, mentoring and coaching approaches to ensure continuation of life saving activities when access to displacement sites is not possible or is extremely limited. This session brought together discussions and experiences from Emmanuelle Lacroix, Foundation Partnership Development Manager for DisasterReady.org; Mamdouh Tello, Portfolio Manager at POINT and a presentation by Elena Valentini, chair of the working group on how to continue develop capacities and strengthen knowledge of camp management field teams and affected communities when face to face access is limited.
The fourth session in the webinar series on “Adaptation of CCCM activities in urban neighbourhoods and informal sites for the COVID-19 response”, discussed and shared first-hand experiences of responses to corvid-19 outbreak in urban neighbourhoods and informal sites capitalising on experiences of camp management teams in the field. Speakers, Mate Bagossy, Camp Management Specialist, Afghanistan, NRC and Abubakar Ibrahim, IOM Head of Sub-Office and Regional CCCM Cluster Focal point for Baidoa Region, Somalia, addressed question exploring how activities in Community Information Centres and associated Mobile outreach teams are being adapted to the challenges COVID-19 presents to these communities.
In the upcoming weeks, the Webinar Series will be holding sessions on “Digital communication and clean energy in responding to COVID 19” on 28th of April, 2020 and “COVID-19: Remote management challenges in engaging with state and non-state actors” on the 5th of May 2020 which will be followed by more sessions to be announced later. Up-to-date details on all CCCM Cluster-related events, including the webinars below can be found at https://cccmcluster.org/events.
The recordings of the previous webinars are available here:
Session 1: Operationalising Standards: Sphere and the COVID-19 response in Camp Settings:
Session 2: Community Engagement and Participation during the Response to COVID-19
Session 3: Training remotely: sharing of tips and best practices for capacity building in remote management
Session 4: Adaptation of CCCM activities in urban neighborhoods and informal sites for the COVID-19 response