SRH as a Core Sector for CARE’s Emergency Response: Sector Specialist and Program Quality Meeting


Carolyn Baer, Senior Sector Specialist for SRH is sharing the highlights of her trip to Geneva for Sector Specialist and Program Quality Meeting in Sep 2013.

For 3 days in September, Mary Yetter and Carolyn Baer attended the CI Sector Specialist meeting in Geneva, Switzerland whose purpose was to bring together the four priority sectors for emergency response housed within the CARE Emergency Group (CEG).

The objectives of the meeting were as follows:

·         To plan and prepare for the sector review process including looking at key challenges and how we might use the sector review process to help come up with solutions

·         To review and advance strategy implementation to date, especially using face to face time to advance collaborative areas of work together for all sectors and on program quality topics

·         To enhance cross sector and program quality team working including better getting to know each other for new sector specialists


The Sexual and Reproductive Health for Emergencies (SRHE) sector based out of CARE US and supported by the Supporting Access to Family Planning and Post-Abortion Care Initiative (SAF PAC), joined WASH, Food Security, and Shelter as one of the four priority areas for emergency response under CEG in the fall of 2012. The inclusion of SRHE as a core sector increases the visibility and validates the importance of addressing SRH issues and needs not only during the all phases of an emergency but also within CARE International as a whole as a key part of CARE’s overall mandate: to empower women and girls. Since this inclusion the SRHE team has developed and modified several key documents that describe and validate the importance of SRHE. Examples of such documents include: 1) sub-strategy; 2) SRHE Offer of Services; 3) SRHE brief for fundraisers; 4) SRH list of competencies and trainings for RED roster staff; and 5) SRH EPP matrix


The meeting/workshop enabled the sector specialists to discuss common challenges for all sectors (e.g. lack of awareness of the sectors availability and among the country offices); specific challenges for SRHE (e.g. routine/automatic participation in initial rapid assessments) as well as how to incorporate cross-cutting themes (e.g. gender equality/gender, and GBV in emergencies) and develop more collaborative responses and services.

While the meetings conducted during the day provided specific directives, approaches, and concise action plans; it was the evening gatherings at the local café that provided some of the more entertaining and creative approaches of improving multi-sector coordination and increasing uptake of sectors services at the country level. These outings proved just as fruitful and productive for the group as any flip-chart lead session could.  

Leaving the meeting/workshop, the SRHE specialists felt encouraged and optimistic about the agreed upon action plan and way forward in regards to increasing visibility and viability of SRH within CEG. Concrete deliverables with timelines with responsibilities tasked to specific people, tasks will help with the continued institutional capacity development in multi sectorial emergency response.  The SRHE team is in a fortunate position in terms of dedicated funding to support SRHE personnel, deployments, and activities; a strong list of dedicated deployable SRHE staff on the RED roster; and emergency seed money for SRH response and is well positioned to continue support the implementation of SRHE.

Written by Carolyn Bear in Oct 2013. For questions or further information, please contact Carolyn at .

Also please visit SAF PAC at: