All posts in Aid and Policy

Understanding Health and Fragility from a Systems Perspective

Fragile, conflict affected situations or ‘fragile settings’ have among the weakest health systems and worst health indicators in the world. Despite this recognition, however, notable gaps in research and tools linking health and fragility remain. For actors working to improve health conditions in fragile settings, the absence of an appropriate conceptualization of fragility cast through a health lens has the potential to significantly hinder an understanding of the environment in which they operate, with implications for the health programs they design and implement.

Recognizing the challenges presented by the absence of a health-sensitive understanding of fragility, Momentum Integrated Health Resilience (MIHR) commissioned IRMA consultants to develop a fragility conceptual model and typology to better understand the fragile settings in which MIHR work is implemented and, in turn, strengthen health programming. The conceptual model developed by IRMA draws on an expansive literature review and a range of fragility and risk measurement frameworks and presents a systems-oriented approach to understanding and assessing fragility and the relationship between key indicators of fragility and health.

MIHR further commissioned IRMA to apply the conceptual model in a comparative analysis of fragility, conflict sensitivity and complexity in MIHR operating countries and the implications for health programming.

IRMA’s team for this assignment was Hannah Vaughan-Lee and Lezlie Morinière.

 

Photo credit: Mother and child visit a clinic in central Somalia run by soldiers of the African Union Mission in Somalia, courtesy of Abdi Dakan (AU/UN IST PHOTO).

IRMA’s 7th Anniversary : “Can we do better?”

In celebration of our 7th Anniversary, IRMA is pleased to launch a series of 6 cartoons surfacing from our research over the past decade. Aiming to provoke thought and inspire debate on humanitarian action and the HDP nexus, the series is called “Can we do better?” We have found the answer to almost always be “Yes, together”.

Shout out & thanks to Stephan Pelayo, of Studio Kalanoor!

 

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The French language version is available here.

 

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The French language version is available here.

 

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The French language version is available here.

 

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The French language version is available here.

 

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The French language version is available here.

 

Redesign of one of NORCAP’s flagship programs : CashCap

NORCAP is the Norwegian Refugee Council’s global provider of expertise to the humanitarian, development and peace-building sectors. One of NORCAP’s flagship programs is CashCap. Established in 2015/2016, CashCap aims to support humanitarian and development actors in achieving Grand Bargain commitments to radically increase the scale and quality of cash and voucher assistance (CVA) as a modality.

How does this program work in practice? CashCap experts (or “CashCappers”) are deployed to provide inter-agency support at all levels and in all stages of a crisis response. The experts facilitate planning, coordination and implementation of cash programming across the sectors, without an agency-specific agenda. Every mission includes an element of knowledge exchange and learning within and for agencies involved in cash coordination, including CashCap host agencies, national and local stakeholders. Since its establishment, CashCap has deployed senior experts to 38 different countries across 6 regions. Their impartiality, technical know-how and their operational experience mark the CashCap quality brand.

Last year, NORCAP commissioned IRMA to support the redesign of CashCap, leading to the development of NORCAP’s new Cash and Markets strategic plan for the next 3 years (2022-2025). IRMA carried out this assignment in a highly participatory manner, engaging a wide range of stakeholders that operate within CashCap’s and NORCAP’s spheres of action.

The first stage in this process was landscape analysis, comprised of a Systematic Literature Review and consultations with 32 people from 20 entities.  The landscape analysis enabled CashCap/NORCAP to consider various options for the future direction of its Cash and Markets portfolio, opting for a focus on strengthening national and local leadership of CVA, supporting innovation and integration, and strategically deploying experts to facilitate coordination in major and complex crises.

The implications of this focus were discussed in workshops with stakeholders in three different crisis contexts: Venezuela, Somalia and Whole of Syria. The purpose of this step was to ensure that local and national organisations had a say in CashCap’s planning and to provide key contextual inputs. Informed by these consultations, IRMA conducted a survey on ‘the future direction of CashCap’, targeted at CashCap experts, host agencies, humanitarian leaders, donors, national NGOs, national governments, and other stakeholders who have interacted with CashCap.

Based on all the above-mentioned inputs, a theory of change was developed in workshops with regional experts, NORCAP representatives and external stakeholders, leading to the development of CashCap’s 2022-2025 strategic plan.

IRMA offers sincere thanks to the CashCap team, particularly to Jimena Perroni, Fe Kagahastian and Noanne Laida who were instrumental in creating a space for local actors in their areas to participate in the strategic development, and Anna Kondakhchyan and Roya Murphy for being open to a very participatory process. IRMA is grateful to all those who joined in virtual discussions, particularly CashCap’s local and national partners for the Syrian, Venezuelan and Somalia crises.

IRMA’s team for this assignment was Marilise Turnbull, Lezlie Moriniere, Floor Grootenhuis and Charlotte Gendre.