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                           IASC MHPSS Reference Group
                 Haiti Emergency Conference Call – Minutes of Meeting
                            Held on Friday, 15th January 2010 (1200 GMT)

Call attendees: Marie De La Soudiere (Consultant), Dr.Unnikrishnan (Plan International), Nancy Baron
(Consultant), Amanda Melville (UNICEF), Sabine Rakotomalala (UNICEF), Cathy Angi (ACT International),
Lene Christensen (IFRC), Alison Schafer (World Vision), Marian Hodgkin (INEE), Martha Bragin (CARE),
Mary Pack (IMC), Lynne Jones (IMC), Guglielmo Schinna (IOM), Cecile Bizouerne (ACF), Carin (Canadian
Red Cross), Henia (UNFPA), Julie (ACF), Lisa Long (SAVE US).

Agenda Items:
   1. Brief update from agencies on activities and plans
   2. Need for a MHPSS coordinator to go to Haiti to represent the reference group and its cause
   3. Need to work with the various clusters at Haiti and global levels to ensure MHPSS is mainstreamed
      and considered in flash appeals
   4. Use of the psychosocialnetwork for sharing information
   5. Identifying people for media contacts
   6. Small group to consider harmonisation of key media messaging
   7. Other

    1. Brief update from agencies on activities and plans
    • IOM – In Haiti IOM will be coordinating NFI & Shelter clusters & Camp Management Cluster is
       likely also. PSS team activated and will be deployed once field offices are ready. Two people for
       assessment; up to 20 until national staff will eventually be hired for PSS.
    • Canadian Red Cross – Six people from CRC will be deployed to the hospital (4 leaving on Sunday).
       Carine will be travelling to Haiti this weekend.
    • IFRC – Sending a field assessment and coordination team. PSS will be covered by the health person
       on this team. IFRC will be leading the Emergency Shelter Cluster. Overall appeal will include
       training for Psychological First Aid at the emergency hospitals, but planning PSS outreach work over
    • IMC – Emergency medical care and rapid needs assessments underway. Surge capacity to the field
       will be sent shortly. Submitted to ECHO and OFDA concept including aspects of psychosocial
       funding – staff training & on-site care for mental disorders. PSS funding requests have been kept
       broad until needs assessments confirmed, but likely to focus on referrals and clinical issues. Health
       coordinator is including mental health in his assessment.
    • ACF – Waiting on news on their programs psychologist who is yet to make contact. Hoping to join
       with others for assessment. Julie from ACF is leaving on Monday for Haiti to conduct assessment and
       train staff on MHPSS (particularly integration into programs). Looking at nutrition as another PSS
       sectoral approach. May be able to engage with the Nutrition Cluster. One psychologist sent short-
       term for staff care.
    • Nancy Baron (Consultant) – Has a range of training tools available and is happy to assist people to
       access these via email contact. She is available to go to Haiti and undertake training (with translators)
       or to support others in developing training needs.
    • CARE - Livelihoods, food security and watsan staff still unavailable. Planning to respond to main
       sectors - NFI, food and water. Tonka Eibs will be in charge for psychosocial component of response.
       Planning on training staff on Guidelines, with materials on their way to the field.
    • Education Cluster/INEE (Marian) – Education Cluster being led by SAVE & UNICEF. Flash
       appeal is 23 million. Various partners will be sought to work with SAVE, UNICEF, UNESCO.
       Proposals will include MHPSS training for teachers and academics/institutions.
    • UNFPA – Staff affected, particularly regarding property loss. Seven personnel leaving on Saturday.
       Reproductive health kits are available. Also seeking to work with additional partners. Have a
       component of PSS in reproductive health but PSS will be mainly under the protection activities.
       Protection person will be assessing PSS needs/activities.


    •   SAVE – Trying to find affected/missing staff. Team leader, logistics and finance people going in.
        Going to work in most sectors – NFI, Food, Shelter, Protection, etc. PSS plans will be CFSs and
        working in schools. Working with UNICEF on assessment. Plan to undertake programming related
        to separated children and any PSS needed there.
    •   World Vision – Staff affected, many with property loss. WV to respond to major sectors – food, NFI,
        watsan, medical supplies etc. PSS will sit within the protection response, with Heather MacLeod
        being the remote contact for now. WV, with WHO & War Trauma Foundation are finalising a final
        draft Psychological First Aid Guide, encouraging all to pilot this in any way they feel may be useful.
        It will be available in the Groups on the website early next week (in English & French).
    •   UNCIEF - PSS will sit within protection and education sectors. Project proposals include budget for
        MHPSS coordination staff. Noted that based on experience in Haiti, French is essential as majority of
        work and meetings are conducted in French.
    •   ACT International – works with 3 x large partners on the ground. Sent a rapid response support
        team to undertake an assessment and will work in most sectors, including psychosocial. Plans will be
        determined post-assessment and once resources have been confirmed.
    •   PLAN – Assessments planned for the coming week and programs will be subsequently devised.

    2. Need for a MHPSS coordinator to go to Haiti to represent the reference group and its cause
    • UNICEF should be able to financially support a coordinator for MHPSS, but if there’s another
       organisation ready to take on the role of coordination, this would be helpful. Needs to be somebody
       who knows the guidelines extremely well, has some good coordination and field experience and is
    • Agreed it may be necessary to send somebody for short-term ‘set up’ while a longer term coordinator
       is identified. Amanda Melville to send email to contacts who may be available for immediate
       deployment, and begin conversation with others about a possible ‘longer term’ placement. Anyone
       with suggestions of staff to fill these roles to email Amanda.
    • People who are going into the field need to ensure they are in touch with each other and if possible, be
       a liaison for the reference group. Anyone going to Haiti needs to send to Sabine their in-country
       contact details, planned activities, locations and timeframes so MHPSS people in-field can maintain
       contact with each other.

    3. Need to work with the various clusters at Haiti and global levels to ensure MHPSS is
       mainstreamed and considered in flash appeals
    • We understand clusters in the field are being identified, but are not yet functional. Meanwhile,
       Clusters are discussing response at the global level. We need focal points in each Cluster at both field
       and global levels - especially for Shelter, Education, Protection and Health and Nutrition.
    • At global level, we need to ensure that MHPSS is being included in Flash appeals.
    • For Global Cluster activities - Sabine & Amanda: Protection Cluster; Mark Van Ommeren (when he
       returns), Mary Pack, Hennia & Dr Yasamy: Health Cluster; Tonka & Cecile (to be confirmed):
       WASH Cluster; Gulli: CCM Cluster; IFRC/Lene: Shelter Cluster; Cecile (to be confirmed): Nutrition
       Cluster; Marian: Education Cluster.
    • For those engaging with the global clusters, please provide simple email reports to the Co-Chairs
       (Alison, Amanda & Sabine) who will then arrange for wider dissemination of information as deemed
    • Currently, five clusters at the field level have identified leads. These include WFP: Logistics Cluster;
       WHO: Health Cluster; IFRC: Emergency Shelter Cluster; IOM: Shelter & NFI Cluster; WFP: Food
       Cluster. It is likely that IOM will also lead the Camp Coordination/Management Cluster.
    • Once these in-field clusters are operational, it will be important to have MHPSS focal point people for
       each cluster. This may be something that reference group members working in-field may be able to
       support with also.


    4. Use of the psychosocialnetwork for sharing information
    • This was only recently completed and is now being truly tested for its capacity and functionality. It’s
       important we all keep trying to use this system. Learnings from any challenges being faced ruing this
       emergency will be utilised to improve the site over time.
    • Any problems or concerns about the web site should be sent direct to Sabine who will maintain
       contact with the site developers.
    • People needed to join the Haiti group - even if you can’t see yourself as a member just yet, the
       development team will work on this so all group members will be seen eventually.
    • Training Tools developed for MHPSS Reference Group is under IASC Group, but majority of tools
       being shared and distributed for the current Haiti emergency will be found under the Haiti Group.
       Some interesting articles (e.g. regarding burials) have also been posted.
    • If you are uploading new resources to the site, please assist the system by “tagging” with key words
    • There is a section on “skills and needs” and people can post things there.
    • Be aware that internet connectivity in Haiti is down at present. Therefore, keep uploading
       information to psychosocialnetwork. Based on this, people may wish to burn CDs with all the
       materials needed for mission staff to take with them prior to departure. They may also like to burn
       additional copies to share with others in the response.
    • It was reiterated that all assessment, mapping and training materials need to be available in French. In
       particular, some existing tools already posted on the psychosocialnetwork will need translation.
    • UNICEF may have some funding/support for translations, particularly the more urgent/immediate

    5. Identifying people for media contacts
    • Volunteers are needed to interact with the media - e.g. Requests from IRIN and other news channels
    • If you are interested in being a focal point for media (either at field level of MHPSS technical level)
       please send Alison Schafer your details – languages you speak, Haiti work and if you are planning to
       go, a brief background of your area of expertise.
    • Lynne and Alison have offered to work with media if needed, but others with more Haiti knowledge
       and experience would be good.

    6. Small group to consider harmonisation of key media messaging
    • Not discussed/covered. Deferred to next conference call.

    7. OTHER: Planned Agency & Joint Assessments
    • All tools planned for use for the WHO assessment (including 4Ws mapping tool) have been posted to
       the psychosocial network, but we need to translate these tools urgently. Sabine to discuss this with
    • Many organisations will be doing smaller assessments ALL agencies have been asked if they can post
       their plans and results to the psychosocial network to share with others and promote continued
       coordination (and reduce duplication).
    • Noted that Dr Yasamy’s message about a possible joint assessment was unclear. Also, the role of Dr
       Devora as part of the WHO rapid response team. Lynne to contact Dr Yasamy to confirm and adivse
       the rest of the reference group on this.
    • Agreed to another call next week (mid-week). Important issues to cover in the next call will be
       ‘key messaging’ and Interagency Trainings. Co-Chairs to coordinate this call.

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