Thursday, December 4, 2014


Joseph O. Prewitt Diaz, PhD
August 20, 2004


This is a request for funds to continue the current disaster mental health and psychosocial care program in target schools and communities in two States and to support in Bihar and Tamil Nadu. The proposed program will be called “Psychological Support Program” and will focus on the long term development of the psychological support program in selected Branches. The Psychological Support Program  will (1) enhance the capacity of the IRCS to provide psychological information and to deliver timely interventions, (2) enhance the capacity of target communities to provide psychological support information and creative and expressive activities to release the distress, and (3) enhance the capacity of target schools to generate crisis response plans that will guide  the  response to a crisis, emergency or a disaster.

Background to current project proposal

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) approved a Psychological Support Policy in May 2003.  The policy mandates six “should” activities for the National societies. (1) Integration of psychological support into existing programs (disaster preparedness, disaster response, first aid, health, social services, and youth), (2) Developing psychological support as a community based program, (3) Coordination with existing GO’s and NGO’s who are providing psychological support programs, (4) Plan to develop implementation of psychological support in conjunction with other programs during the acute, (5) rehabilitation, and (6) reconstruction phase of a disaster.
Immediately after the Gujarat earthquake the ARC in conjunction with IFRC determined the need for psychological support in terms of disaster mental health. The program has continued to evolve since 2001. The disaster mental health and psychosocial care program has been integrated into the disaster response repertoire of the OSB, and is a major part of the current services provided by the Bhuj-Kutch district Branch in Bhuj, Anjar, and Bhachau.  The program experienced success in school and target communities, specifically related to crisis response planning in the schools and training of thousands who have become Red Cross volunteers and are building the Branch capacity with thousands of hours of volunteer time.

            Psychological support has been embraced by The Indian Red Cross in the recent Strategic Development Plan (2004). The specific actions are (1) better access to Disaster Mental Health educational material during 2004-2007 (Action 2.1), (2) development and distribution of information material on Disaster Mental Health for distribution during disasters by 2004 (Action 2.3), (3) psychological first aid is considered one of the Health program of the IRCS (Page 6, Indian Red Cross Strategic Development Plan), and (4) the development of emergency health care pan to include disaster mental health Action 3.3).
The strategy of IRCS is congruent with the Psychological Support Policy approved by the IFRC. The ARC is capable of providing TA in the (1) development of technically, culturally and linguistically appropriate materials, (2) dissemination of information in target schools and communalities, and (3) capacity building at all levels.  The program will be community-based, clients focused, will use existing IRCS structures, such as the Youth and Junior Red Cross as a conduit of information and development of crisis plans in schools, and will focus on peoples rights to physical and emotional well being.

 Need for project

The IRCS has identified three needs in the development and responding of programs: (1) identification of systems to deliver services to survivors in the event of a disaster, (2) building the capacity of State and local chapters by using existing volunteers to provide psychological support and (3) funding for specific community and school based programs.   The IRCS would benefit from (1) the material development expertise, (2) networking with communities, (3) the development of community psychological support committees, and (4) the capacity building activities in psychological support activities with teachers and student members of the Youth and Junior Red Cross.

Project Design

The program will use materials that have been developed as part of the existing Disaster Mental Health and Psychosocial Care program for schools and communities as well as technical assistance personnel to provide training to crisis intervention professionals and specialists. The role of the ARC is to provide technical assistance in the formulation, development, implementation and long term continued training in the preparation of educational materials for school that focus on psychological support. See attachment 1 for a Table of Program Development.

The goal and objectives for the program are as follow:

Goal:  Enhance psychological preparedness and response capacity at the school and community level in four states in India

Objective 1: Enhance staff capacity (National, State, and Local Branch) of IRCS in implementing psychological support programs

Objective 2: Expand target school capacity to provide psychological support responses to students, teachers and volunteers through the Junior and Youth Red Cross

Objective 3:  Expand target community capacity to provide psychological support responses to community members and to students in local school through the community psychological support committees.

Objective 4:  Document the process of development of IRCS capacity for psychological responses in schools to crisis, emergency and disasters to draw lessons for future programming.

Measurement, reporting, general M&E

The M & E will include measurement prior to beginning and at the conclusion of the program. Records of participation in activities, identification of specific skills development, through simulations, and testimonials will be recorded. Photographic data will be collected to document the program and a final evaluation should be performed to yield lessons learned. Special attention will be placed on the capacity building activities for development of tools that may be used by other Branches.

Geographic scope

The program will continue in Gujarat and Orissa with major modifications. The program will be start-up in Tamil Nadu and Bihar. In Gujarat the program will continue in communities and schools in Bhuj, Anjar and Bachau (Bhuj-Kutch Branch will serve as lead Branch). The GSB will be responsible for developing the psychological support program through the Junior and Youth Red Cross in Navsari, Surat, and Valsad. In Orissa the State Branch will initiate a program through the Junior and Youth Red Cross in selected schools and communities in Bhadrak, Jagatsingpur, Kendrapara, Khurda, and Puri. In Bihar the State Branch will receive technical assistance in the development of programs at the State Headquarter and one selected branch. In Tamil Nadu, there will be a psychological support  program in Kutakonam, and technical assistance support to the Tamil Nadu State Branch.

 Population to be served

The number of persons to be served will be approximately 250,000 per year per side or a total of one million. The predominant service recipients will be (1) Red Cross staff and volunteers,  (2) students and there parents, teachers and school volunteers, and (3) community members.

Organizational Capacity

The IRCS was established in 1920 under the Indian Red Cross Society act and was recognized by the Movement in 1929. The IRCS has provincial branches in all states and union territories and more than 650 district and sub district branches.  The president of India is the president of the IRCS. The main governing body is the national managing body, which consists of 18 members, 12 of whom are elected by the state and union territory branches. The president of IRCS nominates the remaining six members, including the chairman.

The IRCS has developed a cadre of personnel at the Orissa State Branch and the Bhuj-Kutch District Branch who are currently delivering the program to selected communities and schools. In Orissa the State Branch has a full staff composed of a DMH Officer and twelve staff members working in the four target Districts. The Bhuj-Kutch Branch has 12 employees working in thirty five villages and forty schools in Anjar and Bhuj.  The Gujarat State Branch has sponsored community facilitators training programs in Banas Kantar, Patan, Navsari, Surat, Valsad, and Vadodara.

There is a need to increase the capacity of the NHQ by hiring and supporting a National counterpart. Each State will require a DMH Officer to follow-up the program in school and the target communities. A definitive staffing pattern appropriate to each site will be developed after the Program is approved.

Management/personnel resources & requirements

The program will require an international delegate with the experience in disaster management, materials development, and psychological support activities. The TA staff will be composed of two instructional personnel,  Monitoring and Evaluation Associate, financial Officer and an administrator. Four TA coordinators will be hired as part of the ARC TA staff.

       The IRCS is responsible for the implementation of the Program. The personnel resources will be determined in consultation with each Branch as the program is developed locally.


Attachment 2 presents a roughed out estimate by State and type of intervention.  It is assumed that once that once all parties approve the proposal, the monies will be dispersed from Washington to the respective State and Local Branches. In turn the State and local Branches will submit cash forecasts access continued program funds.

Sustainability beyond project scope

Capacity will be developed in local Branches to develop the program, the trained Red Cross volunteer will be the greatest source of sustainability for the program. All materials are copyrighted to the IRCS therefore the revenue obtained from the sale of the materials will make the program sustainable. The third source of sustainability is the methods and procedures that will remain in place once ARC no longer provides technical assistance.

The program will assure community and school ownership by conducting participatory planning sessions, focused groups to provide direction to the program and by conducting simulations testing protocols and procedures for psychological support response during a crisis, emergency, or a disaster.

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