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Care Groups in Emergencies: Evidence on the Use of Care Groups and Peer Support Groups in Emergency Settings

Authors: 
Arianna Serino,
Harley Stokes,
Sandra Wilcox
Organizational Authors: 
International Medical Corps
Year Published: 
2015

The Care Group (CG) approach, a specific type of peer support group model, has proven instrumental in addressing issues of food insecurity and nutrition within many development contexts. International Medical Corps along with other implementing partners, including members of the CORE Social and Behavior Change (SBC) working group, have modified the model for use in emergency contexts, finding that variations of the CG approach could lead to successful behavior change.

The project gathered evidence about the use of Care Groups (CGs) and other types of peer support groups in emergency settings in order to analyze the use of CGs in emergencies and develop recommendations to ensure their effective use in these contexts. Consequently, this report discusses experiences with Implementing Care Groups, Cascade Groups and Mother-to-Mother Support Groups (MtMSG) in emergency settings. It also defines emergencies in terms of type, stage, and setting.

The recommendations are based on the available evidence gathered during this study from current or past programs implementing peer support groups in emergency settings and stakeholder input. Two sets of recommendations emerged; one set is overall recommendations based on the stage of emergency – acute, transitional and protracted. The second is specific recommendations based on the adaptations, challenges and benefits of using CGs in emergency settings.

This project was funded by a TOPS Small Grant.

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