Development of a Common Framework for M&E of MHPSS Programmes in Emergency Settings
In 2007, the Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) released the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) in Emergency Settings. Following this, the IASC MHPSS Reference Group (RG) was formed to support global implementation of the guidelines and MHPSS integration in the Cluster system. Uptake and implementation of the guidelines has been positive, however effective measurement of MHPSS programs’ goal and outcomes has been identified as a priority area requiring attention.
To date, the wide variation of stated goals, outcomes and indicators of MHPSS initiatives has been a key barrier for getting MHPSS higher on the political agenda of international donors and governments. This variation causes: (a) conflicting advocacy messages by different MHPSS stakeholders on what is important, (b) barriers to easy understanding of MHPSS programs, (c) and difficulties conducting comparative effectiveness analyses. Also, the variation of goals, outcomes and indicators creates difficulties (a) to study the MHPSS field as a whole; (b) to compare different interventions; and (c) to identify which components of complex programs are most effective.
To address these concerns, the 2013 annual meeting of the IASC MHPSS RG agreed that a common Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework, with a well-defined goal and key outcomes, was required to supplement the guidelines and support MHPSS programs being implemented.