PSEA Community Outreach and Communication Fund
Call for Proposals
UNHCR and ICVA are proud to announce the launch of the second round of the Interagency Community Outreach and Communication Fund on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA).
In 2020, the PSEA Outreach Fund generated tremendous interest from NGOs, community-based organisations, safeguarding experts and other humanitarian actors involved in PSEA activities, with over 1,500 grant applications received from NGOs worldwide, operating in all regions and humanitarian contexts. You can read about the 19 selected projects funded in 2020 here.
Raising community-awareness on the risks of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by aid workers is critical to preventing SEA, as well as to ensuring that victims know where and how to safely report SEA when it does take place. Local stakeholders have noted the need for effective, updated information, education and communication materials on PSEA that are tailored to local cultural contexts, operational realities, the groups that are most at risk, and which take into account among others of languages, literacy, age and capacity.
To support NGOs in meeting these needs, the PSEA Fund provides rapid, targeted financial support to NGOs to develop and disseminate PSEA outreach and communication materials, and to make available to all IASC members and the wider sector the materials developed through the Fund for their further use or adaptation.
You will find the Call for Applications, in English, French and Spanish here, including the application form and a list of relevant resources.
The PSEA Outreach Fund
In February 2020, UNHCR and the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) partnered to launch the PSEA Community Outreach and Communication Fund (PSEA Outreach Fund). This initiative of the High Commissioner’s IASC Championship on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) and Sexual Harassment (SH) was established to support the critical work that NGOs do every day to ensure that people we serve are fully aware that humanitarian assistance is never conditional on any transaction or exchange of any kind and to prevent situations of sexual exploitation and abuse. The Fund also invests in community-led efforts to help ensure that victims/survivors know how and where to safely report SEA, which is vital to respond to these unacceptable abuses in a timely and survivor-centered manner. The initiative is rooted in the recognition that local capacities and expertise, including that of affected communities themselves, are indispensable to effectively reinforcing protection from sexual exploitation and abuse.
Addressing New Realities and Challenges
The PSEA Outreach Fund has generated tremendous interest from NGOs, community-based organizations, safeguarding experts and other humanitarian actors involved in PSEA activities. The Fund received over 1,500 grant applications from NGOs worldwide, operating in all regions and humanitarian contexts.
This financial support is particularly timely as there is increasing concern about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to devastating livelihoods in already-fragile economies, leaving people affected by humanitarian crises at greater risk of SEA, the pandemic has led to isolation measures which can make it more difficult for victims to report abuse. Evidence indicates that the impact and risks are greatest for women and girls.
Many of the grant applications in 2020 featured innovative approaches to mitigate the specific risks and operational challenges posed by COVID-19. Some projects, for instance, integrated awareness-raising on PSEA issues in tandem with public health messaging on COVID-19. Others used digital engagement and meetings with small, targeted community groups to ensure that their projects remain firmly grounded in consultation with affected people, whilst maintaining social distancing and other measures to minimize risks of infection. In addition, a range of projects aimed to strengthen community awareness and seek community feedback on whether complaint mechanisms require updating or improvement to be accessible, trusted, reachable and effective.
Contributions from PSEA Experts
A group of PSEA experts carefully reviews all eligible applications, giving priority consideration to proposals that demonstrated consultation with affected people in the development of their proposals, particularly with women and girls, as well as meaningful efforts to sustain this engagement throughout the lifespan of the project. This includes undertaking regular and ongoing consultation with key groups—such as people with disabilities, members of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) minorities, adolescent girls and people in geographically isolated areas. These consultations aim to ensure that the content of awareness-raising campaigns is appropriate and effective, and that the selected communication channels meet the diverse local needs.
This group of PSEA experts includes UNHCR, ICVA as well as the Communications with Disaster-affected Communities (CDAC) Network, UNICEF, Girls Not Brides, IOM, and CARE International. The group of experts provides technical support to selected projects.
Updates on Project Activities
Project activities can be found under Key Documents.