Ranya Al-Jaberi has more than ten years of experience in a conflict context. She has worked mainly in safeguarding, child protection, and Gender-Based Violence programmes with INGOs and UN agencies. She holds a master’s degree in Humanitarian Action from the University of Geneva. She has a bachelor’s degree in Art and Education. She is currently the Coordinator for the RSH Yemen Hub.
Safeguarding is a new concept for many civil society organisations (CSO) in Yemen. CSOs have expressed interest in integrating, developing, and implementing safeguarding/ protection from Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (SEAH) in the workpace, including policies that meet international standards. However, less-resourced CSOs have limited capacity, funding, and knowledge of policies, which consequently makes safeguarding a lesser priority.
Considering CSOs valid challenges, the RSH set up a service entitled “Ask an expert.” This service offers advice and guidance to organisations in supported countries on improving their safeguarding policies or practices or help in handling a specific safeguarding problem. From general safeguarding inquiries to specific COVID-19-related adaptations, RSH's “Ask an expert” service matches CSOs with free SEAH/safeguarding expertise.
The expert support involves phone calls, email exchanges and the provision of selected support materials. It encompasses different service formats, for example mentoring, oversight, quality assurance, advice, or desktop research.
Upon launching this service in Yemen, the RSH Yemen Hub received many requests throughout the country in April. RSH Yemen was quick to respond to the inquiries and follow closely with those who requested the service. In June 2022, the RSH team in Yemen followed up with a focal point from one of the CSOs that benefitted from the service to assess their experience and plans for the future. This respective CSO had participated in a SEAH assessment required by the donor and was rated a high risk due to the lack of safeguarding policies and tools internally.
“We were desperate to find help to help us revive our score but struggled due to the lack of national safeguarding experts within the country, and lack of safeguarding support for CSOs, and most importantly, we couldn’t afford to contract with regional/international experts,” the CSO focal point said.
This CSO heard about RSH through some others in the CSO community and reached out. Following their application, the RSH Yemen team matched the organisation with a suitable expert.
“Within four days, the RSH responded and linked us up with a safeguarding expert who helped us to review the code of conduct, PSEAH policies, reporting mechanism, drafting referral policies and drafting general guidelines on investigations.”
This support filled a gap that could have resulted in a loss of funding. This support helped reshape the organisational capacity, culture, and leadership towards safeguarding and renew the commitment to safeguarding and ensuring action is taken.
RSH is committed to a speedy, efficient, and effective response to ensure that CSOs not only have access to relevant tools and resources but also have tailored support to respond to specific questions on strategic planning and policies related to safeguarding.
This service is confidential, and any CSO in the eligible countries can reach out via [email protected] . We are able to offer up to two to three days of expert time, which can be spread over some weeks (for example, providing ongoing mentoring throughout a process) or for a one-off type of engagement, depending on what is required. Our expert pool includes both national and international specialists.