CHS Alliance delivers training in Manila

The CHS Alliance was invited by the HR INGO Network of the Philippines and Christian Aid to bring our training on investigating allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse to Manila.

The first workshop took place on 11 March, aimed at those responsible for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) in their organisations, and for managing investigations when allegations are received. Nine senior managers from organisations working in the Philippines participated.

We then offered our four-day training in investigating allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse from 12-15 March. The 12 participants included staff from ADRA, BALAOD Mindanaw, Christian Aid, Johanniter International Assistance, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Save the Children, University Research Co LLc Center for Human Services and UNOCHA. Participants joined from different parts of the Philippines, as well as from Serbia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Associates of the Philippine Educational Theater Association and 350.org assisted us with the full-day simulation exercise of interviewing for an investigation. The participants all did really well throughout, achieving a particularly high standard of work in the interviewing exercise. The facilitation team comprised the CHS Alliance Training Manager and consultants Richard Powell and Aneeta Williams.

"This is much more than I expected. I am thinking about how I can raise this with the UN Country Team and other key actors, and how we can put this into actual policy, programming, practices" - quote from a participant.

It was encouraging to see organisations sending more than one participant for training, as they can then support each other as they put into practice what they have learned. Given that the skills for SEA investigations are quite specialist and technical, we welcome organisations increasingly strategic approach to building their internal capacity. We appreciated, too, that Johanniter International Assistance involved the Director of their partner organisation, BALAOD Mindanaw.

On 18 March, Christian Aid invited organisations concerned with women’s rights to a half-day meeting to discuss their role in protection from sexual exploitation and abuse in the Philippines. Identifying the many opportunities for them to bring their experience to bear in joint initiatives in this area, they were keen to stress the importance of understanding the root causes of gender-based violence in imbalances and abuse of power.