Integrated Community Recovery and Development
Integrated Community Recovery and Development (ICRD) builds upon UNICEF Sudan’s experience of community development through the Child Friendly Community Initiative, which since 2002 has supported 750 communities in the north of Sudan to develop self-managed projects for women and children.
ICRD takes this approach to another scale, drawing on wide-ranging support from other key partners. Targeting communities with a high level of unmet needs – for example poor access to health, education or water services, or limited productive and livelihood assets – ICRD brings together key actors from government, UN and non-governmental partners to work alongside community leaders to build sustainable services and capacity at the grassroots level. The strength of the initiative lies in its focus on bringing different partners together – from national to community level – to identify needs and responses and share expertise and resources on a collective basis.
Implementation of the initiative, which UNICEF hopes will involve 800 communities by 2012, revolves around three key components:
Community capacity building and empowerment
This focuses on the potential for local partners to take a leadership role in community development. This includes establishment of Technical Support Teams within communities, trained on issues such as governance, programme management and administration, financial management and conflict prevention. Support is provided to build local institutions and structures such as information management systems, operations and maintenance systems, parent teacher associations, community centres and outreach services. The potential for long-term sustainability of programmes is increased through investment in Community Development Committees, supported in areas such as leadership and management skills, participatory planning, identification of development needs and integrated programme management.
Integrated delivery of basic social and economic services
This element addresses community development priorities, with particular emphasis on access to quality health, education, nutrition, water, sanitation and livelihood generation.
Based on needs identified by the local community structures, development partners invest in, for example, improved agriculture production, provision of water and sanitation, construction and renovation of schools and health clinics, school feeding, livelihood development and training of key personnel such as teachers, health workers, youth workers and women’s groups. Through these programmes, cross-cutting issues such as HIV/AIDS awareness, health and hygiene education, and local skills enhancement can also be delivered.
Technical support by local government
Holding the ICRD approach together is a framework of technical support by local government, including supervision and coordination, led by the government at federal and state level to mobilize human and financial resources and oversee the partnerships between different agencies, ensuring that there is a clear link between local government, development agencies and community leaders and underlying the essential leadership role played by government at every level, vital to longer-term sustainability.
This example of joint programming is not only consistent with national development plans, but also reflects the UN’s commitment to a common approach and pooling of resources amongst its own agencies.