Technical Rapid
Response Team

What is the Tech RRT?

The Nutrition Technical Rapid Response Team (Tech RRT) consists of four experienced technical nutrition advisors who deploy within 72 hours to support humanitarian nutrition emergencies.  Our advisors are available for both acute and protracted emergencies and there is no cost to clusters or agencies who request/host an advisor. Emergencies include natural and environmental disasters, civil unrest, population displacement and armed conflict, all of which can have a devastating impact on a countries nutrition status. Each advisor has a specific technical specialty and can deploy individually or together based on needs. Advisors are deployed to fill gaps in countries by providing technical support to nutrition interventions in an emergency. Additionally, they aim to build the capacity of stakeholders involved in the humanitarian response so they can become more self-reliant. In their non-deployment time, advisors contribute to global nutrition initiatives, guidelines and policies to help the collective nutrition community streamline efforts and resources.

Areas of Technical Expertise

Our areas of technical specialty include:

• Assessments: Identifying and understanding the factors that contribute to malnutrition in emergencies is critical for targeted program planning. Conducting initial rapid assessments helps to understand the affected communities needs and strong M&E plans ensure programs are meeting indicators. For more information on how the Tech RRT can support Assessments in emergencies, click the assessment link below.

• Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E): Proper IYCF practices are crucial to reduce the risk of infant mortality in emergencies. IYCF-E offers protection and support of safe and appropriate (optimal) feeding for infants and young children in all types of emergencies, wherever they happen in the world. For more information on how the Tech RRT can support IYCF-E, click the IYCF-E link below.

• Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM): In emergencies, the risk of malnutrition leading to increased infant and child morbidity and mortality are greatly magnified. For more information on how the Tech RRT can support CMAM in emergencies, click the CMAM link below.

• Social Behavior Change (SBC): Ingrained cultural beliefs and myths have a strong impact on how communities respond to emergencies. Using social and behavior change strategies to target potentially damaging behaviors helps save lives and is important for developing communication and activities across sectors in an emergency. For more information on how the Tech RRT can support SBC in emergencies, click the SBC link below.

These activities are examples of what the Assessment Adviser often works on while deployed, but they are adapted to each countries needs:

  • Lead, plan and conduct nutritional assessments in close collaboration with other sectors and the nutrition partners.  Identification and design of assessment activities according to needs.  This may include but not be limited to:  initial planning, selection of tools and methods, sampling, writing guidelines and set up time frame, working days needed, budget and logistics planning and any special tools and equipment needed.
  • Collection of background and demographic information and contextual information relevant to the assessment/survey.
  • Manage all aspects of an assessment from planning, logistics, budgeting, team recruitment, training, coordination with partners.
  • Support data collection, data analysis and provide timely and quality reports.
  • Support the dissemination of reports to different audiences to leverage funding.
  • Identify learning needs and build the capacity of different stakeholders in conducting nutrition assessments and methodologies.
  • Planning and facilitating technical capacity building and training sessions for government ministries and partner NGOs/UN agencies staff/cluster members as and when required.
  • Determine the need for other assessments, brief donors and advocate for adequate resource allocation. Lead the development of proposals and budgets to seek adequate funding for assessments to be included in the emergency response.
  • Support and develop government capacity in assessments.

These activities are examples of what the IYCF-E Adviser often works on while deployed, but they are adapted to each countries needs:

  • Lead IYCF-E assessments and advocate for inclusion of IYCF-E in multi-sector rapid assessments.
  • Support country nutrition cluster/sector to develop an IYCF-E strategy and mapping as required (Breastmilk Substitute, partners).
  • Ensure adequate coordination for IYCF-E is in place through either establishing and leading or providing substantial support to the IYCF-E technical working group.
  • Design appropriate and evidence based IYCF-E response plans.
  • Facilitate and guide monitoring of the Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS), tracking and reporting BMS violations, advise on appropriate use or disposal of confiscated BMS, and advocacy for adherence to global standard for appropriate infant feeding in emergencies.
  • Advocate for prioritization of the most vulnerable: orphans or unaccompanied infants, the non-breastfed child, new-borns, infants affected by HIV and AIDS.
  • Assess capacity building needs across partners and develop a plan for meeting these; conduct Training of Trainers (TOTs) for Ministries, train field workers/first responders, hold orientations for stakeholders.
  • Provide logistical advice (supplies for Mother Baby Areas, BMS kits, Breast Feeding kits).
  • Integrate IYCF-E into current, new, or scaled up nutrition activities: CMAM, micronutrients; Advise on integration with other sectors (WASH, Food Security and Livelihoods, Child Protection, Health).
  • Work with the SBC Adviser to develop relevant IYCF-E messages and behaviours to focus on during the emergency response.
  • Monitor and evaluate IYCF-E activities, including supervison of the quality of Breastfeeding assessments, re-lactation, BMS programming, Behavior Change Communication such as one to one counselling.
  • Determine need for scale up, brief donors and advocate for adequate resource allocation. Lead the development of proposals and budgets to seek adequate funding for IYCF-E.
  • Support and develop government capacity in IYCF-E.
  • Download IYCF-E Terms of Reference (docx)

These activities are examples of what the CMAM Adviser often works on while deployed, but they are adapted to each countries needs:

  • Provide technical training, strategic advice, and operational support on CMAM implementation and roll out, or on a specific component of CMAM, such as inpatient care.
  • Work with the government and the nutrition cluster/sector to ensure that training and program start-up is standardized, coordinated among all partners and is implemented in a rapid manner.
  • Support the MoH and the cluster/sector in the development of CMAM guidelines as needed.
  • Ensure adequate coordination for CMAM is in place through either establishing and leading or providing substantial support to a CMAM technical working group.
  • Lead assessments for CMAM establishment or scaling up and advocate for inclusion of CMAM in multi-sector rapid assessments.
  • Support country nutrition clusters/sectors to develop a CMAM strategy and mapping as required.
  • Assess CMAM capacity building needs across partners; conduct Training of Trainers (TOTs) for Ministries, train field workers/first responders, hold orientations for stakeholders.
  • Work with the SBC and IYCF-E Advisers to develop relevant integrated messages and behaviors to focus on during the emergency response that can be integrated into CMAM programs.
  • Monitor and evaluate CMAM activities.
  • Determine the need for scale up, brief donors and advocate for adequate resource allocation. Lead the development of proposals and budgets to seek adequate funding for CMAM to be included in the emergency response.
  • Support and develop government capacity in CMAM.
  • Download CMAM Terms of Reference (docx)

These activities are examples of what the SBC Adviser often works on while deployed, but they are adapted to each countries needs:

  • Provide technical training, strategic advice, and operational support on Social and Behavior Change (SBC) relating to sanitation, hygiene and nutrition.
  • Ensure adequate coordination for SBC is in place through either establishing and leading or providing substantial support to the Nutrition and WASH clusters and possibly supporting an SBC technical working group.
  • Lead SBC assessments and advocate for inclusion of the 12 determinants of behavior change in multi-sector rapid assessments.
  • Design appropriate and evidence based SBC response plan. advise on integration of SBC nutrition and hygiene behaviors with other sectors (WASH, Food Security and Livelihoods, Child Protection, Health) as well as adapt and design M&E tools and indicators.
  • Assess SBC capacity building needs across partners and develop a plan for meeting these; conduct Training of Trainers (TOTs) for Ministries, train field workers/first responders, hold orientations for stakeholders.
  • Monitor and evaluate SBC activities.
  • Contribute to research and analysis on SBC in emergencies to enhance good practices and assist in building the body of knowledge and evidence.
  • Determine the need for scale up, brief donors and advocate for adequate resource allocation. Lead the development of proposals and budgets to seek adequate funding for SBC to be included in nutrition and WASH responses.
  • Support and develop government capacity in SBC.
  • Download SBC Terms of Reference (docx)

Where We Work

Ethiopia

Location: Addis Ababa
Deployment Dates: 6 weeks each (29 Dec 2015 – 6 Feb 2016)
Technical Specialty: IYCF-E & CMAM
Host Agency: UNICEF

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South Sudan

Location: Juba, South Sudan
Dates of Deployment: Multiple Deployments
Technical Specialty: Assessment and CMAM
Host Agency: Action Against Hunger

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Turkey/Syria

Location: Turkey for Northern Syria response
Technical specialty: IYCF-E
Deployment 1 
Dates of Deployment: 6 weeks, Feb/Mar 2016
Host Agency: Save the Children & PAC
Deployment 2
Dates of Deployment: 10 weeks, Jan-Mar 2017
Host Agency: Save the Children

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Yemen

Location: Yemen
Dates of Deployment: Multiple dates in 2017
Technical Specialty: IYCF/IYCF-E, CMAM
Host Agency: Save the Children/Nutrition Cluster

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Mozambique

Location:  Maputo, Mozambique
Dates of Deployment: 7.5 weeks (June 14-Aug 8, 2016)
Technical Specialty: CMAM, SBC, IYCF, Assessment
Host Agency: UNICEF-Mozambique

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Niger

Location: Diffa, Niger
Deployment Dates: 2.5 months (29 july-30 september 2016)
Technical Specialty: Assessment and IYCF-E
Host Agency: UNICEF and Save the Children

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Nigeria

Location: Nigeria (Borno State)
Dates of Deployment: Multiple Requests
Technical Specialty: IYCF-E and CMAM
Host Agency: Save the Children, Nutrition Cluster

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Haiti

Location: Les Cayes, Haiti
Deployment Dates: 4 weeks (7 october-4 november 2016)
Technical Specialty: IYCF-E
Host Agency: UNICEF and International Medical Corps

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Iraq

Location: Erbil, Iraq
Dates of Deployment: Multiple Requests
Technical Specialty: Assessment and Social and Behavior Change
Host Agency:

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East Africa

Location: East Africa (Kenya, Somaliland and South/Central Somalia, South Sudan)
Deployment Dates: 4 weeks (15 January-15 February 2017)
Technical Speciality: IYCF-E
Host Agency: UNICEF and Save the Children

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Somalia

Location: Puntland and South/Central Somalia
Duration: 5 weeks
Technical Specialty: IYCF-E
Host Agency: UNICEF /Nutrition Cluster

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The Team

Andi Kendle
Program Manager

Andi is the Program Manager for the Tech RRT supporting the whole team as well as working through the request and deployment process with countries in need of technical support. She comes with more than 15 years of professional experience in humanitarian assistance and development contexts, with most of this time working in Nutrition, but … READ MORE

Shiromi Perera
Deputy Program Manager

Shiromi had been working with International Medical Corps in Washington, DC for the past 4 years before joining the Tech RRT as Deputy Program Manager. She provides administrative and technical support to the Program Manager and Advisors, as well as in-country support for deployments requiring Barrier Analysis assessments. Shiromi holds a BSc in Biology and … READ MORE

Scott Logue
Assessment Advisor

Scott is the Nutritional Assessment Advisor for the Nutrition Technical Rapid Response Team. His educational background is in Nutrition with a Master’s of Applied Human Nutrition. Scott has extensive nutrition survey assessment experience acquired through participating and managing SMART surveys with UNICEF and ACF-France in Tanzania, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Most recently, from 2013-2015, Scott was … READ MORE

Michele Goergen
Community Based Management of Acute Malnutrition/Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies Advisor

Michele Goergen is the CMAM/IYCF Advisor of the Nutrition Tech RRT project. She has a MSc in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and is a registered dietitian. She has over 5 years experience working on nutrition programs in central and west Africa. This includes designing and implementing CMAM and IYCF programs in the Democratic … READ MORE

Alessandro (Alex) Iellamo
Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E) Advisor

Alex, is the IYCF-E Advisor for the Tech RRT team with extensive training and experience on Infant and Young Child Feeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies, Public Health (MCH and Immunization) and Programme Management. He mastered key relevant areas related to participatory strategy, plan and policy development on IYCF, IYCF-E and Maternal, … READ MORE

Esther Busquet
CMAM & SBC Advisor

Esther has just joined the Tech RRT Team as the CMAM & SBC Advisor. She holds an MSc degree in Human Nutrition from Wageningen University and has over 15 years of experience working in nutrition programming with NGOs and UN and working as Nutrition Cluster Coordinator. This includes designing and implementing nutrition programs in both Africa … READ MORE

FAQ's

The Nutrition Technical Rapid Response Team (Tech RRT) is a partnership between International Medical Corps, Save the Children and Action Against Hunger working in close collaboration with the Global Nutrition Cluster and UNICEF. 

The purpose of creating the Nutrition Tech RRT was to improve the quality of nutrition humanitarian response by deploying skilled advisors to fill technical gaps in countries facing a crisis and providing remote support and building the capacity of nutrition partners. This complements the Rapid Response Team Cluster Coordinators (NCC) and Information Management Officers (IMO) of the Global Nutrition Cluster.

The Nutrition Tech RRT consists of four experienced nutrition professionals with proven technical skills in emergencies as well as nutrition expertise: one is expert in Assessment, one in CMAM, one in Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies and one in Social Behavior Change in Emergencies.  Advisors can be deployed to work with the nutrition sector/cluster or to individual agencies.

The funding for the Nutrition Tech RRT members is currently provided by OFDA/USAID. All deployment costs are covered by the Tech RRT grant.

 

Emergency field deployments are normally up to 6 weeks in duration. In certain situations, extensions can be requested as an exception.

 

  1. L3/L2 crisis where cluster or sector coordination mechanisms are in place. 
  2. Humanitarian Crisis including rapid onset emergency such as natural disaster, civil unrest/war or slow onset emergency as defined by OCHA such as drought, political/economical crisis and global challenges (climate change, food prices, irregular migration).
  3. Countries with limited technical capacity in nutrition in emergencies.

All assignment related costs, such as travel to the country and accommodation are covered by the Tech RRT grant. Field requesting agency/host agency will not pay any costs. The Tech RRT grant can also cover some additional costs related to activities undertaken in country (assessments, trainings, etc.) based on approval.

No contracts need to be issued. However, depending on the host agency, a letter of understanding may have to be signed and host agencies security protocols may need to be reviewed prior to deployment.

Step 1-Complete the Request form here

Step 2-Complete the ToR (Generic TORs are available for adaptation to the country specific needs here: IYCF-E ToR, Assessment ToR, CMAM ToR, SBC ToR)

Step 3-Upload both completed forms or email to Andi Kendle TechRRT@internationalmedicalcorps.org

Review the deployment package here

To request an advisor click here

Anyone who needs nutrition technical support in responding to an acute or protracted emergency can request a Tech RRT Advisor. This includes: Local and International Non-Governmental Organizations, Health Ministries, Nutrition/Health Clusters/Sectors/Coordination platforms or any agency on the ground who identifies a need. Advisors can be deployed to work with the nutrition sector/cluster and benefit the entire response or to individual agencies to improve quality, scope and reach of their nutrition emergency response.