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The PS Center roster group of experts

Part of the work undertaken by the PS Centre, to enable National Societies within the International Federation to respond better to the psychosocial needs of vulnerable groups, is achieved through capacity building, strategic consultations and operational support. As the PS Centre core team of staff is limited, a Roster group has been established since the late nineties to support the centre in carrying out its work. The members of this group have mainly been recruited from Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies, regional delegations and universities. The Roster members have a variety of backgrounds, skills and expertise in the field of psychosocial support.

Over the years Roster members have undertaken a many different types of interventions on behalf of the PS Centre; these include psychosocial trainings in National Societies, capacity building within a National Society or a Region, ‘caring-for-carer’ interventions, conducting psychosocial assessments and supporting psychosocial action in emergency settings. To ensure a harmonised approach it is required that Roster members have knowledge of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, relevant educational background (often psychology, public health, or social science) and experience in the psychosocial field, as well as the Red Cross Red Crescent basic training course or equivalent.

The agreement between the employers of the Roster member enables the Centre to call on its members in critical situations without having to compensate the loss of income as their employer will have agreed to continue to support them. Although some members do not lose income, the work will mostly be on top of what they otherwise do for a living, and can as such be seen as partly voluntary work.

The PS Centre continuously interacts with members of the Roster group and annual meetings have been organized. These have served as a platform for the sharing of information and experience, trainings have been carried out and input provided to the development of the field of psychosocial support within the Red Cross Red Crescent.

Psychosocial delegates, programme managers, representatives from the Movement and external partners who are involved in psychosocial work internationally have been invited to participate in Roster meetings. The needs for supporting National Societies to carry out psychoasocial support activities and programmes are changing. Therefore the function, composition and format of the Roster group is under consideration.

The revised set-up will take into consideration that the PS Centre would like to retain a strong network of stakeholders and friends and at the moment does utilise the capacity of its Roster members, since only some Roster members are deployed for missions. The concept and mode of collaboration of the new PS Centre resource group will be presented when finalised.