What is it like to be a PSEA coordinator?

20 May 2021

What is the role of an inter-agency Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) Coordinator? What are key challenges PSEA Coordinators face in high-risk contexts to implement programs on this sensitive issue? What has inspired them to do this work, what have they learned, and what tips can they share with us?

In this 8-minute video, 7 seasoned PSEA Coordinators working in Cox’s Bazar (Rohingya response), Syria cross-border, Yemen, DRC, Myanmar, Mali, and Somalia share their experiences. The video, in English with subtitles, shows us why the inter-agency PSEA Coordinators are passionate about their jobs. One of the Coordinators proudly explains: “Especially the work we do here with communities and involving them at every stage in the response, is rewarding.” Another Coordinator shares: “Providing resources to communities in the field, fostering trust, and facilitating community discussions around SEA, is essential.”

While the role of the PSEA Coordinator at country level has only existed for a couple of years, it has proven indispensable to reduce the risk of SEA from happening across programs. At the same time, the Coordinator role is a catalyst in making sure that organizations are learning from each other. The video highlights the main challenges that PSEA coordinators have faced within their role, when engaging leadership, clusters, communities, government actors, and many other stakeholders. “Turning the existing policy that exists on paper, into practice, has been the most difficult”, according to one of the Coordinators. The video also focuses on the creative solutions they have found along the way. One PSEA Coordinator revealed that the capacities of different PSEA Focal Points within the Network were so vastly different, one of her solutions was to foster peer learning among Focal Points. One thing is certain: all of the Coordinators in the video are passionate to fight for PSEA in every space with every stakeholder and to take any opportunity to convince others to help eradicate this injustice.

Related Resources:

  • Generic PSEA Coordinator TORs, which can be used by Humanitarian Coordinators, or anyone who is recruiting a dedicated inter-agency PSEA Coordinator in-country position.
  • Deployment Package for PSEA Coordinators, which provides guidance on supporting an inter-agency PSEA Program in-country under Resident and/or Humanitarian Coordinators. While targeted to Coordinators who are dedicated full time to this role, the tool can be used by anyone who is coordinating PSEA work in country, for instance PSEA Network co-chairs or PSEA Focal Points.


Author: Alexandra Hileman (Project Coordinator) - IOM