Menu ENN Search

ADRA (Adventist Development Relief Agency)

ADRA

Name: ADRA (Adventist Development Relief Agency)

Address: 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, Maryland, 20904, USA

Email: sonya. funna@adra.org

Website: ADRA.org

Year founded: 1956

President: Jonathan Duffy

No. HQ staff: 100

No. staff worldwide: 5,000+

 

ENN interviewed Sonya Funna Evelyn, Senior Director of Programs and Innovation at ADRA International, and Natsayi Nembaware, the Senior Technical Advisor for Nutrition at ADRA International (Maryland, US). Sonya has worked for ADRA for over nine years, while Natsayi took up her post in July 2015.

The Seventh-day Adventist Welfare Services (SAWS – the first iteration of ADRA) was formed in 1956 in response to disasters in South America and the Middle East. During the late 1950s and ’60s, SAWS mainly responded to emergencies and worked through its church structures in up to 35 countries. Funding came from humanitarian donor agencies and private contributions. In the mid-1980s, SAWS began changing its focus to longer-term and sustainable development, as well as responding to emergencies, and became the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), which now works in 139 countries. ADRA offices range from very small (five staff or less) to very large (600 plus). This shift towards a developmental approach was underpinned by improving access to longer-term, development-type funding, as well as the desire to have a more sustainable impact on poverty and vulnerability. ADRA has over 20 support offices that are involved in fundraising for the organisation, with programming often supported by multiple donors. For example, in one country office there can be multiple ADRA donor offices supporting programming.

ADRA operates as a community-based development agency and focuses predominantly on five sectors: health, nutrition, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), education and agricultural and livelihoods. Many ADRA programmes are integrated and holistic in nature, and address key determinants that lead to poverty and lack of well-being. In humanitarian contexts, the predominant sectors of focus are shelter and WASH. The integrated approach requires planning with all sectors at the outset. Where possible, those planning interventions are encouraged to adopt a nutrition lens, e.g. considering dietary diversity and homestead food production as part of agricultural programming. ADRA often innovates or adapts programmes to context, but always with an eye to an exit strategy and the belief that government or other development partners will take over programming. Where possible, government (at central, regional and local levels) is involved in programme design and set-up. ADRA “thinks about the end right at the beginning” and programme designs are based on analysis of the barriers to desirable outcomes.

Nutrition has always been a key focus of ADRA. Although in the past it has usually been a component of health programming, it is now becoming a sector in its own right. ADRA undertakes a wide range of nutrition programming. Infant and young child feeding (IYCF) and maternal nutrition are a core part of programming, often delivered through mother’s and/or father’s groups. Programming often includes training of community health workers (CHWs) in growth monitoring and referral, taking place at facility level. ADRA is also involved in micronutrient supplementation programmes and support to antenatal and postnatal care services. In emergencies, the focus tends to be on IYCF, although provision of foods are also common, e.g. corn soya blend (CSB), cereals and pulses, as well as cash voucher programmes. ADRA has also implemented Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), for example in Ethiopia, and moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) programmes, e.g. in Madagascar.

ADRA utilises SPHERE standards to assess programme effectiveness and has a number of technical working groups (TWGs) that bring together experts from different countries. There are currently seven TWGs which attempt to synthesise agency working experiences, including sharing resources and guidance developed by programmes. In the near future, these TWGs will be further rationalised to four (health, education, DRR (disaster risk reduction) and livelihoods). They will maintain a similar internal knowledge-management function. There is an online facility whereby countries can share information, as well as a quarterly newsletter that highlights research and TWG findings. ADRA also conducts primary research, often in collaboration with research institutions such as academia. At global level, ADRA belongs to other technical groups and umbrella organisations like the Core Group (www.coregroup.org).

In emergencies, ADRA typically works as part of the nutrition cluster coordination mechanism. At global level, it is a member of the global nutrition cluster (GNC). Natsayi says they are seeing increasing levels of conflict and disaster globally and very often, nutrition may not be seen as a priority by donors and other stakeholders. IYCF is a real challenge in emergencies, especially where there are migrant populations in transit, and the unpredictable impact of climate change is problematic as they are witnessing protracted droughts and flooding in many countries. Both Sonya and Natsayi see governance as critical to effecting an adequate nutrition response, while preparedness in these contexts has to be strengthened. ADRA knows that communities contribute a lot in these contexts and that it is important to tap into their experience and learn from it. Communities know about resilience. 

ADRA is a unique, faith-based organisation and both Natsayi and Sonya explained that their connection to the church often enables a response in conflict situations where other agencies cannot respond. Churches are based in the community and have an intrinsic network which can be accessed and deployed to good effect. At the same time, the religious element or basis of ADRA is completely independent from the practical development and emergency work the organisation does. While ADRA’s faith and belief system may provide motivation and encouragement to staff, the programming is entirely technical and has no religious elements.  Sonya and Natsayi emphasised that ADRA’s overriding aim is to reach and support the most vulnerable populations and that they are just as likely to support populations of Islamic faith as they are to support Methodists or Adventists.  

The interview left us with a strong sense of ADRA as an organisation with integrated, community-driven action at the heart of emergency response. We look forward to featuring some of the organisation’s learning in Field Exchange in 2017. 

More like this

FEX: Novel Methods of 'Work for Food'

Steve Harrison is currently undertaking a PHD in the Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto. The following article is based on his experience in Rwanda in the summer...

FEX: Profile and overview of the church’s role in emergency response

By Deed Jaldessa and Debela Kenea Deed Jaldessa has over two decades experience in development work in rural Ethiopia and currently leads The Ethiopian Evangelical Church...

FEX: Muslim Aid

Name Muslim Aid Director(s) Saif Ahmad CEO Address PO Box 3, London E1 1WP Year formed 1985 Telephone +44(0)20 7377 4200 Main office UK Fax +44(0)20 7377 4201 Overseas...

FEX: Enhancing infant and young child feeding in emergency preparedness and response in East Africa: capacity mapping in Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan

By Patrick Codjia, Marjorie Volege, Minh Tram Le, Alison Donnelly, Fatmata Fatima Sesay, Joseph Victor Senesie and Laura Kiige View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en...

en-net: Senior Health & Nutrition Advisor (Maternity Cover)

Offer strategic and technical advice to headquarters and the field, as well as training and coaching to Medair field health and nutrition staff in emergency (acute and...

en-net: WFP is looking for an IYCF-E specialist

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE OF THE ASSIGNMENT:
The World Food Programme (WFP) Strategic Plan (2017-2021) builds on WFP’s recognized role as the world’s largest...

Resource: IFE Core Group Strategy 2020-2024

Introduction The Infant Feeding in Emergencies (IFE) Core Group is a global collaboration of agencies and individuals that formed in 1999 to address policy guidance and...

FEX: CAFOD

Name CAFOD Internet http://www.cafod.org.uk Address Romero Close, Stockwell Rd, London, SW9 9TY Director Julian Filochowski Telephone +44 207 733 7900 Overseas staff approx...

FEX: World Vision

Name World Vision Website www.worldvision.ca Address 1 World Drive, Mississauga, Ontario L5T 2Y4 Director The President of World Vision Canada is Dave Toycen Dr. Carolyn...

FEX: Norwegian Refugee Council

Name: Norwegian Refugee Council Year founded: 1953 Address: Grensen 17, 0130 Oslo, Norway Secretary General: Jan Egeland Phone: + 4 7 23 10 98 00 No. of staff...

FEX: People in Aid (issue 15)

Participants at the SCN symposium in Berlin, March 2002. Cheryl Jackson (USAID), Shakuntala Thilsted, Ellen Harris, Ruzu Oniango Charlotte Dufour (ACF) and Mary Corbett...

FEX: ActionAid International

Agency ActionAid International Fax +27 (0) 11 880 8082 Chief Executive Ramesh Singh Website http://www.actionaid.org ActionAid UK Director Richard Miller Staff international...

FEX: Christian Aid

Name Christian Aid Address 35 Lower Marsh London SE1 7RT, UK Year formed 1945/6 Telephone +44 (0)207 620 4444 Director Dr Daleep Mukarji Fax +44 (0)207 620 0719 HQ...

FEX: From cluster to Nutrition Sector coordination: Government leadership in coordination for effective nutrition emergency response in Borno State, Nigeria

By Maureen L Gallagher, Kirathi Reuel Mungai, Ladi Linda Ezike and Dr Helni Mshelia View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici Maureen L. Gallagher...

FEX: Global Nutrition Cluster knowledge management: process, learning & added value

By Jeremy Shoham, Carmel Dolan and Valerie Gatchell Jeremy Shoham and Carmel Dolan are ENN Technical Directors. Valerie Gatchell was engaged as an ENN consultant to lead the...

en-net: Medair is currently seeking a Nutrition Advisor in Afghanistan

Role and Responsibilities Provide technical advice and support to Nutrition Project Managers and sectoral staff, in the development of proposals, project planning and...

FEX: Update of the Nutrition in Emergencies Coordination Handbook: A product of the Nutrition Cluster

By Vivienne Forsythe, Jacqueline Frize and Nicki Connell Vivienne Forsythe and Jacqueline Frize are independent public health and nutrition consultants, each with over 20...

FEX: Global CMAM mapping in UNICEF supported countries

Summary of review1 A recent review commissioned by UNICEF set out to develop a global map on the status of Communitybased Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) with a focus...

FEX: Editorial

This issue of Field Exchange speaks largely to the themes of scaling up and integration of nutrition programming, as well as multi-sector approaches to addressing...

en-net: Sr. Policy Advisor, Maternal & Child Nutrition

Senior Policy Advisor, Maternal & Child Nutrition (MCN) Nutrition Centre of Expertise, Global Health Center Full Time Temporary, 18 Months World Vision is a Christian...

Close

Reference this page

ADRA (Adventist Development Relief Agency). Field Exchange 54, February 2017. p104. www.ennonline.net/fex/54/adra

(ENN_5526)

Close

Download to a citation manager

The below files can be imported into your preferred reference management tool, most tools will allow you to manually import the RIS file. Endnote may required a specific filter file to be used.