From September 2020 to February 2021, Partners in Health and Development (PHD), with support from the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), implemented the I’m Here Approach in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the largest refugee camp in the world. PHD used I’m Here tools to map more than 300 households and nearly 200 service points. In addition, PHD held 12 participatory group activities with different subgroups of adolescents, and subsequently co-analyzed data with WRC.
The I’m Here Approach is a set of steps and tools designed to help humanitarian actors identify, engage, and be accountable to the most marginalized adolescents in emergencies. Since 2014, I’m Here has been piloted in more than 30 communities across 10 humanitarian settings. This project was the first time the approach was implemented in Cox’s Bazar. Given the unique context of Cox’s Bazar and the Rohingya refugee community, and the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, several key adaptations were made to the tools, training, and implementation to better understand adolescents’ experiences of isolation and how to reach those with critical sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence. Findings emerged that will inform future implementation of the I’m Here Approach and, more generally, multisectoral programming that reaches the most isolated adolescents.
The goal of this report is to share key lessons learned and recommendations with the wider humanitarian community, especially humanitarian actors in Cox’s Bazar. In this way, it may also serve as guidance on implementing holistic, multisectoral adolescent programming that leverages the existing capacities of adolescents and their communities.