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Member Care Associates
Resource UpdateJuly 2014
Member Care in Mission/Aid

Global Integration for Good Practice

New Model--Global Member Care
A grid to guide and a guide to goad!

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This month we explore the updated model for global member care, taken from Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013). Like its predecessor from Doing Member Care Well (2002), it is a practical “grid to guide and a guide to goad” as we live/work in our globalizing, needy world (i.e. “global integration”). We encourage you to use this model-grid as a tool to stimulate serious discussions and practical applications especially in terms of its emphasis on crossing sectors.

Part one below summarizes the six spheres of good practice in the updated model. Part two presents six lessons learned from crossing sectors. We finish this Update with a brief reflection on the use of the term “global.” 

Warm greetings from Geneva,
Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell


If you are wondering which way to go
 then find out where everyone else is going,
 and go the other way. Irish proverb 

Global MC Grid: 
SIx Spheres for Good Practice

 ---------- missio Dei ----------
 ---------- missio mundi ----------

This updated global MC model consists of six spheres to both guide and expand our member care work. The first five spheres are from the model featured in Doing Member Care Well (2002). The sixth sphere was added in Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013) and includes the sectors of mission/aid, humanitarian, health, and human resources. Take the time to carefully review, discuss, adjust, and apply it! For more ideas on applications, click here.

The humanitarian sector is relevant for member care because of the common commitment for supporting and managing international and local staff, in maintaining effective organizations, and in offering a variety of relief and development services to vulnerable populations. The health sector is relevant for member care because of the common commitment to promote human wellness through research, resources, advocacy, and policies at all levels of society, and applicable to staff and those with whom staff work (including social and behavioral sciences). The human resource sector is relevant for member care because of the common commitment to fulfill organizational objectives by developing and managing human resource systems and by promoting staff/volunteer well-being and effectiveness (with some emphasis on organizational development).

Note that the new model is situated within the two overlapping areas of the missio Dei (from a theological perspective, the overall mission of God on behalf of humanity, e.g., redemption) and the missio mundi (from a secular perspective, the overall mission of humans on behalf of humanity, e.g., sustainable development). This grid, with its emphasis on going broadly and growing deeply, forms a conceptual framework and an important direction for the global member care field to pursue in mission/aid and beyond.
Sphere 1. Master Care: Good Practice Principle 1—The Flow of Christ
Our relationship with Christ is fundamental to our well-being and work effectiveness. Member care resources strengthen our relationship to the Lord and help us to encourage others in the Lord.
Sphere 2. Self and Mutual Care: Good Practice Principle 2—The Flow of Community
Self care is basic to good health. Self-awareness, monitoring one’s needs, a commitment to personal development, and seeking help when needed are signs of maturity. Likewise quality relationships with family and friends are necessary…with those in one’s home and host cultures.
Sphere 3. Sender Care: Good Practice Principle 3—The Flow of Commitment
An organisation’s staff is its most important resource. As such, sending groups—both churches and agencies—are committed to work together to support and develop their personnel throughout the worker life cycle. They demonstrate this commitment by the way they invest themselves…
Sphere 4. Specialist Care: Good Practice Principle 4—The Flow of Caregivers
Specialist care is to be done by properly qualified people, usually in conjunction with sending groups. The goal is not just care, but empowerment—to help personnel develop the resiliency and capacities needed to sacrifice and minister to others.
Sphere 5. Network Care: Good Practice Principle 5—The Flow of Connections
Member care providers are committed to relate and work together, stay updated on events and developments, and share consolidated learning from their member care practice. They are involved in not just providing their services, but in actively “knitting a net” to link resources with areas of need.
Sphere 6. Sector Care: Good Practice Principle 6—The Flow of Common Ground
People with member care responsibility in mission/aid stay in touch with sectors that are relevant for their work. They are willing to cross into new areas—emphases, projects, disciplines, and fields within related sectors—for mutual learning, exchanging resources, and developing skills. Crossing sectors includes a continuum of involvement which is carefully considered in view of one’s primary focus in member care: being informed by, integrating with, and/or immersing in a given sector or part of a sector.

Notes: You can review the original model from Doing Member Care Well (2002).
Click here to access it in chapter one of the book (pp. 13-22). In addition to recently adding Sector Care (Sphere 6), there have been three noteworthy adjustments to the model over the years: a) the reality that many Christian workers (and Christians who work/live internationally) are not necessarily sent out by a sending group like a church/agency and they too need member care resources to help them stay healthy and effective (Sphere 2-3, Self/Mutual and Sender Care); b) Sphere 4 (Specialist Care) is also referred to as “Special Care” in order to emphasize the skills needed to support workers by both specialists and others with member care responsibilities such as field and team leaders; and c) the crucial need for supportive input for sending groups, member care workers, and member care networks themselves (Spheres 3-5, Sender Specialist/Special, and Network Care).

Global MC Grid: 
SIx Lessons from Crossing Sectors

We believe that intentionally crossing sectors is a core part of the next developmental phase--now!--for the member care field. What are some resources/practices and challenges/problems within these sectors? What can we learn from each other? How can our experiences in these sectors help us improve our member care efforts for supporting and managing mission/aid staff? We are entering into some new terrain while at the same time solidly building on the field’s foundations and core focus on mission/aid workers. In so doing we seek to broaden and further shape the contours of good practice in member care. Here are some of the important lessons that we have learned from crossing sectors over the years, many from the humanitarian sector.
Lesson 1. Good management of aid workers is just as important as good support for these workers. Skilled managers and helpful policies are also key resources for worker well-being... (People In Aid 2003)
Lesson 2. Health hazards including traffic/household accidents and malarial/HIV infections must be included in pre-assignment training for staff. There is thus much more involved in the well-being of workers than approaches to individual stress management…(InterHealth, 2003)
Lesson 3. Sending agencies are not simply accountable to senior leaders or to God. There are recognized codes to follow and standards for good practice and benchmarks to which to aspire…(Management Sciences for Health 2005)
Lesson 4. Aid is not to be used to further a particular religious or political viewpoint. Aid is meant to be neutral, and thus the religious/political beliefs of a recipient person or community do not influence whether they receive aid…(International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies 1994).
Lesson 5. People in areas of conflict often experience psychological wounds. Yet
many also yearn more for social justice than they do for some type of healing for “inner trauma”…People have social memories associated with trauma and not just individual memories…(Rethinking the Trauma of War, 1998)
Lesson 6. Corruption is widespread throughout the world, including the humanitarian sector. It is also rampant in the faith-based mission/aid sector…Corruption is not simply limited to financial matters, but rather it is based on the abuse of entrusted power for personal gain. (Transparency International, 2010).
Notes: These six lessons are adapted/excerpted from “Charting Your Course through the Sectors” (chapter two in Global Member Care: Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013).
Click here to read the chapter and to learn more about the opportunities for crossing sectors--it is available as part of the e-book preview on Amazon.

Final Thoughts
Going Globe-all?

A Personal Word from Kelly and Michèle

Global, as in global member care, or global anything for that matter, does not necessarily mean globe-all. In fact, we find that the word global is overused and that often a much smaller part of a global area is actually involved. What we mean by the term is that member care is a growing field, expanding across nations, cultures, sectors, and issues. Although member care is “international,” it is not everywhere in the world. Yet it is certainly increasing its worldwide influence.

To continue in its global direction, we must especially cross into relevant sectors to work on the major challenges facing humanity, building relationships for mutual learning and resources. We must also engage with all of our member care colleagues, listening to each other and learning from our varieties of experience and expertise (especially since the vast majority of aid/development workers are not “internationals”), being willing to incorporate various contributions (concepts and practices) into our health/member care approaches as well as to encourage the development of truly indigenous approaches which might be quite different from those that significantly influence health/member care currently.

Underneath it all, member care must prioritize the practice of fervently loving one another, agape, evidenced by the quality of our relationships--the sine quo non of global member care. (adapted from the Introduction
to Global Member Care : Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013, pp. xxiii-xxiv) 

More MCA Resources

Global Portal for Good Practice (website)

Reflections, Research, and Resources for Good Practice (weblog)

Global Mental Health: A Global Map for a Global Movement (website)

Global Integration: Ideas for Connecting and Contributing (overview materials) 

Global Member Care: (volume one): The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice (2011)

Recent! Global Member Care (volume two): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013)
E-book version available on Amazon

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