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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 187-209

To be well at heart: women’s perceptions of psychosocial wellbeing in three conflict affected countries

1 Associate Professor Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter, College City University of New York
2 CARE International in Nepal
3 Psychosocial Advisor Dan Church Aid, Uganda
4 Psychosocial Advisor CARE Burundi
5 Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF, Kosovo

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The devastating effects of armed conflict on women’s psychological and social wellbeing have been documented and studied in recent years, leading to the inclusion of psychosocial programmes as standard practice in humanitarian intervention with conflict affected women. However, they have rarely been asked to define and operationalise psychosocial wellbeing in their own voices and within their own context, and thus it has been difficult to determine the effectiveness of such programmes. This has left the evidence base for effectiveness thin. This study utilised both participatory and ethnographic methods, using a purposive sample of 1,218 women, aged 18–65 in focus groups, and 79 key informants in Burundi, Nepal, and Northern Uganda. The study resulted in the development of interlinked constellations of positive and aspirational domains that comprise psychosocial wellbeing along with detailed examples. It suggests a replicable method to develop local indicators for the evaluation of future programmes for adult women affected by armed conflict, to include their views when planning programmes and policies for their benefit.

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