In order to increase access to mental health services in low and middle income countries, the World Health Organization has developed the mental health Gap Action Plan Intervention Guide (mhGAP-IG). This practical guide aims to assist non-specialised health workers in making clinical decisions for people with mental, neurological and substance use disorders. It is now a major challenge to get this guide implemented in all corners of the world. Therefore, this article provides an overview of different ways to convey the content of the guide to potential users. The author argues that ‘conventional’ training approaches, such as distributing printed versions of the guide and organising face-to-face (classroom) trainings, need to be complemented with other distribution channels such as e-learning, smart phone apps, SMS (Short Message Service) or voice platforms. Within the global mental health field, such new, simple and low tech solutions are rarely used, but other health fields offer feasible and inspiring examples of such use.
Since 2007, the Centre for Refugee Rights (Australia) has provided workshops on community development and refugee rights to refugees from Myanmar (Burma). Described herein is one, five-day counselling training programme, which was one component of the workshops, developed for participants from community based refugee organisations who were living in New Delhi and in Aizawl, Mizoram. The author presents an approach to teaching counselling, both within a workshop format, and a refugee context. The components of the counselling workshop are outlined, followed by the author's reflections on providing a counselling training in this context.
This field report offers some examples of donor related, and management induced, stress among local humanitarian staff in northern Sri Lanka. These examples were identified during staff care interventions held with a dozen nongovernmental organisations in the region. In this report, the authors discuss approaches to staff care. They conclude that individual, stress management focussed training does not adequately answer the needs of staff members (partially) burdened by unnecessary, work related stress. Concrete action may be based on staff members making and carrying out their own action plans for improving staff care, through using mechanisms of social support that are common within their own cultural environment.
In the past decade, evidence-based practice has led to a more critical approach towards professional practice in the humanitarian working field. Many agencies have increased their capacity and resources to research intervention effectiveness and programme impact. When evaluating psychosocial interventions, practitioners and researchers are often not only interested in intervention outcomes, but also in the external factors that influence effectiveness, the intervention process and the views of its beneficiaries. This requires a practice-driven approach that takes into account the (cultural) reality in the field, collects relevant process information and provides a framework to reflect the views of the participants. This paper explains how War Child Holland developed a participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) tool to evaluate I DEAL, its psychosocial life-skills intervention. The aim of the tool was to research intervention effectiveness by collecting process information with children as the key informants. The participatory M&E tool comprises a range of qualitative and quantitative measures, such as setting personal goals, themed quizzes, module evaluations and impact mapping. The tool was piloted with 510 children and 120 parents in Northern Uganda. It was found that the M&E tool has potential to strengthen ‘evidence-based’ evaluative practice and to involve children in meaningful evaluation, but it was found to be difficult to gather more data for impact evaluation without further quantifying and expanding the tool.
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Online since 1st February 2018