Introduction to Psychosocially Responsive Development and Humanitarian Programs
This e-learning course provides the basic skills for designing development and humanitarian programs that support psychosocial well-being and do no harm. It is designed for practitioners who already have a basic understanding of the project cycle, and have worked, or are working, with vulnerable populations in low-resource or crisis environments.
Photo Credit: United Nations Photo. Aftermath of Attack on Abyei Town.
This e-learning course provides the basic skills for designing development and humanitarian programs that support psychosocial well-being and do no harm.
This e-learning course aims to build the capacity of international development and humanitarian aid practitioners to design projects and programs so they are appropriately responsive to psycho-social/mental health needs and in turn contribute to improving outcomes for project participants. Specifically, the course aims to equip participants with the following knowledge and skills:
Works on psychosocial support, violence prevention, and youth employment at the World Bank. With experience in West Africa, Central America, and India, Samhita has researched psychosocial support and employment, schizophrenia, and early childhood cognition. Samhita holds an MPH in Epidemiology and Global Health from Columbia University in New York.
Rachel Hannah Nadelman is a PhD Candidate at the School of International Service, American University. She has spent more than a decade in international development with organizations including the World Bank, GIZ and American Jewish World Service, focusing her efforts in Latin America/Caribbean region, particularly Haiti and the Northern Triangle of Central America. Rachel has an M.A. in International Affairs from the New School and a B.A. from Brown University.
Natalia Tejada is a Colombian Psychologist with over 10 years of experience in psychosocial support programs and peacebuilding initiatives. Natalia currently works with The World Bank Group advising projects in Africa, Asia and Middle East and with the Colombian Government on initiatives of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for victims of the conflict. Natalia holds a M.A in International Peace Studies from University of Notre Dame, USA, and a M.A in Brief Strategic Psychotherapy from CTS in Italy.
Ann Marie Willhoite, MA in Counseling Psychology (Northwestern University), is a mental health adviser with over 10 years experience in emergency and development settings. As an International Clinical Advisor for Mental Health with the Center for Victims of Torture. She advises mental health program development and service delivery in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. She has extensive experience providing clinical supervision for mental health professionals in the field, and workings on global mental health advocacy in Washington, DC.
Alys Willman, PhD (The New School) and has worked on violence prevention for over 15 years in nearly 20 countries. As Senior Social Development Specialist for the Fragility, Conflict and Violence Team at the World Bank she designed and managed the Trauma-Sensitive Livelihood Projects Initiative that produced this e-course. At the World Bank she has he led analytical work and project support on urban, youth and gender-based violence, and violent extremism. Before joining the World Bank she worked with NGOs in five Latin American countries and taught at The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs.
In addition to this course’s primary instructor, you will hear from a group of expert “guest lecturers” during the course. These individuals are international specialists in the course’s subject matter.
Adeyinka Akinsulure-Smith, PhD (Columbia University) is Associate Professor in Psychology at City College (City University, New York) and a Senior Supervising Psychologist (Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture). She works with culturally diverse populations: forced migrants, survivors of human rights abuses and armed conflict. The series features her work in the Sierra Leone Youth Readiness Initiative (YRI), an evidence-based behavioral intervention for war-affected youth.
Elisabeth (Beth) Babcock, MA, PhD (Harvard University) is President, CEO EMPath (formerly Crittenton Women’s Union (CWU)), a Boston-based national non-profit organization whose mission is to move families out of poverty. Since 2009, CWU’s brain-science informed anti-poverty approach, Mobility Mentoring™, has radically improved economic mobility outcomes for participants and has been endorsed and adopted by state governments, non-profit organizations, national foundations, and academic institutions.
Guglielmo Schininà is Head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Mental Health, Psychosocial Response, and Intercultural Communication Section. He co-directs “Psychosocial interventions in Migration, Emergency and Displacement” (Sant’Anna University, Pisa) and the Executive Master in “Psychosocial Support and Dialogue” (Lebanese University). For almost 20 years world-wide, he has promoted psychosocial wellbeing for migrants, trafficking victims and crisis-affected populations.
James Walsh, MPP (Harvard University), is a member of the Behavioral Initiatives GSG in the Poverty and Equity Global Practice at the World Bank. He was an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown School of Foreign service and served as a member of the World Development Report 2015 team, which examined how development interventions can be improved by including a richer understanding of the human actor in policy design.
Theresa S. Betancourt, ScD, MA (Harvard University) is Associate Professor of Child Health and Human Rights in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health and Director of the Research Program on Children and Global Adversity. Her central research interests include the developmental and psychosocial consequences of concentrated adversity on children and families, resilience and protective processes in child and adolescent mental health, refugee families, and applied cross-cultural mental health research.
Felicity Brown, PhD (University of Queensland) is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the Department of Global Health and Population, on a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Endeavour Fellowship. She has previously worked as a consultant for the World Health Organization and has a background in clinical psychology and a primary research interest in psychosocial interventions for populations affected by trauma, violence and poverty.
Alexandra Chen, MA (Harvard University) is a child protection and mental health specialist from Hong Kong working with refugees in conflict and post-conflict zones. Alexandra has worked for several years in the Middle East and Africa, most recently as mental health and psychosocial advisor to the UN on the Syria crisis. Currently, Alexandra is pursuing a Ph.D. in Human Development and Psychology at Harvard Graduate School of Education, her dissertation focusing on the impact of refugee trauma on child brain architecture and cognitive function.
Béatrice Pouligny, PhD in Political Science (Science Po) bridges the fields of political science, peacebuilding and the healing arts. An academic and a human rights and peacebuilding practitioner with 30 years of field experience in conflict areas (in Central and South America, Haiti, Africa, Asia, the Balkans and the Middle East) she also maintains an ongoing practice as a shamanic healer and mindfulness meditation teacher, collaborating with neuro-psychologists and integrating the results of ongoing research into her healing work.
Nina Sughrue, MA (George Washington), is a trained Conflict Management facilitator. She has worked throughout conflict zones in countries such as Afghanistan, Colombia and South Sudan, carrying out trainings with government officials, military and police personnel, representatives from international organizations, non-governmental employees, journalists, business leaders, and religious scholars. Until 2015 she served as a senior program officer in the United States Institute of Peace’s Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding and taught a course on trauma and peacebuilding.
Wietse A. Tol, Ph.D in Public Mental Health (Vrije University, Amsterdam) is the Dr. Ali and Rose Kawi Assistant Professor in Global Mental Health at the Department of Mental Health of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Program Director of the Peter C. Alderman Foundation. His main interest concerns evidence-based mental health and psychosocial support programming and the interplay between science and practice to improve programs with adversity-affected populations in low- and middle-income countries.
Cordelia Chesnutt, MA (Political Science Columbia University, International Economics John Hopkins University) is an International Affairs Officer with the World Bank. She has played a key role in the Bank’s Global Program on Forced Displacement (GPFD), undertaking analytical work and specializing in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Prior to joining the Bank, she worked with the United Nations in New York, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Copenhagen and its Embassy in Rome.
Jana Elhorr is a Social Development Specialist at the World Bank in the South Asia Region. Prior to joining the World Bank, Ms. Elhorr worked extensively in Iraq and Lebanon on post-conflict reconstruction and women and youth economic inclusion. Ms. Elhorr holds doctorate in Conflict Studies from George Mason University, and a BA in economics from the American University of Beirut.
Ananda Galappatti is a medical anthropologist and a practitioner in the field of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in situations of conflict, disaster and other adverse social conditions. Ananda was a co-founder and current board member of the journal Intervention and a co-founder and managing board member of the MHPSS.net online platform. He was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011. Ananda currently lives in Batticaloa, on the East coast of Sri Lanka.
Maurizia Tovo, PhD in Sociology (Vanderbuilt University) is a Lead Social Protection Specialist, with the World Bank. Her project experience includes community-driven development, post-conflict recovery, employment creation for youth, and safety nets primarily in Africa, but also in Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe/Central Asia and the Middle East/North Africa. well, she has carried out extensive analytical and advisory work on poverty, risk and vulnerability, child labor, and various aspects of social protection.
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This course will launch in the near future, with scheduled activities, self-paced activities and additional learning resources to explore at your own pace.