Research for stronger health systems post conflict

Psychosocial support and service provision for adolescent girls in post-conflict settings

Photo: School girls on the Beach, Galle, Sri Lanka, March 2009 Some rights reserved by Gwenaël Piaser

This project explores the extent to which services and other responses to mental health and psychosocial stresses in post conflict settings are informed by the context, by gender and by social-cultural norms.

This work is being led by ReBUILD Affiliate partner the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), funded under ReBUILD’s responsive fund. It is part of a larger body of ODI's work on transforming the lives of adolescent girls.

The overall aim of the project is to explore the extent to which services and other responses to mental health and psychosocial stresses in post conflict settings are informed by the context, by gender and by social-cultural norms. This project has a particular focus on the role that human resources play in shaping service provision experiences for adolescents, and particularly adolescent girls. 

The study hopes to show, that unless factors such as context, gender, and socio-cultural norms are taken into account responses will likely be inadequate, insufficient and may even perpetuate discriminatory social norms and practices particularly facing adolescent girls. In order to achieve this, the project has explored current service provision in Sri Lanka, Gaza and Liberia; how the conflict affected adolescent girls in particular; their coping strategies at individual, household and community levels, and the extent to which an understanding of these underpins the professional training and experiences of key health service providers.

Findings from this study will help inform programmers, service deliverers and policy makers on culturally appropriate /sensitive approaches for dealing with issues of mental health and psychosocial stresses in post-conflict situations and amongst adolescents. It will also add to the body of literature on this relatively neglected area.

All outputs from the project can be accessed here.

For further information, visit the project page at the ODI website, or contact Dr Fiona Samuels.

See also this blog by Nicola Jones and Fiona Samuels which outline the case for greater psychosocial support to women and girls in the aftermath of conflict in order to foster bottom-up demands and capacities that are essential for lasting peace. This is part of a wider ODI blog series focusing on the challenges and opportunities for advancing gender equality goals in fragile and conflict-affected countries.

 

Outputs from this project:

Journal article    

Failing Adolescents: Social Control, Political Economy & Human Development in post-war Sri Lanka