Psychosocial Interventions for Displaced Populations

Applications are now open for this interactive online course, aimed to strengthen capacity for psychosocial response in humanitarian contexts. 

About the course

This online course reviews recent developments in the field of psychosocial programming in humanitarian contexts and examines the evidence-base for effective, quality programming. It is suitable for professional development, both for those wishing to explore this rapidly developing area of humanitarian response and for those with significant experience in the field who wish to consolidate their understanding of effective practice.

The material builds upon the substantial research, field experience and networks of the two course facilitators, Prof Alastair Ager and Dr Rebecca Horn, to create a lively, interactive learning approach that draws upon the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of our global participants.

Participants registered on the course will work through ten units of material – featuring readings, narrated PowerPoints, videos etc. – over a four-week period. A discussion board provides a context for interaction between participants as well as with course facilitators, as does an additional weekly online tutorial session. Those wishing to gain academic credit for study will then complete a written assignment.

Course covers:

1: The Developing Field of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS)
2: The IASC MHPSS Guidelines
3: Current Policy and Practice Developments
4. Gender, Conflict and Displacement
5. Children and forced displacement: MHPSS needs, rights & interventions
6: Child Friendly Spaces as a MHPSS intervention
7: Community-Based Psychosocial Approaches
8: Approaches to Psychosocial Support: Humanitarian Staff Care
9: Design, Monitoring and Evaluation of Psychosocial Programming
10: Capacity Building for Psychosocial Support

All units involve discussion of principles and frameworks, evidence-base and emerging best practice.



Entry requirements

Participants need access to a computer with broadband internet connection to engage with course materials and the discussion board.

Those wishing to gain academic credit for the course must meet the entry requirements as an Associate Student for Master's level study.

Key details

Start Date: For confirmation of the next start date, please contact ghd@qmu.ac.uk 

Course Requirements: Participants need access to a computer with broadband internet connection to engage with course materials and the discussion board. Those wishing to gain academic credit for the course must meet the entry requirements as an Associate Student for Master's level study.

Course Accreditation: Those completing the course for academic credit will be awarded 5 ECTS credit points (equivalent to one-twelfth of a Master's degree award). The course is accredited by TropEdEurop.

Course Fee: £720

Apply: Contact ighd@qmu.ac.uk for information about the different ways you can apply to complete this course






Further information

Please contact ighd@qmu.ac.uk for information about how you can apply for this course.

The Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD)

IGHD is a multi-disciplinary centre for research and postgraduate education that addresses contemporary health and development challenges in low and middle income countries and their connection to global systems and trends.

Our approach is marked by a commitment to critical thinking, practice engagement, and social justice. IGHD builds upon a longstanding track record of engagement in the field of global health and development at QMU, with an emphasis on supporting the development of policy and systems in the context of community engagement. Research is focused in areas where the Institute has a track-record and ongoing capacity for world leadership, one of which is studies on the linked themes of psychosocial well-being, protection and integration.

Course leaders

Professor Alastair Ager is Director of IGHD and holds a continuing appointment with the Mailman
School of Public Health, Columbia University. He has led major research projects evaluating the
impact of humanitarian programming targeting children in emergencies across Ethiopia, Uganda,
Jordan, Lebanon and Nepal and has advised extensively on the role of local faith communities in supporting humanitarian response. He has published widely in the psychosocial field and is lead author of the Inter-Agency Guide to the Evaluation of Psychosocial Programming in Humanitarian Emergencies. He has worked as a consultant with a broad range of agencies including UNICEF, Save the Children, World Vision and ChildFund International, in projects spanning sub-Saharan Africa, south and south-east Asia and the Middle East.

Dr Rebecca Horn is a Senior Research Fellow with IGHD and an independent psychosocial
specialist. Her work in the psychosocial field includes research, assessments and evaluations;
capacity-strengthening initiatives such as training, coaching and mentoring (both in-person and remote); and working directly with organisations to integrate psychosocial approaches into their programmes. Her focus is primarily on community-based psychosocial approaches, particularly with populations affected by conflict and displacement. She has conducted projects for organisations such as UNICEF, TPO Uganda, Lutheran World Federation and International Rescue Committee and Red Cross / Red Crescent organisations in a range of humanitarian contexts. She is a core member of the Act Church of Sweden/ Act Alliance psychosocial roster and a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Intervention: Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas.

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