Illustration: Wellbeing Flower

Thematic Main Areas

Read more about the relation and integration of CBPS and specific thematic areas.

The thematic areas below are largely based on the sectors of the action sheets in the IASC MHPSS Guidelines. While the CBPS approach can contribute to the general effectiveness and quality of humanitarian or development projects, it can be integrated and combined with other thematic areas. The sections presented here provide some information and material on areas relevant to CBPS and give some guidance on how these can be related. Nevertheless, the thematic areas are not meant to be read through topic by topic, but instead, the purpose of these are for anyone to browse to a specific area of interest and relevance based on expertise or current project involvement, and thereby find out more about how CBPS could be contributing to that.


This brief but important document describes the inter-agency coordination that should happen in an emergency.  For organizations that are not IOM, the important pages are 4-5 where the tasks to be accomplished by a coordination body are listed.  Recommended in Fig, 16 is that MHPSS have a working group of organizations involved in MHPSS activities.  This working group should link to other appropriate clusters such as Health, WASH, CCCM, Education, Protection etc.  The important tasks are to coordinate information sharing, needs assessments, mailing lists, 4Ws, referral systems, minimum standards, training, advocacy campaigns, and standardizing some common indicators for M&E.  Regardless of what organizations are the chairpersons of the working group, all benefit from participation and coordination.

Inter-Agency Coordination. Annex 1 IOM CB-MHPSS Manual 

The 4Ws is a system of gathering information about all of the different organizations providing some form of MHPSS services in a geographic region.  The system continues to be refined but codes the different kinds of services, the different populations served and the method to refer people.  This kind of mapping helps to locate services in a location and for different segments of the population and to expose gaps in services.  

Who is Doing What, Where and When (4 Ws) in Mental Health and Psychosocial Support 

This short slide show, prepared for the government of Indonesia explains in simple form how the cluster system works, who answers to who, and what the relationship is between different UN organizations, NGOs, and national governments.  The slides specific to Indonesia are only the last one or two.  Simple, clear, explains definitions. 

Introduction to the cluster system

This example of facilitating a community’s involvement in protection of its children is an excellent example of coordination between local community groups, a locally based NGO and the district Ministry of Health.  TPO Uganda (Transcultural Psychosocial Association) works in local communities (and among refugee groups) to provide Psychosocial Support.  By completing repeated evaluations of their program, it became clear that they would be more effective if they were to engage local, established respected groups from the community to be the first line of community outreach workers.  These trained community members provide basic information, basic level support for people at risk, and refer those that they locate who need more professional services.  TPO provides some of the higher level services and psychiatrists from the MOH for medication services. This is an excellent example of community coordination to provide multilayer services for the range of MHPSS services.

Facilitating Community Support Structures

This document displays why we should coordinate and collaborate with local humanitarian organizations.  It shares the work of 10 local organizations from across the globe and the lessons they have learned in the HUM-Dev nexus.  The work reported upon is inspiring.  Each in its own way reported that an obstacle is the tendency of donors to only fund through INGOs, not directly to the LNGOs.  This limits their ability to use their advantage to respond in the first 24 hours.  Additional learning is described as the importance of coordination, the value of in-depth knowledge of local community culture and tradition, long term planning and so on.    

Local humanitarian action in practice – Case studies and reflections of local humanitarian actors

This toolkit is a collection of commonly used resources that help to efficiently organize and coordinate in large emergencies.  Many of the tools are IASC, some are WHO, IFRC, UNICEF, UNHCR, IOM.  All are tools that are familiar to all of us though here collected all in one place with simple descriptions.  

Emergency Toolkit

The Inter-Agency Referral Form and the Guidance Note for its use were developed by the IASC MHPSS Working Group to facilitate coordination and collaboration between different agencies and programs. It specifies who is making the referral, who is being referred and to who the referral is going with appropriate contact information for each party.  Referrals may be made for health, protection, MHPSS services, nutrition, shelter, rehabilitation etc.   It includes the consent of the person being referred.  The guidance note reminds people to contact the receiving organization to be sure that the client is eligible and to store the form in a secure location after sending on the copies to the client and the referred organization.  This same form can be used by community organizations such as faith-based organizations to make referrals for services when the need is beyond their capacity.

Inter-Agency Referral Guidance Note for MHPSS

Assesment, Monitoring Evalution (PMER)

At this time, more displaced people are living in urban environments than in camps. Their intermixing with the local population creates a number of issues which affect the role of NGOs in working with them.  80% of displaced persons are displaced for 10 years.  Assessing the political, economic, social, service delivery and special features of these urban environments gives invaluable information that allows us to address the psychosocial support needs and resources, stressors and opportunities as we develop support services.  This tool kit provides both the guidance about how to go about this kind of assessment and the link to the forms to use (forms are in separate files).   

Urban context analysis toolkit – Guidance note for humanitarian practition

This collection of assessment tools is prepared by WHO and UNHCR.  It has already been validated and is reliable.  The first 25 pages are about how to do an assessment and how to use the data collected to develop reports.  There are then 12 tools to use in different situations.  Of special interest to us are the last 5 tools that help us to assess needs and resources at the community level.  Tools should be chosen by who information is coming from (Sector leads, community participatory, community respondents with deep knowledge of community etc). However, tool number 3, the HESPER is used with households to help determine the scope of their needs and to what degree they are currently being met.  These needs include everything from housing and education for children to medical and mental health care. 

Assessing Mental Health and Psychosocial Needs and Resources  

This shorter assessment guide details how to glean information from already existing assessment material gathered through other sectors, as well as a desk review of literature.  It then looks specifically at what kinds of information are needed specific to MHPSS and how to gather that information.  The ethics of gathering such information are reviewed briefly, as well as giving sample questions which can be used.  Following are several of the same assessment tools as are found in the WHO/UNHCR Guide previously discussed.   

IASC Reference Group MHPSS Assessment Guide 

MHPSS wellbeing cannot be addressed successfully without understanding the environment in which the community lives.  As such, understanding the nature of the conflict and power struggles improves our ability to support the community.  This Guide is a tool to understand, situate and integrate a conflict analysis into program planning and implementation.  For UNICEF, conflict analysis is understood as the systematic study of the profile, causes, actors and dynamics of conflict.  In other words, who is involved, what they want to achieve and why including historical events, current events and developments that influence them.  The tools and ideas should be contextualized and adapted to the realities, dynamics and needs of the context in which it is used.

Guide to: Conflict Analysis UNICEF   

Often loss of livelihood is a major stressor for people in emergency situations.  It is also a major issue in development and poverty alleviation.  Livelihood programs offer the possibility of reduction of stress though this is not always true.  This chapter discusses a wide range of types of livelihood support, the risks as well as the positive effects and the steps that need to be taken including assessment and monitoring and evaluation.  Links to each of these resources are in the online chapter.  

IOM Manual, Integrated MHPSS and Livelihood Support: Ch 11 

The effects of the intentional use of threatened or actual physical force or power against another person create far reaching effects. “Interpersonal violence impedes sustainable development by limiting opportunities, discouraging investment and eroding social cohesion.”  There is ample evidence of people who suffer the effects of violence have poorer economic outcomes.  The authors of this literature study compared eight different programs to determine whether psychosocial support alone would improve economic outcomes, whether livelihood programs would improve psychosocial outcomes or whether the combination of the two disciplines worked best.  The findings showed that psychosocial programs alone improved economic outcomes marginally but that livelihood programs did not improve psychosocial outcomes.  In combining the two, they improved people’s ability to overcome some of the effects of violence and focus efforts into a livelihood which improved overall outcomes.  

Healing invisible wounds and rebuilding livelihoods: Emerging lessons for combining livelihood and psychosocial support in fragile and conflict-affected settings

This article focuses on the importance of family and community systems in the recovery process and how they might be strengthened.  This focus on the collective as the protective system that cares for the individual is central to many cultures.  As such, it is at times the target for destruction in civil conflicts.  Rebuilding can only be done by the community but there are a number of ways that humanitarian and development organizations can support this process.  Encourage and support community based, community led programs and train where necessary community members to provide services.  These rebuild trust, hope and efficacy.  Support cultural rituals and ceremonies like remembrance days, communal grieving, and relaxation methods.  Help communities build memorials. Creative arts are potent means of expression.  School based programs, especially those led by community members build a sense of local agency.  A very useful article.  

Rebuilding community resilience in a post-war context:  developing insight and recommendations – a qualitative study in Northern Sri Lanka. Somasundaram and Sivayokan

This brief but very helpful document defines. “Resilience is the process of harnessing biological, psychosocial, structural, [environmental] and cultural resources to sustain wellbeing.”  In practice focusing on resilience, this means to develop a deep understanding of the multiple layers of resources and opportunities that exist to see the leverage points and the secondary impact of interventions.  This forces us to take a systems perspective, working side by side with the community to analyse and plan.  Monitoring and evaluation of such resilience based approaches can be more complicated but building M&E into the planning can be effective.

Resilience: from conceptualization to effective intervention, a policy brief for humanitarian and development agencies

The ‘Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings’ aims to contribute to the evidence-based for MHPSS globally, through encouraging MHPSS actors to measure some common impact and outcome indicators.  The Framework includes six goal indicators (recommended means of verification for each will be added shortly), and a set of suggested indicators for each of the five outcomes included.  The IASC MHPSS Reference Group encourage agencies to include at least one impact indicator from the common framework goal and at least one outcome and corresponding outcome indicator from the common framework.  ACT Alliance partners which are able to do this will be contributing to shared learning in this field and improved MHPSS programming. 

A Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings.

Livelihoods and food security programs often work together with community based psychosocial programs.  It is essential that both the Livelihood program as well as the CBPS program be monitored, both for learning and adjustment needs and for accountability to the stakeholders.  The ACF M&E guidelines are clear and easy to use, including many tools to use as indicators of change.  Guidance for integrating M&E into the log frame and programming are included.    

Food Security and Livelihood Monitoring and Evaluation Guidelines – a practical guide for field workers.

Community Mobilsation & Support

This article summarizes both the opportunities and risks of working with local faith communities.  The IASC MHPSS Guidelines 2007 recognize religions as fundamental to the characteristics of communities globally, with the majority of people practising some faith tradition.  The guidelines emphasize the importance of respecting these belief systems and social organization.  A number of studies are cited about the positive impact that religion has on wellbeing.  Also documented is the common experience of local faith communities being present with people in the first 24-72 hours following a disaster.  This very early response and the deep knowledge that local faith communities have of the individuals, families, communities and culture make them well placed to respond in culturally appropriate ways, providing comfort and resources in the first crucial hours.  The article also however reflects on the risks of working with or through local FBOs with regard to the Humanitarian Code of Conduct.  It then concludes with guidance on managing risks while supporting the wellbeing of the people.  

The case for – and challenges of – faith-sensitive psychosocial programming

This wonderful manual walks a community through understanding the concept of protection, the laws and declarations behind it and then through their own local process at looking at their own community.  Using a well developed toolkit, they evaluate, map, analyse, prioritize and plan for improved protection for all people in the community.  This is a highly participatory process designed to include all corners of the community in the process of caring for themselves.  

Safety with Dignity: A field manual for integrating community-based protection across humanitarian programs 

This manual from the larger Mainstreaming Psychosocial Care and Support series focuses on the challenges and intricacies of working with communities and their culture.  It methodically reports on the process of building a community based psychosocial support system.  Of note are the many times the program reevaluated their process to come upon a system that was workable for the community and met the IASC guidelines.  Two examples are given of the process.  The steps followed were 1. Identify region of need, 2.  Identify a community organization who will become psychosocial supporters.  3. Assess needs for capacity building among the prospective psychosocial supporters.  4.  Develop a capacity building plan.  5.  Facilitate Interactive Learning sessions with the group.  The same 5 steps are used for groups working at different layers of the IASC Pyramid, with appropriate skill development.  These steps and guides directly follow the IASC MHPSS Guidelines Action sheets 5.1, 5.2, 5.3.

Mainstreaming Psychosocial Care and Support – Facilitating Community Support Structures

These training materials focus directly on encouraging and training local people to become catalysts within their own communities to organize, anticipate, collaborate and LEAD the response to emergencies and challenges in their own communities.  This community led response to an emergency does not exclude the work of INGOs but forms a basis that increases the ownership by the community.  Local groups are the first people on the ground and this system of response helps them develop their local capacity to mount culturally appropriate responses.  CBPS is one of the tools suggested in community response mechanisms (day 4 slides) though the content of the CBPS training is very thin.  Likewise, there are suggestions for how the community might address conflict and protection needs (day 5 slides) though the time to discuss this is very limited.​

Local to Global (L2G)

Dissemination & Information

This simple one-page poster created to educate the community about ways to support children and families during the Covid-19 pandemic is a good example of educating the community in positive, culturally appropriate coping mechanisms during a confusing and stressful time. By using both illustrations and text, it is available to the widest range of the population.  

Supporting each other

This very brief guideline on crisis communication lays out principles of crisis communication.  By being prompt and accurate, they increase trust, promote action, are compassionate and respectful.  These guidelines help to promote the optimal response from the public receiving the information. 

This simple guidance sheet offers simple steps to a conversation with children about someone’s death.  The suggestions leave open a range of possibilities about the age of the child, the relationship to the deceased, and the kind of reactions that children may have.  This type of guidance empowers adults who may feel unprepared to approach a situation that is unfamiliar to them or which brings up strong emotions in themselves.  The guidance gives the adult some support to be their best selves.

Written for Syrian men specifically, this booklet addresses common emotional reactions to the crisis and displacement caused by the conflict in their homeland.  Feelings are normalized, family roles are addressed, and suggestions given for culturally appropriate ways of managing loss, grief, anger, fear and so on.  This calm, informative booklet supports the reader in managing the crisis they find their lives in.     


This paper defines and differentiates Psychosocial Support (PSS) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and their relationship to education.  PSS and SEL points of convergence and divergence (p. 14 - 18) points out how PSS is broader and more comprehensive than SEL and that SEL actually falls under the umbrella of PSS. Psychosocial programming and services are outlined on pages 19 – 24. Table 1 on page 26 identifies psychosocial needs of children and youth, accompanied by corresponding psychosocial interventions.  SEL programming can be found on page 30.  Programme considerations for both PSS and SEL can be found on pages 33 – 35. The impact of conflict and natural disasters on children’s well-being is discussed on pages 39 – 48.  Valuable information can also be found in the annexes in the end of the paper. 

Background Paper on Psychosocial Support and Emotional Learning in Emergency Settings 


The Action Workshops are a series of four workshops designed for community members.  Education goes beyond the classroom and the workshops provide information and skills on how parents, youth and other community members can be given skills and use their life experiences in the education of children. The four workshops cover 1) Community Parenting: How to Build Strong Children in Difficult Times, 2) Helping Our Children to Understand Death, 3) Lessons from Life: Teaching Life Skills to Our Children, 4) Training of Trainers (ToT) for the Journey of Life Series. The manual includes information on how to set up the workshop, equipment, objectives, and schedule.  Participants are also provided a narrative and specific lesson plans.  The workshops are interactive and rely on the life experiences of the participants. 

The Journey of Life: Community Workshops to Support Children

This manual emphasizes the integration of psychosocial support into education.  It recognizes the importance of well-being in children and provides ways to approach education in a way that addresses their psychosocial needs.  It provides a framework for integrating psychosocial support into schools based on psychosocial principles. Chapters Six and Seven are of particular interest.  Chapter Six addresses specific psychosocial issues in education and Chapter Seven provides tools, approaches and programmes for mainstreaming psychosocial support.     

Mainstreaming Psychosocial Care and Support within the Education Sector

This comprehensive toolkit is designed for humanitarian aid workers, government officials and teachers in implementing the INEE Minimum Standards. The toolkit links the Minimum Standards to issues of disability and inclusive education.  It provides extensive tools, guidelines, checklists, case studies, and good practices that can be adapted to the users’ local setting and context

INEE Toolkit: Disability and Inclusive Educational Tools and Resources  

Education and protection are interconnected, and this paper emphasizes the need to protect educational environments to promote the well-being of children. The focus is on providing education during times of armed conflict; however, the authors also address how educational environments in general can be sources of abuse, exploitation and violence.  The authors discuss protection risks during conflict as well as the pre-existing stresses that children and youth experience.  Section 2 is valuable in identifying all the ways education provides protection for the overall well-being of children and youth. 

Education & Protection of Children & Youth affected by Armed Conflict: An Essential Link

In Chapter 9 of this manual, the authors describe how non-formal education and informal learning can complement formal education.  Following emergencies and displacement, children need a way to integrate back into routines and activities.  This chapter defines the differences between the three frameworks and how they are best implemented to contribute to MHPSS.  All three frameworks; formal, non-formal and informal are cultural activities.  Like formal education, non-formal and informal learning also have psychosocial goals and objectives related to learning. This chapter gives examples of activities, provides case studies and examines challenges and considerations in developing and implementing non-formal and informal education.  

Non formal Education and Informal Learning. Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement

This document focuses on the integration of Community based Psychosocial Support (CBPS) into Education in Emergencies (EiE). It was prepared by FCA, who specializes in Education in Emergencies and CoS, who specializes in Community Based Psychosocial Support. It provides an overview of CBPS and emphasizes the role of the community.  Chapter 3 discusses how teachers can build caring, supportive classrooms with a community-based psychosocial approach.  Case studies illustrates best practices on how to integrate CBPS into Education in Emergencies.

Improving Well-being through Education: Integrating CBPS into Education in Emergencies.

Arts & Expressive Activities 

This manual is designed to facilitate Mental Health Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) for those designing, implementing and evaluating community based programmes, projects and activities.  Chapter 6 of the manual focuses on creative and art-based activities and their benefits in MHPSS programming. Emphasis is placed on theatre and drama, primarily because it is relational and cultural and has been popular in community development, psychosocial and mental health fields. This material is field reviewed and provides case studies.  

Creative and Art Based Activities. Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement

This article focuses on the transformative potential of creativity, practices, storytelling and rituals.  During the 36 years of Guatemalan armed conflict, Mayan women endured gross human rights violations.  The article briefly discusses two research components, in which Mayan women participated in creativity while seeking truth, justice and reparation for the harm they endured. One took place 1997 – 2000 and the other in 2003. In 2011, the authors brought the women, who participated in the projects, back for a series of workshops. They wished to assess the rural Mayan women’s understanding and assessments of their engagement with creative resources as a means to address the effects of the armed conflict. Research conducted during these workshops are detailed in the article, followed by their conclusions.

Creativity as an Intervention Strategy with Mayan Women in Guatemala

This is a research article about building social capital within five post conflict municipalities in Colombia.  The authors identified numerous variables necessary to rebuild social capital and peace in a community formerly affected by violence.  They then implemented a training programme in dance movement strategies as an intervention to assess possible changes in these variables. Following the 120-hour training in dance movement strategies, they tested the variables to see if they changed.  The article details the intervention, methodology and results of the dance movement intervention.  This article is helpful for anyone working in development in communities following conflict and violence.

Dance Movement strategies training to help rebuild social capital in Colombia



This field report describes a case study with Syrian refugee women from a livelihood centre in Turkey.  The women participated in an intervention wherein they brought real-life themes and life experiences to practice their skills in non-violent communication using Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. The field report describes the methods, intervention, procedures, data collection and results. This study is important for anyone who has worked with individuals who have experienced oppression and violence.  It is also valuable for those field workers who are helping refugees secure livelihoods.  

Non-Violent Communication and Theatre of the Oppressed: A Case Study with Syrian Refugee Women from the Kareemat Center in Turkey

This field report consists of a study designed to discover whether a psychosocial support group providing creative art activities can benefit older Syrian refugee women, experiencing major role changes in their lives. The group explored resilience and adversity-activated development (a range of responses to adversity).  By having the women explore how they responded to their role changes in a supportive group, they can reduce the sense of helplessness and isolation.  Theatre of the Oppressed was the art activity that was utilized. The women participated in five psychosocial sessions, twice a week.  Although the group only consisted of three Syrian refugee women, the process and outcome of the study provides valuable information for field workers working with an older population. The methods and results are clearly outlined in the article.  

Using Art Tools with Older Syrian Refugee Women to Explore Activated Development

Sports & Physical Activities 

Sports and physical activities are reflective of a community’s culture and relationships. Chapter 8 in the manual covers basic principles in organizing sport and play activities, categories, capacity building and psychosocial benefits.  Sports and physical activities are applicable to all age groups, genders and social statuses and can be adapted for individuals with disabilities. Field tested case studies illustrate how the activities teach key skills, promote integration and build self-confidence.  A section on “challenges and considerations” emphasizes the need for activities to be culturally appropriate and non-discriminatory. 

Sport & Play: Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement  

This manual is the first in a series and is the outcome of Terre des Hommes project, “Movement, Games and Sport (MGS) for Children’s Psychosocial Development”.  The manual begins by defining how the games have both a psychosocial and a playful approach. It discusses the skills (personal, social, methodological and technical) needed by the animators. It also has a section describing the activities and how they can be adapted for different age groups. 

Laugh, Run and Move to Develop Together: Games with a Psychosocial Aim

This manual is an updated version of “Laugh, Run and Move to Develop Together”.  It has taken the five most popular international games from the previous manual and added information on the “Movement, Games and Sport” approach.  An additional chapter links child protection to games by providing questions for each game. The games are aimed at children 4 – 14 and are classified by age groups.   

Traditional Games for Child Protection

This is a training manual on disability and inclusion. Its primary goal is to enhance the user’s knowledge and practice of inclusion, and to improve the physical, psychological and social quality of life for children and youth with disabilities.  It integrates knowledge and practice by giving guidance on disability, social inclusion and models of inclusive sport. It provides practical information on conducting groups and gives examples of how to adapt games and sports for those with disabilities. 

Sport and Play for All:  A Manual on Including Children and Youth with Disabilities.  Handicap International

This workbook focuses on how sport and physical activity can be used as a psychosocial intervention.  The first section (chapters 2 – 8) of the workbook outline the psychosocial approach to using sports and activities.  In the second section (chapter 9), activity cards are presented with instructions on how to use the activities and also how to adapt them for specific situations.  Additional ways to discuss and reflect on the activities are also suggested.  Section three (chapters 10 & 11) shows how to facilitate and set up the psychosocial interventions from beginning through end.  Case studies are used as examples throughout the book.

Moving Together: Promoting psychosocial well-being through sport and physical activity.

This article describes a study of how Rohingya refugees living in camps relate to issues surrounding physical activity (PA), sports and mental health. Of particular interest in this article is the authors use of the Rapid Community Readiness to assess the community’s readiness. While the methodology of this study is useful, the information illustrated in Table 1 (The dimensions and stages of the community readiness model) provides information on how the community’s readiness was assessed and recommends interventions for different levels of readiness. This article is of particular use for anyone wishing to do an assessment for a community’s readiness for physical activity as a psychosocial intervention.  

Physical activity as a Psychosocial Intervention among Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh: A Rapid Ecological Community Assessment

This handbook introduces key themes in sport as a post-disaster psychosocial intervention. It integrates psychosocial responses to disaster with psychological expertise and research on trauma, resilience and coping. It would be relevant for humanitarian workers working in a post-disaster setting as well as those in development as they plan for the future.   

Sport and Physical Activity in Post-Disaster Intervention

Lifespan perspectives

This issue brief calls attention to the challenges and opportunities related to ageing.  The elderly, particularly older women, are often overlooked in international development programmes and policies.  Capacity-building to address this population’s needs; including a high vulnerability for violence, abuse and neglect, needs to be a priority. This article encourages that the ageing population be seen as agents of change in their community, as they still have much to offer. The brief introduces initial recommendations for addressing their needs in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including mainstreaming the elderly into their programmes and policies. It also provides ‘snapshots’ of countries that have been successful in working with the ageing.  This is a worthwhile article for anyone working with older adults or in development.

Leave No One Behind. Ageing, Gender and the 2030 Agenda

This document is a “best practices” guide based on case studies from Global Protection Cluster members working in the field with older people in emergencies. It highlights the most significant challenges and the most effective responses of the workers.  The document was created to help agencies build their capacity in protection work with older populations and to ensure older people are active participants in times of natural disaster and conflict.

Protecting Older People in Emergencies: Good Practice Guide

The guidelines set out essential actions that humanitarian actors must take in order to effectively identify and respond to the needs and rights of persons with disabilities who are most at risk of being left behind in humanitarian settings. The recommended actions in each chapter place persons with disabilities at the centre of humanitarian action, both as actors and as members of affected populations. They are specific to persons with disabilities and to the context of humanitarian action and build on existing and more general standards and guidelines. These are the first humanitarian guidelines to be developed with and by persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in association with traditional humanitarian stakeholders. Based on the outcomes of a comprehensive global and regional multi-stakeholder consultation process, they are designed to promote the implementation of quality humanitarian programmes in all contexts and across all regions, and to establish and increase both the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their meaningful participation in all decisions that concern them. 

IASC Guidelines, Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action

Published at the same time as the IASC Guidelines on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, this report aims to support their uptake and promote learning by example. This report presents 39 short case studies on inclusive practices for persons with disabilities in humanitarian action and disaster risk reduction (DRR). It is designed for humanitarian stakeholders with limited experience of working with and for persons with disabilities, as well as for organizations of persons with  disabilities (OPDs) planning to engage in humanitarian action and DRR. The report draws lessons from field practices, but does not provide technical guidance. The IASC Guidelines are the reference document to seek in-depth theoretical and technical information.

Case studies, Inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action

A psychosocial approach promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities is aimed at professionals and volunteers who work with persons with disabilities. The concept of empowerment is central to the whole approach presented in this handbook which has two key aims: To create awareness of the importance of psychosocial support and inclusion inpromoting the well-being of persons with disabilities.To provide guidance about psychosocial support and inclusion, along with practical resources for inclusive psychosocial activities for all kinds of settings. 

Different. Just like you

Food Security & Nutrition

This manual is a tool-kit providing key steps on how-to-do-it. It is a series of fact sheets about the basic package for child care practices at Therapeutic Feeding Centres (TFCs) or during outpatient treatment at Outpatient Therapeutic Program (OTPs) centres. Treatment for undernutrition is increasingly integrated into healthcare facilities and the integration of basic practices can make a big difference, several studies have shown its positive impact on the efficacy of the treatment (especially in reducing the number of relapses and discontinuation of treatment) and on the development of undernourished children. The fact sheets on each topic include the main points on the topic covered, few basic theoretical points and concrete explanations about how psychosocial and child care practices are essential in the area covered, and practical information on how to implement child care practices within the topic covered. Some fact sheets are accompanied by appendices that illustrate or supplement all these points. There are also links to websites that provide further information on specific topics.  

Manual for the Integration of Child Care Practices & Mental Health Into Nutrition Programs

This very interesting research report documents the adaption done by Syrian people in the years of war.  The research looks primarily at livelihoods and the fight to survive with dignity.  The implications for psychosocial wellbeing are repeatedly addressed along with recommendations for how humanitarian aid can be of greatest help to the people during the ongoing crisis.  Issues such as social capital, role change in families, depression, the trauma of repeated bombings and displacement are all included.  It concludes with important recommendations to focus humanitarian aid to support livelihoods rather than just food, NFI etc.  It also strongly recommends that humanitarian, early recovery and development concepts should be curtailed to focus on sustainable interventions made in collaboration with the community even during the conflict. This article is highly recommended for those making decisions about funding.  

The Wages of War: Learning from how Syrians have adapted their livelihoods through 7 years of conflict

This interesting chapter talks about combining psychosocial support and livelihoods.  As what we do often determines who we are in the eyes of the community, this approach works on multiple levels of social relations, self-esteem, as well as reducing anxiety about finances and material insecurity.  Having a livelihood also helps to buffer stress and strengthen agency.  The chapter explains a number of different ways in which livelihoods can be approached and gives ideas to cross train staff in both fields.  Basic ideas are given for M&E for such programs. Also, links to the World Bank Video series as well as a number of other relevant resources are included.  

Integrated MHPSS and Livelihood Support

This literature review of programs that integrated livelihoods and psychosocial support.  It clearly showed the negative effects of repeated stressors of poverty, violence, exclusion, displacement and the stress of regularly seeing one’s perpetrators. This repetitive kind of stress drains ones’ ability to cope, making it harder than ever to make emotional energy available to learn new skills, start a new job and build new relationships.  Some research showed that the presence of psychiatric disorders was as important as economic factors in determining employment status.  A number of reports were cited of programs that combined livelihoods and psychosocial support showing a positive improvement in both that was unattainable when either intervention was offered alone.  

Healing invisible wounds and rebuilding livelihoods: emerging lessons for combining livelihood and psychosocial support in fragile and conflict-affected settings

In addressing the wellbeing needs of young women who had been abducted by the LRA, the authors followed a program (WINGS) which chose to focus its limited funds into helping with livelihoods to support both the poverty, social exclusion and psychological aftereffects of their abduction.  The first half of the paper is a review of the literature about research on livelihood impact on wellbeing and the MHPSS impact on poverty reduction.  The discussion about the implementation of the program showed improvement in poverty reduction and social relations with the wider community and at times within families.  Though overall wellbeing was improved, the direct impact on specifics like PTSD or Depression was not measured.  

Promoting Recovery After War in Northern Uganda: Reducing Daily Stressors by Alleviating Poverty

The ageing population is growing, particularly in developing countries. This affects the livelihoods of many ageing farmers in rural populations.  This study focuses on ageing farmers in a rural section of Kenya.  The aim of this study is to assess how does ageing of rural communities affect livelihoods in Kenya’s Central Highlands? Increased life expectancy and urban youth migration are resulting in ageing farmers having to work longer to accomplish less. In the introduction and background, the authors explore many other contributing factors that impact the livelihood capital of ageing farmers.  Additionally, the study covers theory, methods and results. It ends with discussion, conclusions, perspectives and recommendations. This study is helpful in development planning involving livelihoods and ageing.  

Transitions from School to Work: Technical Note

Livelihoods provide protection and economic security for individuals.   It typically evolves once one has completed his or her education.  Chapter 11 links livelihood programmes to mental health and psychosocial support.  It discusses guiding principles for these programmes and also covers assessment and evaluation criteria. Table 10 highlights advantages and drawbacks of different forms of livelihood support from an MHPSS angle.

Integrated mental health and psychosocial support, and livelihood support

Health Services

2015. Clinical management of mental, neurological and substance use conditions in humanitarian emergencies. 

mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide (mhGAP-HIG)

These documents are guides for the clinical diagnosis of mental health issues by general health-care providers in non-specialized health care settings.  Though written for health settings, they are very helpful for the information they provide on the treatment and care for a whole range of MH conditions commonly found in a community.  There are extensive suggestions for psychosocial intervention and support.   

mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide (mhGAP-HIG)

This Toolkit is a series of 5 learning units to train community workers to support positive wellbeing at the community level.  They also receive an introduction to working with people with chronic mental health conditions and are encouraged to get further training in such programs as Problem Management + and Friendship Bench.  These learning units are very accessible for community members who are by nature empathic and interested in caring for others. This program could be easily operationalized by CBPS programs for sustained community support.  

mhGAP Community Toolkit

This manual guides the user in assessing the use of alcohol and other substances within an area or community.  The perspective of this assessment is of public health, so it looks at consequences of this behaviour including HIV transmission, social issues including domestic violence, legal issues such as trafficking and sex-trade, and mental health issues including suicide.  This is important field information for working on supporting wellbeing in the community.      

Rapid Assessment of Alcohol and Other Substance Use in Conflict-affected and Displaced Populations: A Field Guide

Human Resources

Human Resources are  crucial for Community-Based Psychosocial Support programming. More so, Human Resources are an integral part of the approach which puts strong emphasis on both strengthening the capacity of staff and communities, as well as staff care. Further, Human Resources are integrated in Community-Based Psychosocial Support through the adherence to commitment eight of the Core Humanitarian Standards:

  • 8. Communities and people affected by crisis receive the assistance they require from competent and well-managed staff and volunteers. Quality Criterion: Staff are supported to do their job effectively, and are treated fairly and equitably​.

The following actions points also underline this in particular:

  • 8.7 A code of conduct is in place that establishes, at a minimum, the obligation of staff not to exploit, abuse or otherwise discriminate against people.
  • 8.8 Policies are in place to support staff to improve their skills and competencies.
  • 8.9 Policies are in place for the security and the wellbeing of staff.​

Human Resources are also highlighted by the ACT Alliance Code of Conduct as well as in the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief 1996.​

This Training Manual is a guide for developing locally appropriate training in the field.  It can be used in psychosocial workshops within specific situations.  The first chapter, ‘Choose Your Training Approach’, provides information on how to build your own workshop.  It discusses the learning process, how to set goals and group participation.  The next three chapters cover developing psychosocial support, first steps in an emergency, and community mobilisation.  It contains relevant material for introducing the concept of Community-Based Psychosocial Support (CBPS).  It also includes how to build a session from the material.  The last chapter consists of resources (manuals, websites, books and articles) to complement your training.  

Community-Based Psychosocial Support: Training Manual 

This operational guidance on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) provides a practical orientation and tools for UNHCR country operations. It covers specific points of good practice to consider when developing MHPSS programming and offers advice on priority issues and practical difficulties.  It includes a short section on good practice in MHPSS capacity-building, focusing on both training and supervision.  

Operational Guidance: Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Programming for Refugee Operations (Chapter 7 – ‘Build Capacity’)

This monograph does not focus specifically on CBPS but outlines the principles required for capacity-building to impact on implementation.  They found that the principles apply to all sectors they studied and summarise the principles focusing particularly on training and coaching.  

Implementation research: A synthesis of the literature 

This useful resource gives guidance for managers on how to provide effective technical supervision (including remote supervision) to staff involved in psychosocial programming.  Guidance is also given on how to provide training in various aspects of MHPSS. Case studies are used throughout the chapter to illustrate the points made. 

Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement. Chapter 15 – Technical supervision and training

Antares foundation has clarified a system of management of staff that integrates staff care into the normal cycle of work.  This wise manual anticipates that people need to be screened, trained, prepared for their work and supported throughout their assignment.  When there is a time of high stress or critical incident, it is the responsibility of the organization and management to provide additional support.  And finally, at the end of the assignment, there should be a debriefing and post assignment support as needed.  Written mainly for managers and those designing humanitarian systems, this important guide provides the structure for ongoing support and care for staff.  

Managing stress in humanitarian workers, guidelines for good practice

This small booklet is a gem. It explains stress, traumatic stress, causes of stress and the typical human reactions to stress.  It then moves on to talk of ways of coping with stress, burnout, and warning signs.  When talking about traumatic stress, vicarious trauma is included where we may hear or see too much though the traumatic event does not affect us directly.  Again, common reactions and the healing process are explained.  Sources of support such as social support, professional support, tips and advice are given.  Finally in the Annexes, there is a self- evaluation questionnaire, relaxation exercises, and suggestions for further reading.     

Stress in the field – practical guidelines for dealing with ongoing stress and traumatic stress in the field 

This is a guide to the organization and management of aid personnel written for managers.  It focuses on strategy, policies, consultation and supervision, training, and health and safety.  This is a good place to begin for developing a successful working team.  

Code of good practice in the management and support of aid personnel

Both Sphere and the Core Humanitarian Standards outline care for staff, reasonable working hours, protection and support through critical incidents.  Standards must be in place for the security and wellbeing of staff including a zero tolerance for sexual harassment or abuse.  Staff should be trained to use Psychological First Aid when needed.  Local, national and international staff are entitled to the same quality of care and support.   

Core Humanitarian Standard 8.9 

This one is useful because it includes guidance on assessing staff wellbeing and using this information to create a staff care strategy   

UNHCR’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for Staff 

This is useful too because it builds on and incorporates some of the older standards (Antares) and addresses the needs of both national and international staff.

Essential Principles of Staff Care Practices to Strengthen Resilience in International Humanitarian and Development Organizations

Protection & Human Rights Standards

  • Understanding human rights principles and standards (such as equality and non-discrimination, participation and inclusion, empowerment and accountability), and the definitions of those rights as laid out in human rights treaties.
  • Knowing the human rights obligations by which a particular State is bound.
  • Assessing and analysing the reasons rights are not realised, including looking at underlying and structural obstacles.
  • Working in partnership with all members of the community in order to understand the community’s priorities, capacities and resources, and empowering the community to work towards the realisation of their rights.
  • Developing policies and programmes to build the capacity of rights-holders to claim their rights and duty-bearers to meet their obligations, paying particular attention to marginalised and vulnerable groups.
  • Measuring progress and results against indicators that rights are being realised.  Measuring all progress in terms of gender-specific indicators
  • Ensuring that policies and programmes do not unintentionally violate the human rights of the individuals and communities concerned.

This project provides a series of eight booklets that can be used with accompanying materials for training on how to protect education in countries affected by conflict.  Booklet One begins with an overview of the threat of conflict to education.  The following booklets cover issues dealing with education, security, protection, psychosocial support and legal accountability issues.  The specific topics are listed below:  

Booklet One: An Overview 

Booklet Two: Legal Accountability and the Duty to Protect

Booklet Three: Community Based Protection and Prevention

Booklet Four: Education for Child Protection and Psychosocial Support

Booklet Five:  Education Policy and Planning for Protection, Recovery and Fair Access

Booklet Six: Education for Building Peace

Booklet Seven: Monitoring and Reporting

Booklet Eight: Advocacy  

Booklet Nine: Education  

Protecting Education in Countries affected by Conflict

Protection is integrated into all aspects of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS). Chapter 12 focuses on the relationship between MHPSS and Protection actors. It outlines how this partnership is crucial in guaranteeing that all individuals are afforded human rights and equity.  It discusses capacity building, activities and other areas of program planning.  Challenges and considerations are highlighted, and a multitude or resources are provided for further reading.   

Strengthening Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in the Framework of Protection” Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement

These Guidelines represent a comprehensive revision to the original 2005 Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines for Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings. They provide practical guidance and effective tools for humanitarians and communities to coordinate, plan, implement, monitor and evaluate essential actions for the prevention and mitigation of gender-based violence, throughout all stages of humanitarian response—from preparedness to recovery. Gender-based violence is among the greatest protection challenges individuals, families and communities face during humanitarian emergencies. Accounts of horrific sexual violence in conflict situations—especially against women and girls— and less recognized forms of gender-based violence—intimate partner violence, child marriage and female genital mutilation—are also being committed with disturbing frequency. Natural disasters and other emergencies exacerbate the violence and diminish means of protection. And gender-based violence not only violates and traumatizes its survivors, it also undermines the resilience of their societies, making it harder to recover and rebuild. 

Guidelines for Integrating Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action. Reducing risk, promoting resilience and aiding recovery

This document is for protection programme managers working at national and sub-national level in low and middle income countries. It is both for Protection Cluster coordinators (and coordinators of the five specific areas within the Cluster) and for protection programme managers in government, UN and non-UN international organisations and local NGO protection programmes. Based on the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (IASC, 2007), this document gives an overview of essential knowledge that protection programme managers should know about mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in humanitarian emergencies. Social supports are essential to protect and support mental health and psychosocial well-being in emergencies, and they should be organized through multiple sectors (e.g., health, protection, camp management, education, food security and nutrition, shelter, and water and sanitation). Protection programme managers are encouraged to promote the IASC Guidelines and its key messages to colleagues from other disciplines/ clusters/sectors to ensure that there is appropriate action to address the social risk factors affecting mental health and psychosocial well-being.  

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Humanitarian Emergencies What Should Protection Programme Managers Know? 

This publication is a collection of expert writings on the meaning of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  It places special emphasis on early childhood, as this age group is often overlooked. The work is a culmination of the annual day of discussion on child rights.  It discusses the vulnerabilities and risks for young children. In addition to early screening for mental and physical health, there is the need for early learning, play and recreational activities (p. 16).  Page 22 discusses what an early childhood program should look like.  General principles and rights in early childhood are discussed (p. 38-41).  Examples of good practices can be found (p. 128-131) and longitudinal studies are highlighted (p. 140-145).   

A Guide to General Comment 7: Implementing Child Rights in Early Childhood

These standards are a guideline for humanitarian workers. They are based on international human rights law, humanitarian law, and refugee law, which are interrelated and work together to enforce the protection of children. The standards are based on four key principles: 1) survival and development, 2) non-discrimination, 3) child participation and 4) the interests of the child.  Each standard is accompanied by key actions, measurements (including indicators and targets), and guidance notes.    

Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action

Psychosocial support of children in emergencies is a resource document for humanitarian workers.  It is designed to increase understanding of children’s experiences in emergencies and provide references for how to deal with their negative experiences and prevent further harm.  Examples from the field show how to turn psychosocial principles into practice.  For those interested in protection, Chapter 3 in Section 2 offers valuable information on protection and risk factors. It emphasizes how the family and community are the primary protectors of children.   

Psychosocial Support of Children in Emergencies

The handbook is a guide for programme and field staff in their work protecting children. The activities presented are especially useful in exploring issues related to child protection. They can be used in training and provide objectives, materials needed, suggestions for training and questions to elicit further discussion. Although the topics are interrelated, each section can be used independently in a meeting or collectively in a training session.   

Working with Community-Based Child Protection Committees and Networks: Handbook for Facilitators: Working Group in Sudan Organisations

The toolkit is a training tool for facilitators of community-led child protection training. The section on facilitation tools is unique.  It emphasizes capacity building for facilitators by calling attention to the facilitator’s culture awareness, listening skills, probing questions, inclusivity, power dynamics and conflict management. The section on training tools gives suggestions on how to present the material in a truly community-based manner.  Role plays allow for a participatory approach and utilizes the facilitator’s skills outlined in Section 1.   

A Toolkit in Reflective Practice in Supporting Community Led Child Protection 

These comprehensive guidelines outline the guiding principles for working with unaccompanied and separated children. They are written for any organization working with this population as well as governments and donors. Multiple agencies contributed to this project, and the guidelines are based on collaborative approaches from preparedness to good practices based on lessons learnt. The manual covers aspects from prevention, to tracing and reunification.  

Inter-agency Guiding Principles on Unaccompanied and Separated Children

This document provides practical guidance for monitoring and evaluating child friendly spaces (CFS).  It’s the result of a collaborative research project with other organisations that conducted evaluations and documented the outcomes and impact of CFS.  Based on that research, this document provides tools on programming. The first section of the manual includes tools for monitoring the quality of the CFS implementation.  The second section describes the methodology and process of the evaluation study and shares tools and tips learned from the experience.   

Evaluation of Child Friendly Spaces - Tools and guidance for monitoring and evaluating Child Friendly Spaces

This handbook consists of activities that can be utilized to minimize the risk of child trafficking.  It is written for anyone directly working with child trafficking and also for any organisation working in policy making or financing for preventative activities.  This book is intended to improve the quality of the work already being done and to share lessons learnt. Although the process goes from assessment to monitoring and evaluation, the emphasis is on strategic planning. Key points are summarized at the end of each chapter and activities are clearly outlined.  

A Handbook on Planning Projects to Prevent Child Trafficking 

The first section of this manual is an overview of Child Friendly Spaces (CFS).  The manual explores the many benefits of CFS and emphasizes community and child participation.  It discusses their purpose and objectives and dedicates separate chapters to psychosocial and protection aspects.  Each chapter directs you to related topical information in different chapters and provides a reference for additional implementation tools and resources within the annexes.  

Child Friendly Spaces in Emergencies: A Handbook for Save the Children Staff

Women Led Community-based Protection (WLCBP) is an approach that builds on the strength, knowledge and experience of local women, allowing them to be responsible for their protection.   Women are able to identify problems and solutions and create their own community-based support structures. This document focuses on an integrative approach that addresses gender inequality and discrimination and builds on longer-term development programming. This document is relevant for humanitarian workers, as well as those working in development.  

Safety with Dignity: Women Led Community Based Protection Approach in Humanitarian and Protracted Crises    

These guidelines are meant to ensure that WGFS provide protection and empowerment for women and girls.  This document discusses the purpose of WGFS and how they can best be implemented and managed in South Sudan. It provides guidance from the task of assessment through monitoring and evaluation.  The guiding principles are meant to create uniformity as agencies collaborate on the process of establishing safe environments for women and girls.  

Promoting Positive Environments for Women and Girls: Guidelines for Women and Girls Friendly Spaces in South Sudan

The manual seeks to celebrate the struggles of women and feminists and help human rights defenders feel part of a global women’s movement for social justice. To contribute to a greater understanding and analysis of the violence faced by human rights defenders and promote collective and feminist protection strategies based on knowledge and experiences in different regions of the world. To help women human rights defenders (WHRDs) identify different ways in which the UN Special Rapporteur Michel Forst’s Report on women defenders can be used as a resource for advocacy and analysis to enhance their collective power and protection. The manual is based on a participatory educational methodology with a gender perspective – Feminist Popular Education (FPE). 

Our Rights, Our Safety: Resources for Women Human Rights Defenders

This publication is divided into five chapters addressing different aspects of security and protection of WHRDs. Chapter one analyses the risk factors and violations faced by WHRDs, in particular the use or threat of sexual violence and the use of gender and sexual stereotypes against WHRDs. It also explores the concept of integrated security and how many WHRDs understand this concept. Chapter two explores a wide range of protection measures that have been discussed with WHRDs in the course of this research, including initiatives addressing individual, family, collective and institutional security, as well as measures addressing structural violence and digital security. Chapter three elaborates on the responsibility of States to protect WHRDs and the strengths and potential pitfalls of several State initiatives that are currently in place. Chapter four describes some of the regional and international human rights mechanisms that have been put in place to protect defenders, and Chapter five provides a set of recommendations for States and other institutions to develop gender-specific protection initiatives.

Our Right To Safety:  Women Human Rights Defenders’ Holistic Approach to Protection

Principles into practice CARE

The document “Principles into practice CARE” describes CARE International's process to incorporate the rights-based approach into their development programme. [EB1] CARE's defines RBA as a mean to deliberate and explicit focus on enabling people to achieve the minimum condition for living in dignity. Lessons and challenges encountered by CARE suggest that RBA enhances the sustainable impact of their programme by addressing inequity and marginalisation by applying rights-based approaches. You can find the document below.

Applying a RBA

According to the paper “Applying a RBA” by the Danish Institute for Human Rights, a rights-based approach to development is a framework that integrates the norms, principles, standards and goals of the international human rights system into the plans and processes of development. The document further contains a comparison between a Needs Approach and Right-Based Approach, as well as a definition of Rights-holders and Duty-bearers. Last, the document also describes several steps of RBA programming.

Religion, Faith & Culture

This chapter of the larger manual focuses on how rituals and celebrations that are celebrated within communities have a healing effect, allowing people to integrate their recent experiences into a larger cultural narrative.  As such, they are helpful to community based psychosocial programs.  These rituals and celebrations are not performed by the CBPS program, but by the community members themselves with the support of the CBPS program as a means of helping to reestablish the integrity of the community and its ability to care for its people.

Rituals and Celebrations

This very thoughtful guidance on working in a manner sensitive to people’s religious or spiritual beliefs follows the outline of the IASC MHPSS guidelines.  This is deliberate since spiritual life and religious belonging are often a large contributor to wellbeing.  Each section of the guidance reflects on ways to be sensitive, to be inclusive and to support community-based ownership of humanitarian and development work.  There are suggestions about how to engage and collaborate with faith leaders and when not to do so.  Each section also gives examples of the issues being addressed in the field as well as a bibliography. 

A Faith Sensitive approach in humanitarian response: Guidance on mental health and psychosocial programming

Note that you need an account to access this online learning module. If you do not already have an account, you can register for free on the site and create a fabo-login. Also find more information on online learning modules here.

The Faith-Sensitive Humanitarian Response Mental Health and Psychosocial Support module was developed in collaboration between the ACT Alliance, the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities (JLI), Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), and the DCA Learning Lab. 

The purpose of the module is to give the learner an understanding of the relevance of faith to individuals’ and communities’ capacity to cope with mental health and psychosocial challenges in humanitarian emergencies. Furthermore, the module aims at facilitating the collaboration between the humanitarian sector and local faith actors. 

This is the first of two parts of a study about the implementation of the Humanitarian 2016 goals and the Global Compact to strengthen the ownership of local communities in aid and peacebuilding.  This first segment looks at the literature and issues.  Of great importance are the ways in which we as international NGOs need to change in order to make these goals operational.  Having a context-specific and people centred approach is critical.  Developing new partnership models, funding mechanisms and flexibility are all essential.  Approaching situations with a long term perspective is also critical, since looking to build the capacity of the LNGOs and the trust of the INGOs is something that takes time.  

The Triple Nexus, Localization, and Local Faith Actors: The intersections between faith, humanitarian response, development, and peace

This second part of the study of the triple nexus approach, which investigates how DanChurchAid is beginning to implement this concept with its local partners in S. Sudan.  The interviews highlight a number of challenges that local partners face, while at the same time being enthusiastic about this more ‘holistic’ approach to caring for the most vulnerable. For the INGO communities, developing a working method that includes long term planning and funding is a critical piece, as is capacity development among the locals.  One recommendation that was not mentioned was the need to develop means of monitoring and evaluation.  Presently, M&E focuses on the funding stream (humanitarian, development, peace).  However, with this more holistic approach, the change is not as clear-cut, with humanitarian goals perhaps influenced by peacebuilding measures and lack of livelihood progress impacted by conflicts within the area making it harder to measure.    

The Triple Nexus and Local Faith Actors in South Sudan: Findings from Primary Research

Shelter & Site Planning

The IASC guidelines for camp management provides the essential knowledge and action points from the main IASC guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial support (MHPSS) focusing on coordination, essential MHPSS considerations, human resources and assessment.

Based on the Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (IASC, 2007), this document provides an overview of essential knowledge that humanitarian actors within the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) cluster/sector should have about mental health and psychosocial (MHPSS) in humanitarian emergencies. It is addressed to managers and field staff, and is also relevant to camp management agencies working in situations where the CCCM cluster has not been activated. Including considerations of psycho-social wellbeing in the general CCCM activities will help protect the dignity of survivors and enhance the general humanitarian response. 

The document aims to provide and protect dignity to survivors and to enhance the general humanitarian response.The aim of any camp management is to ensure that the human rights of people living in the camps are protected and their human needs are met.

Field staff within camp management may use the IASC field guide

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings: What Should Camp Coordination and Camp Management Actors Know?

This document didactically proposes 12 key lessons emerging from the field on to how to integrate community-based approaches to protection. Through examples and cases from Asia, Africa and Latin America it describes how to work from a community-based perspective as for example: getting acquainted with the community, promoting the leaderships and active participation of different representatives from the field, including sustainability and advocating since the start of the work, and proposing participatory evaluations.

Understanding Community-Based Protection

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH)

The area of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is part of the core humanitarian interventions of immediate concern for mental health and psychosocial wellbeing. The way basic services such as water provision, sanitation and hygiene promotion are provided may either cause harm or contribute to both individual and communal wellbeing. As such WASH are dealt with as a main thematic area in the IASC main guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (2007 Action sheet 11:1) and the accompanying IASC field guide. CBPS should be mainstreamed by a WASH actor using the six MHPSS Core Principles (p. 9-13 in the main guidelines) to avoid causing harm and contribute to wellbeing. WASH has always been a core area of the Sphere Handbook and the 2018 edition brings the WASH chapter into the larger framework of the humanitarian charter, protection principles and the core humanitarian standard (CHS) all of which fits neatly into a CBPS approach of working with WASH. Particular attention is needed for access for people with various vulnerabilities and to involve representatives from various groups in the community in the planning, implementing, monitoring and reporting of WASH activities.

For mainstreaming CBPS in a WASH program, the new IASC Common M&E framework for MHPSS in emergencies is also helpful as it will help to name outcomes and indicators relevant for mainstreaming. See IASC The Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings. Look at "OUTCOME 1. Emergency responses do not cause harm and are dignified, participatory, community-owned, and socially and culturally acceptable”. This outcome comes with several valid indicators. Two examples:OUTCOME 1 INDICATORS:

O1.1: Percentage of affected people who report that emergency responses (i) fit with local values, (ii) are appropriate and (iii) are provided respectfully

O1.2: Percentage of affected people who report being actively involved in different phases of emergency response (for example, participation in needs assessment, programme design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation activities) 

A Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings

If you want to read more about CBPS on a basic or general level you can check the pages below

Illustration: CBPS Flower

What is CBPS?

The Community-Based Psychosocial Support (CBPS) approach builds on the own needs, resources and conditions of individuals and communities to handle daily life stressors, especially in crises situations.

Illustration: road signs with arrows

Key Guidelines

See which basic guidelines and standards CBPS is based on or related to and get quick access to these.