Approaches to providing psycho - social support for children, teachers and other school staff, and social and emotional learning for children in protracted conflict situations

Whilst it is now widely accepted that early psychosocial interventions must be an integral part of humanitarian assistance, there is widespread recognition that there remains a need to build a stronger evidence for such work. Reports suggest more extensive and robust evaluations are required to develop a better understanding of what approaches to psycho-social support are the most effective, and in which situations. Despite an increasing number of programmes supporting conflict affected areas, many programmes remain unevaluated, or are evaluated without the use of transparent or rigorous methods. This means little is known regarding the impact of education in emergency programmes in general, or specific programme components that support children’s wellbeing. Identified gaps in the evidence base include the relationship between wellbeing and mental health, and academic and learning outcomes, which is reasonably well-documented in non-emergency contexts, but not in humanitarian contexts. There is also a need to identify how psychosocial programmes impact on the ongoing stressors which also have an effect on wellbeing. Further research is necessary to understand the importance of contextual factors in promoting or inhibiting resilience in and through education systems. There is a paucity of studies that focus on youth and adolescents, and the inclusion of vulnerable groups. Further studies on outcome differences based on gender are also required. Although this report addresses the two questions separately, there are overlaps between the two which resulted in some of the detail for the second question being covered in the sections addressing the first.