Title: Psychosocial Interventions for Displaced Populations (PSI)
Keywords: Psychosocial
Planning and programming
Mental health
Fragile environment
Conflict affected setting
Country: United Kingdom
Institution: UK - Institute for Global Health and Development, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
Course coordinator: Yasin Duman
Date start: 2024-01-15
Date end: 2024-02-16
About duration and dates: The taught component of the course is for five weeks.
Classification: advanced optional
Mode of delivery: Distance-based
ECTS credit points: 5 ECTS credits
SIT: 150 hours of SITs, which includes:
● Self-directed individual study of web-based materials and readings: 80 hours
● Participation on moderated discussion boards: 16 hours
● Participation in weekly online ‚live‘ seminars: 4 hours
● Assignment (development and presentation of a programme proposal): 50 hours
Language: English
Description: On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate critical awareness of the nature of the threat to personal and social well-being posed by conflict and forced migration;
- Conceptualise psychosocial needs - and interventions - with respect to relevant psychological, social and cultural frameworks and synthesise relevant insights;
- Critique the roles of culture and identity in shaping the experience of conflict and forced migration;
- Identify and critically appraise a variety of examples of psychosocial intervention with war-affected and forced migrant populations;
- Effectively and coherently plan a psychosocial intervention sensitive to local circumstance;
- Demonstrate critical awareness of relevant criteria and strategies for the effective evaluation of psychosocial programmes.
Assessment Procedures: Participants are required to present a 3,000 word programme proposal (in narrative form) for a psychosocial intervention which:
a. summarises the objectives of the intervention (with respect to documented needs)
b. outlines a conceptual framework for the proposed intervention
c. provides a clear rationale for the chosen approach
d. details key features of the proposed programme
e. outlines a proposed strategy for monitoring and evaluation of the intervention

Assessment is 100% of mark for the module.

The assignment will be graded against a marking matrix. Students must achieve 50% to pass. If a student does not achieve a pass on first attempt, they may resubmit the assignment at second attempt,
Content: This module seeks to establish critical competences for the advocacy, conceptualisation, appraisal, planning, implementation and evaluation of psychosocial programmes for war-affected populations, displaced persons and refugees.

The content of the module will include:
● The Developing Field of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS)
● The IASC MHPSS Guidelines
● Current Policy and Practice Developments
● Gender, Conflict and Displacement
● Children & forced displacement: MHPSS needs, rights & interventions
● Child-friendly Spaces as an Intervention
● Community-Based Psychosocial Support
● Humanitarian Staff Care
● Design, Monitoring and Evaluation of Psychosocial Programming
● Capacity Building for Psychosocial Support
Methods: The module is run online through our virtual learning environment (the Hub). This electronic learning programme allows students to pace their own learning, access learning materials (readings, videos, narrated PowerPoints) through the web and engage with one another through moderated discussion boards. Students complete a range of exercises through a journal function to allow tutors to monitor students’ progress and encourage further learning – including through dialogue with other participants.
Learning experiences include:
● Self-directed individual study of web-based materials and readings;
● Participation on moderated discussion boards;
● Assignment (development and presentation of a programme proposal)
Participants are required to attend a weekly one-hour ‘live’ tutorial to address key issues arising within ongoing discussion boards.
Prerequisites: ● General admission requirements for entry onto MSc courses run at IGHD include IELTS level of an overall score of 6.0 with no component less than 5.5; or for the TOEFL iBT an overall score of 80 with no component less than 17.
● Regular access to a computer with microphone and ideally a camera (for participation in online tutorials) and broadband internet for the duration of the module as well as the ability to watch videos
● Basic computer skills, including using the world-wide web
Attendance: Minimum number of students is usually 8. Maximum number of students is 30 (no limit on number of TropEd students). Applications stay open until two weeks before the course is due to start.
Selection: No specific selection criteria apply – first come first served principle.
Fees: Scot/UK/EU/International: £750 / -
Scholarships: None
Major changes since initial accreditation:
Alastair Ager and Rebecca Horn have succeeded Carola Eyber as module tutors. They have taken the opportunity to refresh material, particularly with regard to policy development and enhancement of the evidence base in the field in the last five years. Material thus features recent publications of the two tutors, alongside broader readings and other contemporary documentation. Objectives have been modestly revised to reflect developing practice in the field and the need for robust evaluation approaches. Learning methods have incorporated a broader range of materials including short video interviews with leading MHPSS practitioners, programme evaluations and documents and video presentations of humanitarian contexts and specific interventions. The assessment process has been simplified, with the Discussion Board fora within each unit serving as a formative basis for the single summative assessment which integrates module learning from across the units.
Student evaluation:
The module has been very positive evaluated by students. In 2016 the module was the top-ranked IGHD/QMU module with with100% of students satisfied with the achievement of learning organization of the module, 100% of students satisfied with the organization of the module (76% rating it excellent) and 90% of the class rating their interest in course material as excellent.
Lessons learned:
Our offering of the module suggests that – suitably structured and with good use made of vivid learning materials – an online class of this nature can create a learning experience beyond what can be achieved in the regular classroom. With participants from across the world engaging in theoretical and practice reflection, we have been able to bring experienced psychosocial practitioners into dialogue with those just beginning to explore this area of specialism. In the most recent offering of the course, we were able to connect physicians engaged in response to the zika virus in Brazil, with nurses working on GBV prevent programmes in South Sudan, with psychologists working with migrants in Lampadusa. This diversity of experience provides rich material for class discussion of even greater benefit to those with limited exposure to psychosocial programming in humanitarian contexts to date.
tropEd accreditation:
Accredited in September 2006 and re-accredited in May 2012 and February, 2017. Re-accredited Feb GA 2022. Valid until Feb 2027.
Remarks: Readings for the module include relevant IASC, UNICEF, IOM, WHO materials and academic papers including:

Bangpan, M., Dickson, K., Felix, L. and Chiumento, A. (2017). The impact of mental health and psychosocial support interventions on people affected by humanitarian emergencies: A systematic review. Humanitarian Evidence Programme. Oxford: Oxfam GB.

Wachter,K., Horn,R., Friis, E., Falb,K., Ward,L., Apio,C., Wanjiku,S. & Puffer,E. (2017) Drivers of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in Three Refugee Camps Violence Against Women, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801216689163

Horn, R., O’May, F., Esliker, R., Gwaikolo, W., Woensdregt, L., Ruttenberg, L. and Ager, A. (2019) The myth of the 1-day training: the effectiveness of psychosocial support capacity-building during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Global Mental Health, 6, e5, page 1 of 15. doi:10.1017/gmh.2019.2

Strohmeier, H., Scholte, W. F. & Ager, A. (2019) How to improve organisational staff support? Suggestions from humanitarian workers in South Sudan. Intervention: Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas, 17 (1), pp. 40-49.

Hermosilla, S., Metzler, J., Savage, K., Musa, M. & Ager, A. (2019) Child friendly spaces impact across five humanitarian settings: a meta-analysis. BMC Public Health 19, 576. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6939-2

Ager, W., French, M., Fitzgibbon, A. and Ager, A. (2019) The case for - and challenges of - faith-sensitive psychosocial programming. Intervention: Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas, 17 (1), pp. 69-75.

Metzler, J., Diaconu, K., Hermosilla, S., Kaijuka, R., Ebulu, G., Savage, K. & Ager, A. (2019) Short- and longer-term impacts of Child Friendly Space Interventions in Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement, Uganda. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 60:11, 1152–1163.
Email Address: PKadetz@qmu.ac.uk
Date Of Record Creation: 2012-01-14 02:12:26 (W3C-DTF)
Date Of Record Release: 2012-01-14 08:23:37 (W3C-DTF)
Date Record Checked: 2022-04-14 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2024-01-02 11:09:33 (W3C-DTF)