Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Toolkit: Gender, Conflict Transformation & the Psychosocial Approach

In May 2006 David Becker and Barbara Weyermann from the Office of Psychosocial Issues or OPSI, a group I helped co-found and am a consultant to, completed the Toolkit: Gender, Conflict Transformation & the Psychosocial Approach. This was a major project undertaken for the Swiss Development Corporation. In developing the toolkit it was acknowledged that the literature on the issue of trauma is extensive, but at the same time is confusing and contradictory, and that a brief introduction into the subject matter of psychosocial work in the context of international cooperation does not yet exist. This toolkit aims to bridge that gap. It explains to both the staff of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) at the central office and the co-ordination offices and to the partner organisations how relevant the psychosocial way of thinking is for work in conflict and post-conflict areas. It also shows how regular development and relief activities can be adjusted in order to support the emotional and social recovery of the population. The toolkit does not, however, intend to replace psychological textbooks or manuals on gender and conflict transformation, or different areas and sectors of intervention, from HIV/AIDS to water and sanitation, but aims to convey a way of thinking and make suggestions as to how it can be put into practice. To read more about the toolkit and download it either in German or English, click here.