As such the focus and quality of mhpss activities

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understood as MHPSS activities. As such, the focus and quality of MHPSS activities could be improved through an increase in specific indicators that link to MHPSS activities, or re-grouping of relevant indicators under a series of MHPSS-specific indicators. Currently, Focus is a limited tool for the purposes of capturing the scope and impact of MHPSS activities, which are multi-sectoral and implicated in many types of programs and approaches. In terms of evaluation, approaches to understanding the impact of UNHCR’s MHPSS activities on PoC are needed. Evaluation of the impact of MHPSS activities is a central challenge in the MHPSS field overall [as discussed previously in Textbox 8]. Impacts of MHPSS activities are often less obvious and apparent than impacts of other humanitarian interventions, yet careful and structured evaluation can bring to light important impacts of these activities, making visible many of the potentially invisible yet significant benefits of MHPSS interventions in humanitarian contexts. Challenges in the field of evaluation of MHPSS programs are broadly applicable to all agencies involved in MHPSS activities. However, lack of evidence generated in high-quality evaluations was cited numerous times by UNHCR staff as a primary reason for lack of support for MHPSS activities within UNHCR, and therefore is particularly important for moving UNHCR’s work in this area forward. Evidence and evaluation is an essential element of promoting and developing UNHCR’s MHPSS activities. However, as reported in the survey, monitoring and evaluation of MHPSS activities within UNHCR is perceived as weak. UNHCR’s current approaches to evaluating MHPSS activities have primarily been through ad hoc collaborations with WHO and consultants, and have been located in the Health Unit. These findings indicate the necessity of implementing Recommendation 4. Compounding the lack of available data from evaluations is the issue of relevance of available data for use for a humanitarian organisation such as UNHCR. A disconnect between “relevance” (practitioners’ priorities that research be able to be readily translated into solutions) and “excellence” (academic researchers’ priorities that research be conducted using high quality scientific methods to ensure validity of results) is evident. 135 This indicates a need to increase communication and cooperation between researchers and practitioners. 136 UNHCR is uniquely positioned within the humanitarian sector to enter into long-term partnerships with academic institutions to collaborate on evidence-generation and evidence-dissemination in the field. As such, Recommendation 5 identifies UNHCR’s role in promoting evaluation and dissemination of findings in order to improve programs in the field.
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  • Fall '19
  • Humanitarian aid, psychosocial support

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