Organisation wide training in order to promote

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organisation-wide training in order to promote adoption of psychosocial principles within core programs. Others discussed the role of research and policy guidelines in promoting psychosocial work within their agencies, discussing ways in which they integrate research and evidence on best practices within activities, for example, promoting early childhood development programs within nutrition support activities [see Textbox 2 below]. MHPSS activities are a relatively new and emerging field within the broader field of humanitarian response. Therefore, agencies have found that defining, adopting and integrating the psychosocial approach within core activities has required significant investment in improving understanding and skills associated with psychosocial approaches. It is evident that promoting understanding and support for the psychosocial approach is a challenge for many organisations. 12 Psychosocial Care and Protection of Tsunami Affected Children: Guiding Principles, 13 IASC (2007) 14 Terre des Hommes (2008). 15 UNICEF, at 16 Ager, Strang, & Wessells. (2006). 17 A Global Review
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TEXTBOX 2 Program snapshot: Nutrition and Early Childhood Development [ECD] The minimum response for MHPSS activities in the food security and nutrition sector in the IASC Guidelines is: “Include specific social and psychological considerations (safe aid for all in dignity, considering cultural practices and household roles) in the provision of food and nutritional support.” Beyond this, some agencies – such as International Medical Corps [IMC] and UNICEF – have found that integration of psychosocial activities within nutrition programming improves outcomes of nutrition programs. Children need both nutrition and stimulation to grow and develop. Yet, in emergency contexts mothers may experience depression or other mental health problems, such that they are less likely to care adequately for their children and engage in activities to promote stimulation. Evidence shows that poor mother-child interaction can result in poor child development and growth, such that provision of food alone is inadequate to address the challenges of child malnutrition in emergency settings. 17 Evidence has shown that early childhood development [ECD] programs integrated within nutrition programming activities can improve growth and developmental outcomes for children. ECD activities include activities that aim to improve mother-to-child interaction, including promoting infant stimulation and play. ECD activities can also work to improve maternal mood, increasing mothers’ interaction with children. Most significantly, as IMC has pointed out, “[s] tudies suggest that ECD combined with nutritional interventions has more of a positive effect on child cognitive and physical development than either intervention alone.” 18 As such, integration of psychosocial activities is a way to improve effectiveness of nutrition programming.
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  • Fall '19
  • Humanitarian aid, psychosocial support

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