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Network Paper 14: The Impact of War and Atrocity on Civilian Populations

Basic Principles for NGO Interventions and Critique of Psycho-social Trauma Projects


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About this resource

Resource type:Programme/project reviews
Keywords:Conflict, violence & peace, Education, Health, Psychosocial, Training
Countries:Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda
Author(s):Summerfield, D.
Date published:April 1996
Publisher:Overseas Development Institute

Current patterns of violent conflict worldwide mean that over 90% of all casualties are civilian and the terrorisation of whole populations is used as a means of social control. Victims must also endure the deliberate demolition of their economic, social and cultural worlds. How such events are understood is crucial in determining the ways war-affected populations experience and describe them, and the forms of coping and help-seeking brought into play. These are complex and dynamic processes, with outcomes shaped by social, cultural and political forces.
The paper analyses psychosocial trauma projects and identify principles for NGO interventions.


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