A Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings

Publication language
Date published
12 Apr 2017
Tools, guidelines and methodologies
Evaluation-related, Health, Psychosocial support, Monitoring

This document provides guidance in the assessment, research, design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programmes in emergency settings. Although designed specifically for emergency contexts (including protracted crises), the framework may also be applicable for the transition phases from emergency to development (including disaster risk reduction initiatives). The framework assumes familiarity with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings and an understanding of programming in humanitarian relief and/or development.

Mental health and psychosocial support refers to any type of local or outside support that aims to protect or promote psychosocial well-being and/or prevent or treat mental disorders. Therefore, the common framework described on the following pages is important for any emergency or development personnel who are directly or indirectly engaged in programmes that aim to influence the mental health and psychosocial well-being of others. This may include (but is not limited to) mental health professionals, child protection actors or educators, health providers, nutritionists, faith communities, or programme managers and practitioners engaged in initiatives such as peacebuilding, life skills or vocational learning.

The field of mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian settings is advancing rapidly, with various MHPSS activities now forming part of standard humanitarian responses. In 2007, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee released the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, which have been widely used to guide MHPSS programmes in many humanitarian contexts. At the same time, rigorous research that evaluates the effectiveness of specific MHPSS activities is increasingly being published.

However, the wide variation of goals, outcomes and indicators for the many MHPSS projects being implemented in different humanitarian settings has led to difficulties in demonstrating their value or impact. To address this challenge, a common monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework has been developed to supplement the IASC guidelines.