Organisational development to improve psycho-social support
Title: Organisational development to improve psycho-social support
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Palestinian territories
Overall term: 2008 to 2022
From the last century, Palestine has seen complicated changes in its political circumstances which have included the creation of Israel in 1948 and the 1967 war. As a result of the latter, Israel occupies the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip is under blockade since the 1990’s. These events have created detrimental political, economic and social circumstances which profoundly affect the life of the Palestinian people, many of whom became refugees.
Corruption and nepotism also contribute to triggering internal Palestinian conflicts. The prevailing lack of prospects and the shared feeling among the Palestinian population that neither negotiations nor non-violent resistance have been successful represent a considerable threat to the stability of the Palestinian Territories and also the region.
The effects of the Israeli occupation are the root cause of many psychosocial problems faced by children and adolescents. Due to the lack of work and prospects, Palestinians are vulnerable to increasing radicalisation as well as to psychological effects of military occupation such as frustration, powerlessness and violence. Thus, a major lack in human security can be witnessed given the fragile situation, particularly in marginalised areas; Area C in the West Bank, refugee camps, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian civil society organisations have stable internal structures to sustainably provide qualified psychosocial support, counselling, trauma-specific therapy to promote the resilience of vulnerable groups and to be able to cope with traumatic experiences. Safe spaces are open to marginalised communities in which individuals can express and pursue their needs for protection, identity and self-determination.
The Civil Peace Service (CPS) supports civil society organisations in strengthening and stabilising their capacities through measures in organisational development.
CPS experts and partner organisations working in the area of civil conflict transformation are engaged in the capacity development of staff, active in networking, outreach and awareness raising for partner organisations. Moreover, CPS Experts advise on translating complex conflict analyses and conflict-sensitive strategy development into the strategic and operational planning of organisations. Socio-cultural initiatives for human security also receive support.
In order to provide effective psychosocial support in developing new prospects and non-violent coping mechanisms, the training of yoga instructors, drug counselling, art therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy are offered to partners. The trainings are aimed multipliers from the fields of psychology, social- and youth work.
Partner organisations have been advised in strengthening their internal structures and systems in order to implement projects and activities in the conflict context in a sustainable way. This includes:
- Supporting a more robust establishment of organisational structures and internal workflows, including administration, fundraising, monitoring and evaluation.
- Needs assessments of psychosocial support in refugee camps
- The development of psychosocial support, staff self-care, stress relief, and drug prevention capacity development plans for partner organisations’ staff.
- Supporting the development of a Code of Conduct.