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09 Oct 2018

Psychosocial Support and Dialogue in the Syrian Arab Republic and Lebanon

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Following a series of consultative workshops held in Damascus in 2012, the International Organization for Migration began to implement its psychosocial support activities in the Syrian Arab Republic with a programme focused on capacity-building and support of national psychosocial practitioners and humanitarian responders, who were often operating without the necessary capacity.

The programme, funded by the Italian Cooperation, envisaged different training paths for psychosocial professionals in the Syrian Arab Republic. Among these was a one-year Executive Master’s programme in Psychosocial Support and Dialogue, designed in collaboration with the Lebanese University.

The course was organized in three pedagogical pillars:
(a) Concepts and practices of psychosocial support in conflict situations;
(b) Historical roots of the Syrian conflict, principles and practices of conflict mediation, transformation and dialogue; and
(c) Use of culture and cultural activities in both psychosocial and conflict mediation processes.

Over 40 students submitted reports of their guided fieldwork, which were analysed by a group of experts appointed by the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa. In each chapter of this resulting publication, the three authors elaborate a critical review of the theses, aiming to assess the effectiveness and challenges characterizing the different approaches described with specific reference to the geographical and social contexts of the Syrian Arab Republic and Lebanon. The findings of the three chapters will allow practitioners and scholars working in relevant fields to benefit from the critical analysis built by the expert authors, while adding value to the information and data collected through the master’s students’ fieldwork in areas that continue to be of difficult access for researchers.

  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgements
  • List of tables and figures
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1
  • Psychosocial support and dialogue in Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic: Psychosocial support approaches in crisis-affected countries
    • 1.1. Introduction
    • 1.2. The wounds
    • 1.3. Psychosocial support and dialogue concepts
    • 1.4. The bridges – Responding in the present
    • 1.5. Recommendations for future interventions
    • 1.6. Conclusion
    • 1.7. List of references
  • Chapter 2
  • Psychosocial support and dialogue in Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic: The role of art-based interventions
    • 2.1. Between art and health: The origin of social theatre intervention in the psychosocial field
    • 2.2. Social theatre: Between art, health and diversity
    • 2.3. Social theatre core concepts and psychosocial support
    • 2.4. Theatre and psychosocial support in the framework of the IOM Executive Professional Master’s degree programme in Lebanon
    • 2.5. The challenges of the context: Between culture and emergencies
    • 2.6. Theatre interventions with Syrian refugees and Lebanese host: Target groups and fieldworks’ structure
    • 2.7. Key aspects in social theatre intervention with Lebanese hosts and Syrian refugees
    • 2.8. Additional recommendations for theatre intervention in psychosocial support
    • 2.9. Moving from group intervention to community-based intervention: Further steps to be taken
    • 2.10. List of references
  • Chapter 3
  • Psychosocial support and dialogue in Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic: Conflict mediation approaches
    • 3.1. Introduction
    • 3.2. Literature review
    • 3.3. Definition of the chapter’s geographical scope
    • 3.4. Definition of the chapter’s thematic scope
    • 3.5. Critical analyses based on the field-research findings and the relevant literature
    • 3.6. Conclusion
    • 3.7. List of references
    • General Conclusion