Mental Health health

Laying mental health foundations to help displaced people rebuild

Supporting the mental health needs of displaced people will be crucial to helping them lay the groundwork for future success.
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Mental Health is at the Generate Solutions stage

health

Micronutrient Cubes

A third of the 2 billion people who are micronutrient deficient are children. Many have little access to diverse foods or supplements. By working through private sector supply chains, this...

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empowerment

Urban Housing

Jordan

Rapid urbanization in many parts of the world has led to a great deal of challenges ensuring the availability of adequate housing. In the Middle East, this is coupled by...

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empowerment

Voluntary and Spontaneous Returns

Jordan

As people displaced by the Syria crisis begin returning to their homes, new approaches will be needed to deal with the unprecedented scale of returns.

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other

Financing Refugee Crisis Response

Together with the Centre for Global Disaster Protection, Airbel is working to assess the potential to use risk-based financing approaches to respond to refugee influxes.

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empowerment

Information Flows

Jordan

Displaced people live in challenging circumstances where accurate information can become difficult to obtain. Strengthening information flows can aid in decision-making and make their circumstances easier to manage.

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health

Mental Health

Jordan

Supporting the mental health needs of displaced people will be crucial to helping them lay the groundwork for future success.

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empowerment

Placement Algorithm

United States

Airbel is piloting and scaling an innovative machine learning algorithm developed by the Stanford University Immigration Policy Lab that matches refugees in areas where they are likely to thrive when...

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other

Resettlement Revolving Fund

In this new model for refugee resettlement finance, a self-sustaining fund provides countries with finance for refugee resettlement, and is replenished as refugees fuel economic growth.

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economic-wellbeing

Trade Accelerator

Focused support for Jordanian businesses to foster rapid growth and help them tap into the European market and hire refugees to do so.

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

health

Virtual Baby

This portable game would let children earn points for raising a happy baby, teaching them about sexual health and nutrition.

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

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empowerment

Ask Laila

A hotline, SMS, and web-based service to help resettled refugees get quick answers from a trusted local source - in their own language.

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This project became inactive following the Prototype phase

empowerment

Games for Diversity and Inclusion

Airbel worked closely with colleagues in the Asia Region to prototype approaches to increasing diversity and inclusivity in our workplaces through mechanisms with wide appeal, that can be easily integrated...

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This project graduated following the Prototype phase

health

Medicine Bank

Jordan

People with low income in Jordan often struggle to access the medicine they need. This solution is aimed at making supply chains more efficient to reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals....

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education

Pop Up Learning

Bangladesh

Pop-Up Learning is a computer-assisted learning program, aimed to mobilize quickly and efficiently on the onset of crisis.

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health

Sprout

Niger

Over 16 million children under the age of 3 are afflicted by severe acute malnutrition. To pinpoint the most impactful prevention methods, Sprout is experimenting with 3 distinct approaches.

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This project graduated following the Prototype phase

education

Spark

Tanzania

Spark creates alternative learning spaces outside of refugee camp schools to practice play-based learning and social-emotional skills with primary school children.

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This project became inactive following the Prototype phase

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empowerment

IRC Connect

United States

In partnership with Twilio.org, Airbel is developing an SMS-based system to streamline communication between caseworkers and newly-settled refugees as they adapt to their new lives in the United States.

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education

Coach Erevu

Tanzania

Coach Erevu is a virtual teacher coaching program designed to empower teachers to learn and practice social-emotional learning activities that they can use in their classrooms.

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health

Low-Literacy Malnutrition Tools

South Sudan

In hard-to-reach areas local community health workers are key to treating malnourished children. Commonly used tools for diagnosing and treating malnutrition have been adapted to meet the needs of workers...

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

other

SCAN

The Systematic Cost Analysis (SCAN) tool simplifies the process of conducting cost analyses, helping humanitarian and development actors make use of limited resources in a transparent and effective way.

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education

Tunakujenga

Tanzania

Tunakujenga is a family learning program designed to empower caregivers to engage in nurturing and playful parenting to support their children’s social and emotional development.

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safety

Becoming One

Uganda

Becoming One is a counseling program designed to bring couples closer and prevent intimate partner violence. The program is delivered in partnership with local faith leaders, who guide couples through...

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education

EmpaTeach

Tanzania

EmpaTeach is a project that aims to reduce corporal punishment in low resource settings by helping teachers learn positive discipline methods, change destructive thought patterns, and plan ahead for positive...

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economic-wellbeing

Match

Jordan

Working to counter the high rates of unemployment that follow mass displacement, the Match project in Jordan is testing a set of new innovations for placing vulnerable populations and refugees...

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safety

Modern Man

Liberia

Modern Man is a mobile messaging campaign that engages men with an aspirational and positive masculine identity to prevent intimate partner violence. It sends SMS messages to men who have...

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education

Ahlan Simsim

In this historic effort, IRC and Sesame Workshop have partnered to help children whose lives have been uprooted by the war in Syria to build brighter futures.

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health

Transforming Treatment for Acute Malnutrition

IRC is proposing a suite of five approaches to simplify treatment for acute malnutrition and to make it more accessible. Alongside an ambitious advocacy campaign, they have the potential to...

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A growing body of research points to the outsized impact of mental health issues in the refugee population. Common mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder tend to double during emergencies, and tend to impact the most vulnerably most powerfully. Mental health issues and poverty also form a self-reinforcing cycle which can make it challenging for people to rebuild after facing trauma.

Most refugees live in low-income countries, where only 2 percent of health providers are trained in mental health. In Jordan, even prior to the Syria crisis, the WHO estimated that the country faced a shortage of well over 1,000 mental health professionals. Mental illness remains a taboo with significant cultural barriers to identifying challenges and seeking care.

Some key areas in which support can be provided includes:

  • Basic services and security, including food, shelter and access to clean water.
  • Community and family support, such as family reunification, creation of child friendly spaces, and activation of social networks.
  • Focused non-specialized support, such as individual, family or group interventions, and ongoing care through community-based primary health care systems.
  • Specialized services, including clinical mental health care and specialized support for psychiatric disorders and trauma.

There is increasing evidence that “non-specialist workers in primary-care and community settings can deliver mental health care with great effectiveness to a variety of populations.”. Therefore, opportunities for innovation may exist around:

  1. Standardizing outcomes and developing culturally sensitive assessment tools;
  2. Better articulating core principles for integrating mental health in various activities, such as social connections, exercise, and mindfulness; and
  3. Developing new business models to incentivize community members to effectively deliver mental health support.

August 2019 | Design assessment kick-off

An assessment to better understand user experience of mental health and psychosocial support services in Jordan is kicked off, following approval by the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Working Group

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February 2019 | Four focus areas selected for further ideation

Of the eight areas in which initial scoping was conducted, four were selected: voluntary and spontaneous returns; mental health; urban housing; and information flows.

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July 2018 | Scoping exercise to understand problem areas

Eight problem areas arose from various sources, including community-driven Mahali lab, and work in the Jordan and Lebanon country offices. These areas were: urban housing, mental health, cash targeting, market interventions, voluntary returns, information flows, healthcare service delivery, and smart humanitarianism. IRC-Zolberg Fellows and IRC staff carried out desk research along with discussions with community members.

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July 2018 | Collaboration and team-building

Work underway to build a team and connect with relevant stakeholders in Jordan

The Airbel Impact Lab at IRC is a team of researchers, strategists and innovators committed to the accelerated design, rigorous evaluation and cost-effective scaling of the most impactful solutions supporting people affected by crisis.