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Psychosocial programme evaluations in war-affected areas: evidence-based vs. evidence-informed practice

By L.F. Claessens


In the psychosocial working field in war-affected areas, the need for a knowledge base on intervention effectiveness is becoming increasingly important. Developmental psychosocial interventions in non-Western settings require a culturally and contextually sensitive, multi-level perspective on research and evidence. This study presents the framework of evidence-informed practice as an alternative for evidence-based practice. The model consists of four important elements of psychosocial effect evaluations in order to obtain evidence in both a culturally and scientific way: identification of the assumptions underlying an intervention, cultural validity of both working concepts and research methodology, and the use of monitoring and output information. After the theoretical background, the development of the Participatory Psychosocial Inventory (PPI) by War Child Holland will be described. A pilot study was conducted to assess different tools to measure change in behavior and to explore convergent validity of the PPI assignments. Responses on the PPI assignments were compared with scores on the 25-item Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and a 16-item questionnaire on aggressive and pro-social behavior in a sample of 36 children, 36 parents and 3 teachers in Northern Uganda. The creative and participative PPI assignments showed similar trends in aggressive and pro-social responses as the questionnaires, within the different respondent groups. Further assessment of the working concepts and the establishment of construct validity is required in order to conduct a validation study on the assignments. The information about children’s behavior and wellbeing obtained from the PPI evaluation tool should to be completed by evaluations with other stakeholders such as parents and teachers of the children

Topics: Sociale Wetenschappen, Evaluation, psychosocial, intervention, evidence-informed, war, children
Year: 2008
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