A faith-sensitive approach in humanitarian response: Guidance on mental health and psychosocial programming
Islamic Relief Worldwide & The Lutheran World Federation
As part of our on-going partnership, the Lutheran World Federation and Islamic Relief Worldwide began to work in 2016 on the development of A faith-sensitive approach in humanitarian response: Guidance on mental health and psychosocial programming. From the onset, we were clear that the guidance should be inclusive of all humanitarian actors, assisting both secular and faith-based organisations in the course of their work in the field. We use the term ‘faith-sensitive’ to bring the focus of the guidance on the faith of the people affected by conflict, disaster and displacement, rather than on the faith allegiance (or non-faith allegiance) of humanitarian organisations and agencies. The vast majority of people lay claim to some form of faith or religion, and they do not leave it behind in a humanitarian crisis. Taking people’s faith identity seriously in shaping humanitarian response is simply part of a people-centred approach.
This guidance has been developed in phases. A desk review looking at the literature relevant to faith-sensitive psychosocial programming, followed by fieldword in LWF and IRW country offices (Kenya, Jordan and Nepal), led to initial draft of the guidance, closely aligned with the existing IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (2007). This draft guidance was then reviewed by a wide range of humanitarian actors and others and was pilot-tested in a variety of settings, leading to the document you have now.
The Lutheran World Federation and Islamic Relief Worldwide (2018) A faith-sensitive approach in humanitarian response: Guidance on mental health and psychosocial programming. LWF and IRW: Geneva and Birmingham.