Palestinian Adolescents Coping with Trauma (PACT) - Phase III

Violent conflict has been repeatedly shown to result in severe, long-term social and mental health problems for exposed children and adolescents. While in the developed world, it is generally accepted that individuals seek professional one-on-one psychological or psychiatric aid, a professionalized biomedical model may not be effective for dealing with trauma in the developing world.

In the first phase of the project (101323), researchers combined standardized research instruments with qualitative field enquiry to understand youth exposure to trauma, symptoms of psychological distress, coping mechanisms, socioeconomic status, available social support, and views regarding the violence around them and their hopes for the future. It also documented the context and local history of conflict in Ramallah district, the site of the enquiry. The findings led to the design and pilot of a community intervention addressing social suffering in non-biomedical ways during the second phase (103302). The intervention, implemented by Community-based Rehabilitation (CBR) at four locations on the West Bank, engages communities in understanding and dealing with their problems by strengthening and mobilizing existing social support networks and communal assets.

Phase III of the PACT project will mainstream and extend use of the model in CBR practice, providing an opportunity to study the many and unpredictable aspects of translating knowledge into practice. Documentation and analysis of the process will elucidate the factors that facilitate or inhibit a psychosocial health promotion program and whether there are significant differences between implementing such a program in rural and urban settings.

It is expected that the results of the project will be of importance to mental health development both locally and internationally, and will provide a model that can serve as a partial alternative to the biomedical approach.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Saturday, November 24, 2007

End Date

Friday, May 13, 2011


30 months

IDRC Officer

Alma, Eileen

Total funding

CA$ 440,000


Middle East, West Bank and Gaza, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Ms. Yoke van der Meulen-Rabaia

Project Leader

Dr. Rita Giacaman


Birzeit University

Institution Country

West Bank and Gaza

Institution Website