Voluntary commitment

A Model Programme for Psychosocial Resilience-Building and Wellbeing for Youth Worldwide in Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery


The Youth Resilience Programme engages psychology-related NGOs accredited at the United Nations to work with multistakeholder partners (as described by the SDGs), to develop and implement programmes to build capacity through training locals to provide psychosocial resilience workshops to youth to prepare for and recover from disasters by emphasizing resilience, personal strengths and community resources. Projects address long-term needs, as research proves that trauma persists for years post-disaster. This project to "build back better' (Rebati) is ongoing for four years in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake, presenting a positive case study highlighting the importance of psychosocial resilience in disaster risk reduction and recovery. Culturally-sensitive models have been implemented in Japan, China, Africa and the US, and can be adapted, scaled up, and replicated in various cultures. The programme is easily implemented and low-cost, with the train-the-trainers approach addressing sustainability. Pilot evaluation protocols are useful indicators showing the program’s effectiveness and best practices. The modules, that foster resilience, hope and post-traumatic growth, include techniques for empowerment and stress management, integrating arts with cultural activities and an exchange of a craft object amongst participating youth in various countries that establishes cross-cultural connection and education (called the Global Kids Connect Project), and that youth find enjoyable. The project has been presented in professional settings and mainstream media. The programme addresses the sustainable development goals and the post-2015 agenda to “promote mental health and wellbeing,” as well as psychosocial resilience, and fosters multi-stakeholder partnerships among local government, nongovernmental entities, academia, UN agencies and community groups. Plans include scaling up, expanding to other countries, and engaging other partners (e.g., private sector, UN missions, etc.), and incorporating income-generating activities (IGA) - a module included in the Girls Empowerment Program in Africa in Africa - to build resilience in the face of disasters of all kinds.


The project addresses target 3.4 in the Proposed Post-2015 agenda to “promote mental health and welling” and also targets about resilience
*The sample is generally youth in many countries who are facing difficult situations particularly post-disaster, which may also be complicated by poverty. These youth may be out of school because of the recent natural disaster, or currently in school or in programmes in community centers. The techniques can also be applied to adults, living in residential centers after a crisis, or relocated.
*The sample is also students and community workers who can be recruited to serve as “trainers” and who will benefit themselves from the training and workshop experience.


*The indicators are a set of outcome measures from an assessment protocol including both quantitative as well as qualitative measures.
*Self-reports by participants and family and community members will also be included.
*These will be pre-post the workshop experience, as well as long-term as follow-up.

*Scores showing improvement on selected measurement scales that have been shown to be useful in this context
*Self-report measures showing improvement on selected variable
*Mixed-method research methodology using quantitative and qualitative assessments that have been shown be useful in previous applications and in the literature in past research
*Improvements in the volunteer trainees, on selected variables (e.g., life skills, well-being, mental status, motivation for helping behavior, post-traumatic growth)
*Improvements on selected variables (e.g., wellbeing and resilience) of youth who participate in the workshops
*Increase in support systems, consistent with the IASC guidelines

Means of verification

*The verification will be made by evaluation by a team of trained and experienced professionals who supervise the trainings, assessments, and follow-up.
*Statistics will be derived from the assessments of the program participants and the data obtained from qualitative and quantitative reports of the subjects


FromMarch 2015 onwards

Contact Person

Dr Judy Kuriansky
Main UN representative IAAP; Faculty; Chair PCUN, International Association of Applied Psychology; Columbia University Teachers College; Psychology Coalition of NGOS accredited with ECOSOC at the UN


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