Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Type



Despite great advancement in recent decades, rehabilitation resources for post-conflict communities are often lacking within the humanitarian field. Antonio Donini (2010, p. S233) argues that because humanitarianism is self-defined by those who practice it with little or no consideration for alternative approaches, reinventing a globally accepted notion of 'humanitarianism' is a difficult task. Post-conflict rehabilitation is one of the fields most affected by this 'particularistic' style of humanitarian action, with Western-influenced techniques dominating the spectrum. According to Peter Salama (2004, p. 1810), though mental health is increasingly discussed in policy and research forums as an essential component of emergency programs, implementation remains constrained by a lack of both clear and feasible program strategies and sufficient field staff with expertise in these areas. Additionally, there is a fundamental conceptual disagreement among humanitarian actors between advocates of a more Western, psychiatric approach and those of holistic, psychosocial approach. For example, programs that directly address psychosocial problems among children of war remain uncommon, whether in development or undeveloped nations (Harris, 2007, p. 137)