Lessons Learned from Delivering Gender-based Violence and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services Training in Conflict-affected Areas in Ethiopia

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Resource author(s): Shailee Ghelani and Elizabeth Stones

Key topics: Gender and Inclusive Development, Technical Assistance

Regions: Sub-Saharan Africa

Related countries: Ethiopia


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Transform: Primary Health Care Activity has implemented several activities to strengthen GBV prevention and response services within Ethiopia’s primary health care system. Conflict between Tigrayan security forces and the Ethiopian Federal Government has affected populations in Tigray and parts of the Amhara and Afar regions and has devastated the health system in these areas. Simultaneously, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) significantly increased in conflict-affected areas, leading to steep increases in community members’ need for mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services. In response, the activity sought to strengthen post-SGBV health services and referral, particularly awareness of and referral to MHPSS services. This brief provides an overview of the process and lessons learned from designing and delivering a Community-based SGBV and MHPSS Awareness Creation and Case Identification training-of-trainers curriculum, which was cascaded in selected conflict affected districts in Amhara. Considerations for future programming, informed by inputs from trainers and training participants, are also included to support future programming to improve SGBV response services, including adequate MHPSS service referrals and care.

Photo by: Nena Terrell, USAID/Ethiopia

Courtney Carr

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Communications Specialist

Courtney Carr is EnCompass’ Communications Specialist, supporting the internal and external messaging and communications initiatives. She brings her knowledge and skills in writing, social media, video production, event planning and television news and radio production to the position. Before joining EnCompass, Ms. Carr worked at Community Science as a business development coordinator. She received her BA in Broadcast Journalism at Pennsylvania State University and holds a MA in Strategic Communication from American University.

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