Written 2009. Last update, April, 2014.
Typical of Western Aid Models in the psychosocial area is the assumption that people in disaster and conflict areas require outside delivery of psychosocial services by professional people.
RAD (Rapidly Assessing Disasters) assumes that within disaster and conflict areas are locals:
· who have relevant disaster recovery:
o Psycho-social resources, and
o Diverse resilience ways.
· who are natural nurturers experienced in using local culture psychosocial wellness ways
RAD (Rapidly Assessing Disasters) also assumes that National and International Aid Organisation may be informed and supported by RAD processes to modify their practices and processes such that they can better work with local capacity rather than continue to engage in ways that deplete local capacity.
A gathering of wellness healers from eleven countries in the East Asia Region in 2004 confirmed that the foregoing phenomenon (the presence of experienced natural nurturers) is present in every one of their countries as well as expressing concern about how to improve interfacing between Large Aid organisations and local capacity. Refer Interfacing Complementary Ways.
RAD sets up processes whereby this local capacity of self-help and mutual-help of local people by local people is supported and not collapsed and compromised by International Aid in the process of service delivery.
Consistent with Laceweb Way this page and associated pages are framed with the understanding that:
Nothing happens unless the local affected people in disaster and conflict areas want it to happen and are involved in it happening.
Along with this is the general absence within RAD Documents of impositional directive language of the active voice. Example: Rather than, ‘Tell me your story’, language is purposefully tentative and in the passive voice; example: We’re open to hearing your stories.
THE RAD TEMPLATE
This Laceweb Resource (short name RAD) may provide a guiding framework and a template for preparing Briefing Reports by one or more people or a Rapidly Deployed Team to:
o Quickly gain a sense of what is actually happening on the ground during or immediately after a disaster or conflict
o Be able to send a stream of information to others about the local context to possibly guide non-compromising outside support.
RAD may also be well used in post-disaster periods.
Note: Underlined terms are generally hyperlinks.
RAD emerged from realising in the late 1980s that existing natural nurturer healer networks in the South East Asia Pacific Region (the Region) had healer people very suited to carrying out Rapid assessment of wellness, psychosocial Resources and resilience following disasters and conflicts.
The passion based artistry in action was towards effectively providing support to grassroots self-help and mutual-help addressing psycho-emotional and other community wellness issues in times of emergencies.
An essential element in this effort is the forging of new alliances and the revitalization of existing links among various resonant local community-based energies, organizations, networks and people working in psychosocial healing in the Region (healing in the early use of the term relating to making whole).
It is being recognised that people of the Region, often with no formal academic or professional training in the psychosocial area are providing valuable and palpable support to others in times of emergency. For these people, caring and nurturing is a natural aspect of their everyday life. These people have been termed ‘natural nurturers’.
A gathering of healers from eleven counties in the Region spoke of the natural occurrence of natural nurturers in every one of the eleven countries. They discussed the processes and qualities of these nurturers using cultural healing artistry. Healers created symbols that represented the natural nurturer, for example, the Filipino people chose the coconut tree as a symbol as it provides food, shelter and amenity in so many ways.
Local grassroots people in the Region (Indigenous people, small marginalised minorities, internally displaced people and the like) have psychosocial resources, competences and resilience ways that they draw upon in times of emergencies. One example of local natural nurturers (who had no prior experience of extreme stress) healing themselves during a week in an interrogation centre is the Laceweb Page Regaining Balance Through Mutual Help.
There is a shared wisdom, often born of adversity that supports their integrity in hard times. Many have considerable resilience, and so there continues to be moves to better know this experience and explore ways to tap into it and use and extend it in socially ecological ways in respectfully supporting others following emergencies, disasters, and conflicts in differing contexts.
An underlying assumption is that a strong and proactive network of local people and community bodies in the Region may well be able to support in various ways the carrying out a rapid ‘snapshot ‘of the local context on the ground in times of emergencies towards evolving supported sustainable psychosocial wellbeing outcomes. Processes are evolving for action to support and not harm or compromise.
Another assumption of the RAD Documentation is that natural nurturers drawn from the local disaster affected villages and countryside may:
o be supported to be fully involved in performing this snapshot of psychosocial need, capacity, resilience and healing ways during/following an emergency
o be able to immediately provide support to these capacities, and if the locals want this, to quickly inform others so they may be better able to assist in ways that respect and support local capacities and resources, and in no way harm or collapse local way.
RAD is a template document that may assist in creating the ‘snapshot’.
RAD has been emerging from sustained action research involving thousands of people since the 1950’s throughout the Oceania Australasia SE Asia Region. Refer Community Ways for Healing the World.
RAD and associated processes have been peer-reviewed and refined by competent people to Professor Level from eleven countries in the Region. It has been many times a theme at international conferences. For example, in 2013 it was the theme at an international conference on community psychiatry exploring mutual-help processes for supporting folk with mental strife following disasters and conflicts in low and middle income communities and countries (LAMI). Also refer The Laceweb Network where Laceweb was sited by Professor De Castro from the Philippines at an International Conference in Kathmandu in Nepal.
This RAD Template has been tested under post-war conditions where a Rapidly Deployed Team were able to send out a detailed brief within one hour of arriving in the post war zone and two comprehensive briefings a day over a five day stay in the post war zone, with a major comprehensive report being released within one day of return to home country.
RAD is an ever evolving transitional document. Actions that work are continually being used to update the wording. The RAD version you are reading is its present form as at the document date.
RAD recognises the differing cultural ways, psychologies, and perspectives of grassroots folk in the Oceania SE Asia Australasia Region.
RAD guides the user in culturally sensitive interfacing action towards looking for capacity, relevant competence, resilience in its many local forms, and may guide looking for whole-of-body-mind resources (refer Interfacing Document).
RAD draws upon embodied knowing of those with competence born from experience of what works in disaster and conflict contexts and what works in transforming people and communities to wellness.
RAD practice and process while drawn from healing ways of the Region, are also consistent with the latest understandings from the human sciences including neuro-psycho-biology.
RAD may support and energise the emergence of post-disaster life-ways formed by local disaster-affected folk engaged in mutual-help re-constituting societies of their own making. (Refer Extegrity Documentation)
RAD also assumes that any support from outside the disaster affected region comes from folk familiar with mutual-help ways and experienced in culturally sensitive intercultural interfacing and enabling support for self-help & mutual-help. Refer Un-Inma Pikit Fieldtrip Report
RAD assumes that nothing will happen unless the local people want it to happen, and are making it happen, perhaps with culturally sensitive outside support.
RAD based briefings and reports may be used to guide international aid organisations in ways of engaging that do not collapse local capacity for mutual-help (refer Interfacing document). Also refer Un-Inma Pikit Fieldtrip Report
Some have printed the following Template on A5 paper in landscape mode and plasticised the folded pages as a little waterproof pocket- sized booklet for handy reference
GUIDES TO OBTAINING A SENSE OF LIFE ON THE GROUND
A Briefing Paper may be developed by one or more folk or a Rapidly Deployed Team. It is extremely brief first briefing document – to convey a feel for context.
The first two Sections of the Template support preparing the first Brief Glimpse of what is it like on the ground.
The Later sections support evolving a more comprehensive RAD Brief
1) As cultural appropriate in the context, provide words, audio, videos and photos creating a picture and story about the affected populations and conditions on the ground
2) What is the general resiliency and functioning of the community?
3) How long since people have had food? Water? What food and water have they had? What is the availability of fresh water and good food?
4) What shelter do they have?
5) Estimates of distribution by
g) pregnant through rape
i) unaccompanied minors
k) other categories
6) Identify and rank the causes of mortality and morbidity among the affected local populations
7) Identify traumatic events experienced by the affected local populations
8) Provide a picture of special-needs groups in need of support; examples:
a) Escaped/demobilized child soldiers
b) Orphans and unaccompanied children
c) People who are incapable of self-care
d) Women who have been raped
9) Give a feel for the culture(s), religion(s), spiritualities, cosmologies, lore/way of life, social organization and political organization of the affected area and communities; also, important differences and conflicts if any between and within affected people, host communities, and dominant power structure(s) in the affected area.
10) What are the physical conditions:
i. Extreme weather
ii. Mud slides
vi. Volcanic Ash
ix. Unexploded ordinance
x. Access to river crossing
xi. Blocked roads
11) Provide any other significant contextual detail for new arrival Aid teams, including dangers, threats, traps, pitfalls, etc.
12) How does the local peoples’ resilience, resourcefulness and competency manifest itself among the people by gender:
c. Young adults
f. Old People
13) Convey a feel for how communities, families, friendship networks, and people among the various communities affected respond to the con-sequences of violence and trauma
14) Briefly paint a picture of the differing local ways people use to support themselves and each other
15) Who have you identified who are:
a) Natural nurturers and carers
b) People in self-help wellbeing networks
c) Nodal people in these networks
16) How can these folk (in 15 above) be contacted? What security concerns are there about releasing these people’s names and contact details?
17) What local disaster response initiatives exist? Have they been implemented? With what effect?
18) Are there any support or self-help groups and mutual-help groups within refugee communities and or host support groups? (For example, between children, adolescents, adults, elderly, or between women and men, among the disabled, and among women?)
19) Identify any resources, coping skills and behaviour strengthening at personal and community levels of re-constituting wellbeing and well functioning
20) Specify the healing ways that are used. Possible examples to look out for:
b) Body approaches
c) Group approaches
d) Community approaches
e) Whole village healing ceremonies
f) Other ceremonies & rituals
g) Cultural healing artistry - examples:
21) Specify local ways that work in supporting people following disasters?
22) What are the differing local cultural ways for mediating and reconciling between conflicting parties? What are the traditional reconciliation ceremonies and ways? What needs to happen for these ceremonies to take place? What is blocking these reconciliation ceremonies taking place and what steps may be taken to remove these blocks
23) What Local Ways are there that have been used successfully in the past that they are not using for this disaster. If some are specified, may any of these be fitting this time, or fitting if adapted?
24) Describe everyday-life community, village and/or clan/tribal processes and everyday simple actions that support the re-constituting of their way of life in wellness together; perhaps evolving ways of their own making that may prevent conflicts in the future through re-constituting ways better fitting all involved. For example, watch for spontaneous children’s play and games using commonly found objects. There are dozens of games children play with footwear, especially with thongs. Children’s play may lift the spirits of older ones. A core principle is that play to order is not Play (refer Johan Huizinga, 1971. Homo Ludens (Man the Player). Beacon Press). Even the birds chirping in the trees again may help; anything that restores aspects of their prior everyday normal life
25) Which ones of these have been re-constituted?
26) What others could be re-constituted?
27) Who are other psychosocial resource people within these communities? For example, teachers, social workers, traditional healers, women's associations, community leaders, and external agencies?
28) How are the resource people in (27) being used? How may they be better used?
29) Who are other local psychosocial resource people outside these communities who would be acceptable to them, for example, skilled people from the local area, nearby provinces, national NGOs and community based entities, and people from universities and religious groups
30) What other community institutions, associations, networks and social processes existed before the emergency?
31) Which of these are still functioning or could be reconstituted in a similar or adapted form?
32) What support functions were available via various levels of local governance prior to the current context?
33) What understandings and cultural sensitivities do these governance-based resources/service providers have about local mutual-help for wellbeing?
34) Which resources/services are acceptable to the people affected?
35) Which of these are appropriate resources/services for these people in this context? For example, sometimes available service providers are deemed to be inherently part of the enemy and no contact is acceptable.
36) What steps may locals take to increase trust between affected folk?
37) What, if any psychologists, community psychiatrist, counsellors, and other mental health personnel and actual/potential paraprofessional people are available locally or in nearby areas who are acceptable to the local people?
32) Do the community/communities show cohesion and solidarity?
33) Is there communication and cooperation between tribes, ethnic/political groups, internally displaced people, refugees, and host community/ communities? How may communication and cooperation be improved? Especially among previously conflicting groups
34) Do formal or informal educational activities, including extracurricular ones exist? Can they be started?
SECTION 1. GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE SITUATION AND THE DISASTER OR CONFLICT
Description of the conflict, of the affected areas, of the populations and expected movements affecting wellness
1. Geographic and environmental (natural) characteristics of the affected area
2. Previous conditions in the affected area; what was life like before the disaster / conflict; changes that occurred due to the disaster/conflict
3. Administrative and political divisions in the affected area
4. Nature of the disaster/conflict itself
5. Expected developments of the disaster/conflict
6. Areas that are still no-go areas; ways for resolving this
7. Expected population movements
8. Population movements that have already taken place
9. Adequacy of security,
10. Types and degree of violence:
b) Invasions into refugee camps
c) Killings in affected areas
h) Cultural Destruction
Wellness Factors Relating to Basic Survival Situation and Needs:
1. Food supplies, recent food distribution, and future food needs
2. Supply and quality of water
3. Adequacy of sanitation
4. Situation of shelter and clothing
5. Toxic and polluted environments
6. Unexploded ordinance
7. Other basic survival priority needs of the affected population
8. Guns and ammunition present
9. Factors contributing to or detracting from safety
10. Morbidity, death rates, and causes (age, gender specific if possible)
Wellness Factors Relating to Economic Aspects:
1. Employment or income generating activities and infrastructure
2. Presence of fraud, graft, corruption, misappropriating of monies
3. Unequal distribution of resources and positions by:
c. Other kind of grouping
Wellness Factors Relating to Community Aspects:
2. Ongoing political ethnic and other tensions
3. Problems with youngsters, other groups
4. Cultural Reconciliation ceremonies still to be completed; factors delaying these ceremonies; factors that would facilitate these ceremonies taking place
Wellness Factors Relating to Education
1. Current education programs for:
a. the refugee
b. displaced communities
c. war-affected communities
2. Important problems for education generated by the conflict
3. Current roles and activities of teachers (if not employed in formal education)
4. Status of transport, fuel, communication, and other logistic necessities
SECTION II. DESCRIPTION OF THE AFFECTED POPULATIONS
Statistics are not always available during a crisis. Therefore data collected on these aspects can be simple estimates.
Remember the different categories of affected populations and the variability within each of them:
Refugees, internally displaced, existence of old refugee groups/displaced populations, if the problem is not new, returnees, non-displaced war-affected populations, others.
1) Estimates of population by age, gender, and vulnerability
2) Orphans, unaccompanied minors, street children
3) Children / adolescent heads of household
4) Demobilized child soldiers, ex-soldiers, active soldiers, ex-"freedom fighters"
5) Single mothers
6) Survivors of torture
7) Survivors of sexual violence
10) Chronically mentally ill: in institutions, in families, or elsewhere
11) Physically disabled and developmentally delayed
12) Average household size
13) Ethnic composition and place of origin of affected population (Where are they from?)
14) Location of the affected population:
a) camps, transit centres, besieged villages, towns;
b) environment: rural, urban, desert, jungle, tropical;
c) accessibility: easy, difficult, dangerous, etc.
15) Mapping of the locations and estimated numbers of various types of the affected populations
16) Location and number of those living with relatives, and local people in rural and urban areas
SECTION III. WELLNESS NEEDS
1) Exposure of the population affected by the disaster/conflict to violence and to traumatic events and current village/camp life
2) How sudden was the move?
3) When and how refugees arrive in present locations?
4) What have they gone through?
d) Groups exposed to atrocity
5) Ongoing/daily violence harassment: against whole populations or against women, or other groups
7) Sexual violence against adults or children
8) Domestic violence, including child abuse
9) Armed attacks, artillery shelling, bombing, etc.
10) Separation of family
11) Forced to perpetrate violence against their own family, community, nation
12) Type of disruption of most important cultural and social rituals, family and community structure
14) Imprisonment, detention in re-education/ concentration camps and other kinds of settings
15) Deprivation of food/water
16) Epidemics with deaths
17) Breakdown of traditional family roles and support networks
18) Ethnic, political, religious disputes
19) Breakdown of prior cultural framings e.g. Village Courts; role of Chiefs and Paramount Chiefs; implications
20) Lack of privacy
21) Disruption of status (e.g., economic decline, loss of power in the community)
SECTION IV. CULTURAL, RELIGIOUS, POLITICAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC ISSUES FOR THE REFUGEES AND INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLE (IDPs)
1) Community characteristics before and after the conflict – strengths, resistance, resilience
2) Social structure; clans, tribe, ethnic
3) Are there any psychological support structure and type of administration: civil, military (example: family, church, community)?
4) Family structure: extended family, handling of financial resources, of family problems/hazards
5) Economic structure: kind of production and management of resources at family, district/or camp and national levels
6) Brief history of the host community or country, including conflict and disaster history
7) Brief history of the relationship between host, refugee and internal/external displaced groups
a) Sanctions/taboos about specific topics, traditions, rituals or social inter-actions:
v. Acts of revenge
vi. Justice, etc.
8) Religious and spiritual aspects of host nation:
a) Are they similar to those of refugee community, are the relationships friendly in spirit of solidarity or very different creating or maintaining tensions and problems
9) Emerging social structure and self-organization in the concerned community, existing activities
10) Are there any emerging community leaders and what kind - political, ethnic, religious, ex-military, ex-freedom fighters?
11) What kind of emerging social groups or associations, parties, etc. are there?
SECTION V. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF IMPORTANT CULTURAL ASPECTS
Describe how people deal with consequences of violence and trauma: individual/ family/ community levels and how these processes/mechanisms are affected by the current situation
1. Is the society matrilineal or patrilineal, or other?
2. Kind of religion/s and role of priests, traditional healers, kings, other community ]authorities’
3. How did/does the community treat and consider people with physical illness/disability, mental illness and other handicaps?
4. Ways conflict and disagreement are dealt with by people in the current situation
5. How are emotions/thoughts expressed? (For example, sadness, fear, anger, happiness, suspicion, attitudes, disagreement, intolerance, prejudice, etc.)
6. How did the culture/traditions of the refugee community consider and react to psychosocial illness and problems? Has this changed as a result of the disaster/conflict?
Self-help and Mutual Help Wellness Action
1) Do people ask for help or for psychological support when they need it? If yes, how are they seen by their community?
2) How do people understand and respond to violence and suffering?
3) How do people respond to death, burial, bereavement and loss?
4) In the current context, are there any situations in which traditions and rituals cannot be practised? (For example: for the missing, for the children born as a result of rape, for those who are buried on the way to exile, or when hiding in remote areas, in exile, or in the camps, etc.)
SECTION VI. MENTAL HEALTH POLICY AND RESOURCES
This section has been incorporated to collect information for International and other Bodies operating on ‘Mental Health’ diagnose and prescribe Frameworks
General information on mental health policy and action plan
1. Is there a national mental health policy on prevention, emergency response relief, and longer-term programs?
2. Does it apply to asylum seekers, refugees, displaced, and other non-displaced populations affected by the conflict?
3. If this policy existed before the conflict, has it been adapted to the current needs?
4. Does a mental health operation plan exist? Is it being implemented? If so, by whom, where, since when?
5. How can a copy of the plan be obtained? How does one contact the people in charge?
6. Is there anyone responsible for mental health activities?
Mental health resources available in the affected and host communities
1) Are there a data collection, dissemination, and updating systems including follow up on the security, human rights violations, and other problems with an impact on mental health? Which organization is responsible for it?
2) Was any other mental health needs assessments carried out? By whom? For what purpose? Were locals or refugees involved?
3) Were the organisers/authors contacted? Can they be?
4) How can the reports be obtained?
5) Are there national mental health strategies addressing the emergency?
6) Are there any national mental health personnel in the area of concern? If yes, what type and how many?
7) Are there any mental health professionals within the refugee community, within the camps? What type and how many?
8) How can these people be reached?
9) What mental health training activities are available? By whom?
SECTION VII. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Recommendations for an immediate and long term community-oriented wellness response based on the findings of the RAD. The report should include most important facts among which the following
1. Recommendations for immediate and long-term support of the most vulnerable
2. Recommendations for immediate and longer term support of the most serious illness of the overall population. What inter-generational activities, exchanges, support exists and what is needed?
3. Recommendations for immediate and longer term capacity building
4. Recommendations of immediate and longer term implementation of wellness action
5. Indication of available resources & indication of required resources
6. Provide from list of agencies involved (to be annexed) indication of possible collaborating
7. Describe major obstacles - constraints, risks, assets for implementation of wellness action
8. Recommendations in priority of the most cost-effective local support, external support and collaborations needed
9. Existing activities and location (contacts) of self-organization of the community to be maintained or expanded as a significant power resource of the community
10. Existing activities organized by the host community and local and inter-national agencies to be maintained or expanded
11. Ways to prevent breakdown of local support processes
RAD FEEDBACK FORM
After using the RAD please provide the following feedback to assist in revising the resource to make it as useful as possible for the user in the field. Please print or write clearly so that your comments can be used. Please use the back of this sheet or attach additional pages if necessary.
Thanks for sending it to:
RAD Emergency Wellness Intelligence and Capacity Building
1. In which situation and country/countries did you use this resource?
2. Questions to be added:
3. Material to be deleted:
4. How can the format of RAD be changed to be more effective?
5. What worked best about this resource?
6. What was most cumbersome about the resource?
7. What other suggestions do you have?
RAD RELATED RESOURCES
The following resources have been prepared and are being continually evolved:
a) Preliminary Readings for finding and preparing local natural nurturers for evolving or extending Healing Networks.
b) A set of experiential learning modules and notes for participants
c) Facilitators guide and resources
THE RAD REPORT
The Basic Structure to the Report:
1. The Context
2. The Data
3. The Analysis
4. The Recommendations
5. The Annexes:
a. A list of the active local people and networks enabling local self-help and mutual help and details of how to find them
b. Other situational, health, or wellness reports, if any;
c. A list of active provincial, national and international relief agencies and key contact people
d. The List of (with names of contact people) local and international agencies involved in psychosocial projects; copies of such projects should be collected.
RAD Reports are clearly worded.
Decision-makers and staff of local, national and international organisations whose actions depend on the results of RAD Reports may have little training or experience in interpreting wellness data. Clear concise everyday language is used. The report is practically brief.
Depending on contexts, the complexity of the situation might require a few days of reflection before writing the Major Briefing Report to prevent hasty conclusions and decisions.
To reiterate, it may be preferable to deliver preliminary conclusions and recommendations for immediate actions while preparing the detailed report for release.
The report gives clear indications of:
1. Immediate priority needs
2. The active and latent capacity for self-help and mutual help among the various populations and communities
3. Who the local enablers and nodal people in mutual-help networks, are and how to contact them. Some nodal people may request to remain invisible for their personal safety.
4. A brief description of the local and other processes being used in self-help and mutual- help
5. A brief description of how they may be supported if they want support
6. The needs of the chronic mentally ill are distinguished from those resulting from the emergency.
7. Clear recommendations are given regarding the best approaches, strategies, and processes in supporting the local people support themselves
8. If possible, worst and best-case scenarios are specified along with a contingency plan for the next 3-6 months.
9. What is our estimate of local wellness priorities if the conflict continues, or if a peace is reached?