Author: Ellen Eiling, Marianne Van Diggele-Holtland, Tom Van Yperen & Frits Boer
Eiling, E., Van Diggele-Holtland, M., Van Yperen, T., & Boer, F. (2014). Psychosocial support for children in the Republic of South Sudan: an evaluation outcome. Intervention, 12(1), 61-67.
This paper describes an exploratory outcome evaluation of War Child Holland’s psychosocial support intervention I DEAL, a life skills intervention aimed at improving the ability of children and young people affected by armed conflict in the Republic of South Sudan to ‘deal’ with their daily lives. The specific objectives were to assess whether I DEAL is consistent with local perceptions of wellbeing, and to explore the outcomes, as well as the factors that influence outcomes of this intervention.
The research was conducted using mixed methods, with a focus on qualitative and participatory methods: group exercises, individual goal setting (N=110) and interviews (N=62). To triangulate findings from children, interviews were held with teachers (N=7), facilitators (N=5), and parents (N=11).
Findings: It was found that the content of the intervention was consistent with children’s perceptions of wellbeing. Specific outcomes that were reported by children and confirmed by facilitators, teachers and parents included decreased fighting and improved relationships with peers and parents. Findings suggest that I DEAL positively affect children’s social coping skills and has the potential to improve children’s emotional coping skills and classroom performance.