The Impact of a Livelihood Intervention on Psychosocial Wellbeing and Economic Empowerment in an Ongoing Conflict Setting: The Gaza Strip
Hammad, J. and Tribe, R. 2020. The Impact of a Livelihood Intervention on Psychosocial Wellbeing and Economic Empowerment in an Ongoing Conflict Setting: The Gaza Strip. Intervention: Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas. 18 (2), pp. 108-118. https://doi.org/10.4103/INTV.INTV_35_19
|Hammad, J. and Tribe, R.
The literature indicates that poverty and unemployment in conflict-affected areas are major stressors that negatively affect civilian wellbeing and mental health. Restoring livelihoods is expected to have a positive impact on wellbeing (Inter-Agency Standing Committee, 2007). There is a lack of research evaluating livelihood interventions in ongoing conflict settings. This study evaluated an economic empowerment programme (EEP) for seven young Palestinian university graduates experiencing poverty and unemployment (as per the selection criteria for the EEP), living in the Gaza Strip, occupied Palestinian territories. Semi-structured interviews were conducted. Thematic analysis was used. Three themes were identified: (1) economic empowerment, (2) psychological benefits (e.g. hope, confidence and improved morale) and (3) income generation fosters psychosocial empowerment. The evaluation findings indicated that despite the difficult economic conditions in Gaza, the EEP was found to help address psychosocial issues and reduced poverty and unemployment. It enabled participants to meet their own and their family’s basic and crucial needs, thus enabling financial survival and facilitating greater economic security. For some participants, income generation was found to increase agency, independence, social mobility, self-sufficiency and decision-making ability. The findings indicated that economic and psychological benefits were maintained 2 years 5 months after the EPP completion, including 8 months postwar. The analysis revealed that participants conceptualised empowerment as being able to work and having a livelihood and that income generation led to empowerment. The implications of this study and the relevance of the findings to mental health and disaster relief are considered, and further areas of exploration are discussed.
|Intervention: Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas
|18 (2), pp. 108-118
|Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
File Access Level
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
|30 Nov 2020
|Publication process dates
|17 Jul 2020
|01 Dec 2020
|© 2020 Intervention, Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas
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