Peacebuilding and health / counselling: resources guide

Find here our selection of resources on peacebuilding and health and counselling. If you have any suggestions for more resources, please add them in the comments at the end of this page.

Key Resources

Beyond the Log Frame: A New Tool for Examining Health and Peacebuilding Initiatives

How do we move from identifying ethical principles to enhancing development practice? How can donors and NGOs move beyond the reporting of technical outputs to explore less tangible aspects of their health projects: contributions to rebuilding trust, promoting social cohesion, and enhancing good governance at community level? This article considers these questions in relation to health and peace-building activities in conflicted settings.

Natalie J. Grove and Anthony B. Zwi, Development in Practice, 2008. An article focusing on the links between health and conflict, and the potential for aid to the health sector to contribute to peace.

Trauma, Peacebuilding, and Development: An Overview of Key Positions and Critical Questions

One concept that has been considered integral to syncretic “peacebuilding” approaches to complex political emergencies is the notion of trauma. This is particularly the case if one understands the political violence associated with complex political emergencies in broad terms.

Mary Alice C. Clancy, and Brandon Hamber, INCORE, 2008. A paper examining the methods used to deal with post-conflict trauma.

Symbolic Closure through Memory, Reparation and Revenge in Post-conflict Societies

Increasingly, claims are made that truth commissions have beneficial psychological consequences; that is, that they facilitate 'catharsis', or 'heal the nation', or allow the nation to 'work through' a violent past. This article draws upon trauma counselling experience and anthropological fieldwork among survivors to challenge these claims in the context of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It argues that nations are not like individuals in that they do not have collective psyches, that nation-building discourses on reconciliation often subordinate individual needs, and that truth commissions and individual processes of healing work on different time lines.

Brandon Hamber & Richard Wilson, Human Rights Institute, 2002. An insightful and well researched article that challenges some of the claims made for national reconciliation processes.

Health and Peacebuilding: Securing the Future

Within an atmosphere of conflicting priorities, this paper aims to explore the links between health and peace-building, how health planning can be enhanced by making reference to a peace-building framework, and how a model for analysis may be developed to assist in the planning, implementation and monitoring of health programs in conflict-affected societies.

University of New South Wales (UNSW), 2004. A short, accessible article exploring the relationships between health and development.

Trauma-Sensitive Peacebuilding: Lessons for Theory and Practice

Despite increased cooperation based on the work of scholars and practitioners who have begun to explore the intersection between peace-building and trauma, significant challenges remain, particularly concerning how peacebuilders can make their work more trauma sensitive. This article provides a brief overview of the fields of trauma studies and peace-building, highlights connections between the two areas, reviews recent literature, and discusses the concept of trauma-sensitive peace-building and several challenges of conducting practice in this area.

Craig Zelizer, Africa Peace and Conflict Journal, 2008. A journal article exploring the connections between the fields of trauma studies and peacebuilding.

Doing Justice, Healing Trauma: The Role of Restorative Justice in Peacebuilding

Over the last three decades, the conceptual framework and practices of restorative justice have received wide currency internationally. For example, restorative justice was used to help provide a conceptual framework for the mission of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa as well as for the Gacaca Tribunals in postwar Rwanda. Exploring some of the learnings from the implementation of this framework, the paper draws attention to a much-needed conversation between the diverse yet related fields of conflict transformation, trauma healing and restorative justice. Such a dialogue will not only facilitate a cross-fertilization of ideas, it will also strengthen peacebuilding practice.

Howard Zehr, South Asian Journal of Peacebuilding, 2008. Journal article exploring the relationship between conflict transformation, trauma healing and restorative justice.

Further reading

Linking Peacebuilding and Health in Post-Conflict Settings: The right to Health, Empowerment and Civil Society

Lisa J. Laplante, FriEnt, 2011. A paper arguing that public health policy should be a central concern of all post-conflict recovery activity.

Peacebuilding through Health Initiatives

Greame MacQueen, 2000. A detailed look at the various health initiatives that work to facilitate the peacebuilding process in post conflict nations.

Trauma, Mental Health & Psycho-social Well-being

Peacebuilding Initiative. A webpage exploring the links between trauma and mental health in post-conflict societies.

Healing and Resiliency in a Post-War Setting

Amela Puljek-Shank, PeaceBuilder, 2012. A blog detailing Amela Puljek-Shank’s experience of healing and resiliency in a post-war setting.

Health as a Bridge for Peace (HBP) Project

World Health Organisation (WHO). A webpage offering a multidimensional policy and planning framework which supports health workers in delivering health programmes in conflict and post-conflict situations.

Trauma and Transitional Justice in Divided Societies

USIP (2005).  Short report on trauma and transitional justice.


Health and Peacebuilding Project - United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

A website introducing the USIP Health and Peacebuilding issue area.


Trauma Healing Workshop- Kamenge

FWAburundi, 2011.