Pathways to resilience and pathways to flourishing: Examining the added-value of multisystem research and intervention in contexts of war and forced displacement

This paper examines the added-value that multisystem approaches bring to research and intervention in contexts of war and forced displacement. I highlight what is useful and truly innovative about systems-level work, aware that providing data-related evidence is only part of the story when connecting research to policy and practice. I discuss four types of added-value: these are conceptual, instrumental, capacity-building, and connectivity impacts that, respectively, aim to change current knowledge, improve implementation, build research skills, and strengthen network connectivity. Specifically, systems-based research can help transform the key frames of humanitarian work, fostering the more integrated and distributive models of professional assistance known as resilience and network humanitarianism. I argue that systems-level approaches on resilience and flourishing in war-affected and refugee populations help to articulate new mindsets, methodologies, partnerships, and ways of working relevant for humanitarian research, policy and practice. I focus attention on interdisciplinary, interventionist, prospective, transgenerational, and network-building initiatives. My specific examples cover the family context of mental health and trauma memory in Afghanistan, as well as program evaluation with Syrian refugees in Jordan, connecting stress biology to human experience, and social networks to psychological empowerment. The paper suggests future directions to support more effective and impactful systems-level work in protracted humanitarian crises.

DOI: 10.1017/S095457942300113X 

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