Survey of the Psychosocial State of the Youth from Internally Displaced Populations (IDPs), Returnees and their Host-Communities – A Synopsis


The Hamdeli Project is a partnership between the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Kabul Office and the European Union, which aims to facilitate social cohesion, build tolerance, and improve co-existence among IDPs, returnees, and host communities through arts and sports in Herat and Nangarhar provinces.

In 2019, UNESCO commissioned Assess, Transform and Reach Consulting to conduct a baseline assessment for the project. The assessment was necessary to strengthen the project results framework and develop of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation methodology. ATR in collaboration with the UNESCO Kabul Office Project Team designed a multi-pronged study that began with a desk review of relevant literature. The second phase involved a focused mapping of cultural and sports grassroots level organizations with a similar focus ‘using arts and sports for improving social cohesion’, and to understand how their activities and programs could be built upon, scaled up and expanded through grants under the Hamdeli project. The third phase explored the socio-economic profiles of each area, the psychosocial needs of the target population, as well as their levels of social re-integration.

The How

The survey was administered among 2,527 respondents comprising youth and parents from the IDPs, returnees and host communities. It is noteworthy that women constituted 50% of the respondents. As part of the qualitative design, random simple selection approach was used to identify the communities, ensuring representation from secure and insecure districts from each province. To ensure a representative sample, both provinces were divided into three clusters (Rural, Pre-urban and Urban. For the quantitative part, random sampling was used, with a quota for groups (e.g., Youth and Parents). Additionally, purposeful sampling was used for qualitative interviews / IDIs’ participants assured the comprehensive detailed data collection that involved community elders, parents, and youth groups were conducted in both provinces.


The Way Forward

The recommendations laid out below, and detailed out in the body of this report, suggest that targeted programming is more effective at integrating communities, and meeting specific targets such as increasing social integration, and decreasing conflict.

  1. Target the most vulnerable.
  2. Provide infrastructure for sports and other cultural activities.
  3. Take into consideration the local context.
  4. Secure community buy-in.
  5. Coordinate with humanitarian organizations to ensure that basic needs are met.
  6. Explore and support youth associations that are already promoting or implementing sport and cultural activities.
  7. Support facilitation of cricket games and organization of storytelling, debate sessions and calligraphy activities in Nangarhar.
  8. Support facilitation of football games and organization of debates sessions, reading, storytelling, and poetry activities in Herat.

A detailed version of the findings can be made available via email upon request.