This weekend I begin an evaluation for USAID of some of their efforts aimed at supporting trauma mental health centers in internationally. My first stop is Phnom Penh, Cambodia. As many of you know, Cambodia was the scene of one of the 20th century’s most gruesome genocides under the Khmer Rouge. Since then there have been efforts to support psychological rehabilitation for those who suffer ongoing psychological symptoms from this era. USAID has made funds available for this purpose, and a torture treatment center based in Minneapolis is working closely with Cambodian NGO’s on the ground. My job this trip will be to see how well that collaboration has worked, and ultimately whether it has benefitted survivors. Of course, at this point in the process there’s no opportunity for pre/post testing, wait-list comparisons, anything like that, so I will be primarily going on reports, interviews, and judging whether training goals have been met.
Here’s a funny example of how multifaceted this field is that I came across reviewing documents in preparation for this project. It’s a requirement for an administrator position at one of the NGOs in Phnom Penh: “a BA, preferably in psychology, education, or business.”