Theses Doctoral

Measuring Separation of Children from their Usual Caregivers in Humanitarian Contexts: The case for a holistic approach to measurement, with implications for practice

Mansourian, Hani

Disaster-affected children are among the most vulnerable populations and face a wide range of threats to their health and well-being. One of the most significant threats to children is separation from their family, a problem which occurs in most humanitarian contexts. Because separation can have lasting adverse consequences for children’s health and well-being, child protection actors frequently develop programs to respond to the needs of separated children. However, rigorous methods to measure prevalence and characteristics of separation are scarce and rarely deployed in humanitarian settings. Existing measurement and programmatic approaches focus primarily on responding to to the needs of already separated children and give little attention to prevention of separation at the population level, the context, and the root causes of separation. Analyzing innovative measurement methodologies with a public health lens, this dissertation presents a systematic, conceptual and practical case for a comprehensive approach to the measurement of and programming for separation of children in humanitarian settings. It argues that efforts to support vulnerable children must ultimately be as holistic as are the causes of their vulnerability.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Population and Family Health
Thesis Advisors
Wessells, Michael G.
Dr.P.H., Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Published Here
February 13, 2020