Reports & Publications

Heartland Alliance International conducts research to inform our work and help us build on past successes, apply lessons learned, and more efficiently implement programs in a constantly changing environment. This information ensures that the services we provide meet the highest standards and make a positive and transformative impact on the lives of the world’s most marginalized people and communities.

HAI Publications

Trauma of a Generation: The Urgent Need for Specialized Mental Health Solutions in Central America’s Northern Triangle

Research presented in this report is intended to bring visibility to the range of complex and traumatic life experiences faced by Central American youth, particularly in El Salvador, and to document the adverse consequences that prolonged exposure to violence, whether direct or indirect, has on the mental health and development of youth. The aim of this report is to serve as a reference to providers working with youth across service systems, and to provide initial steps in the development and augmentation of mental health programming for youth in Central America’s Northern Triangle. (September 2016)

Torture and Ill-Treatment of Detainees in Iraq and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region: A Report on Prevalence and Practice

To understand the prevalence and nature of torture in Iraq and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR), HAI and its local NGO partners, the Democracy and Human Rights Development Center in the IKR and a counterpart local NGO in Baghdad, conducted a survey among 405 detainees and ex-detainees throughout the country. The results of the survey demonstrate that torture and ill-treatment of detainees continues to be prevalent in Iraq and the IKR. Although Iraqi law prohibits the practice of torture and ill-treatment, there are aspects of the law that need to be amended or strengthened to ensure that Iraq fully complies with its obligations under the UNCAT and more effectively prevents the practice of torture and ill-treatment in Iraq and the IKR. (March 2015)

A Rainbow Retrospective: Reflecting on Best Practices and Successes from the Field 

In 2011, Heartland Alliance International (HAI) established the first ever national technical assistance program dedicated to improving the resettlement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) refugees, with the support of the US Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). This best practices document was created to help provide resettlement agencies with ideas on how to make their programs more responsive to LGBT refugees, and by extension, more agile in addressing the needs of all refugees. We encourage readers to download and use the Rainbow Response manual, and to visit our website at www.rainbowwelcome.org for more resources. (2013)

Institutionalized Violence Against Women and Girls in Iraq – Laws and Practices

This paper explores violence against women and girls in Iraq by looking at how actual cases have been handled through legal aid programs in the criminal justice system, by non-detained and detained victim claimants, and through the Personal Status Courts. The reports also includes recommendation for authorities in the Kurdish Regional Government and the Government of Iraq. (January 2011)

Documenting Violence Against Women In Iraqi Kurdistan

Heartland Alliance undertook an assessment of how the Kurdistan Regional Government collects data in order to identify whether there are gaps in data collection and whether there are ways to improve how information is identified, documented, gathered and analyzed. This project focused on governmental efforts to compile data, looking to governmental employees such as police officers, judicial investigators, or hospital staff who are likely to encounter victims of gender-based violence in the course of providing direct assistance. (2009)

Additional HAI Reports

A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Trauma-Informed Support, Skills, and Psychoeducation Intervention for Survivors of Torture and Related Trauma in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq

This study, published in the Global Health: Science and Practice (GHSP) journal, evaluated the impact of a trauma-informed support, skills, and psychoeducation intervention provided by community mental health workers (CMHWs) on depressive symptoms and dysfunction (primary outcomes) as well as post-traumatic stress, traumatic grief, and anxiety symptoms in adults in the northern Dohuk region of Iraqi Kurdistan between June 2009 and June 2010. While Iraqi Kurdistan experienced relative stability following the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government, this population has continued to experience periodic violence due to conflicts with neighboring Turkey as well as more recent ISIS-associated violence. (September 2016)

Community-Based Mental Health Treatments for Survivors of Torture and Militant Attacks in Southern Iraq: A Randomized Control Trial

This study, published in BMC Psychiatry, tested the effectiveness of two counseling therapies in Southern Iraq in addressing multiple mental health problems among survivors of systematic violence: (1) a transdiagnostic intervention (Common Elements Treatment Approach or CETA); and (2) cognitive processing therapy (CPT). The therapies were provided by non-specialized health workers since few MH professionals are available to provide therapy in Iraq. (October 2015)

Dissemination and Implementation of Evidence-Based, Mental Health Interventions in Post-Conflict, Low Resource Settings

This paper, published in Intervention, the Journal of Mental Health and Pyschosocial Support in Conflict-Affected Areas, outlines some key implementation challenges, and strategies to address these, while implementing evidence-based treatments in conflict-affected low- and middle-income countries based on the authors’ collective experiences. Dissemination and implementation evaluation and research in conflict settings is an essential new research direction. (December 2014)

LGBT Refugee Resettlement in the US: Emerging Best Practices

In this report published in Forced Migration Review, HAI’s Scott Portman and Daniel Weyl outline how U.S. refugee resettlement agencies are directing more attention and effort toward assisting LGBT refugees and asylum seekers, and best practices are beginning to emerge. (2012)

Kurdish Human Rights Project Legal Review

The Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) is an independent, non-political, non-governmental human rights organization committed to the promotion and protection of the human rights of all persons living within the Kurdish regions. The Legal Review covers significant legislative and policy developments in the Kurdish regions. This edition features reports from Heartland Alliance International staff in Iraq. (June 2009)