For Researchers

CVT researchers are frequently consulted on cultural adaptation or on developing assessment tools in collaboration with local communities.

Research Tools

The Manual on Brief Ethnographic Interviewing: Understanding an Issue, Problem or Idea from a Local Perspective (Appendices listed at bottom of page) was originally developed for use by NGO’s providing psychosocial and mental health interventions to address two recurring needs - how to quickly and systematically gather and organize information (needs, problems, beliefs, strengths, etc.) when implementing programs with new populations or communities or develop culturally relevant indicators for evaluating the effectiveness of psychosocial and mental health interventions.

The methodology is described in general terms, with suggestions for adapting it for specific uses or alternate circumstances whenever possible. The technique involves using a brief semi-structured interview, framed around a question, to systematically collect information on a specific topic of interest from a community or population. The responses collected become data which can be summarized through a variety of human and/or statistical means to identify common underlying themes. The technique can be applied for a variety of purposes including rapid needs assessment, creation of new assessment or program evaluation measures, field validation of existing measures or research.

The Multidimension Mental Health Service Provider Checklist.pdf is intended to facilitate a participative assessment of a small agency that provides mental health services to victims of organized violence and torture. It is organized across three inter-connected domains: capacity to deliver mental health services; the level of organizational development in support of mental health services; and, monitoring and evaluation of mental health services. Each domain is sub-divided into approximately 20 sections each of which contains between 5 and 10 items. Items are designed to be as specific as possible and are assessed using a simple “no”, “partly”, “yes” format. The entire checklist comprises 376 items. There is a tool for scoring the Multidimension Mental Health Provider Checklist that provides summary scores and charts that are useful for presenting the information.

It is envisaged that this checklist will be used by competent assessors in open and frank discussion with the staff and managers of the agency being assessed. Of course, it call also be used as part of an internal evaluation and completed by the staff and managers of the agency without the assistance of an external assessor.

While the intention of the checklist is to focus attention on the many details that underlie the provision of quality mental health services to victims of organized violence and torture, it is also possible to calculate scores and construct profiles to highlight areas of relative strength and weakness. On CVT projects we have done this by adding up the items for each section and converting them to a score out of 10 for ease of comparison. Anecdotal feedback from the staff of ten organizations in different parts of the world who have been assessed using this checklist has been very positive.

For more information about the use of these tools please contact CVT’s research department at research [at]

CVT Researchers

If you are interested in consulting with CVT researchers, please email research [at] Our research team includes Craig Higson-Smith, M.A., Director of Research, and Research Associates Jennifer Esala, Ph.D., Shannon Golden, Ph.D., and Maria Vukovich, M.A.

Torture Rehabilitation and Research Bibliography (PDF)
The bibliography includes information on existing studies on torture and refugee trauma interventions, research methods, program evaluation methods, symptoms and consequences of torture, rehabilitation of torture survivors and working with war traumatized and refugee populations.

The bibliography is made possible through the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development and the American people’s support.


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