Displacement, Resettlement and Global Mental Health (2013-2014)

The Kenan Institute for Ethics’ ongoing fieldwork in Nepal, Egypt and locally in the Triangle on displacement and well-being indicates that efforts to provide solutions to displacement have effects for refugees’ mental health. This project team built on an existing archive of refugee narratives from urban, refugee camp and resettlement contexts collected as part of the Institute’s programming. Using this research as a point of departure, the team studied how the resettlement process, a global and transnational program where refugees are provided settlement in countries such as the United States, affects the mental health and well-being of refugees.

While there are growing bodies of research on pre- and postdisplacement, this project was innovative in that it considers resettlement as a global process that has implications for refugee health at different points, from the country of first asylum to the resettlement country. Prior research was augmented by additional fieldwork in Jordan. The primary focus was on the effects of displacement and resettlement on three communities: Bhutanese, Iraqis and Syrians.


2013-2014 and Summer 2015

Team Outputs

Eve Puffer, Stars in Global Health Round 7 Phase 1; Development of a community embedded family therapy intervention in Kenya: A faith and village based approach ($20,388 grant awarded from Moi University, 2014)

Letters from the Field: A Collection of Short Essays on the Realities of Asylum in Jordan and the Ethics of Fieldwork (Josephine Ramseyer)


Libby MacFarlane

Returning to the Camps


Balancing Scale

Jordan's Infrastructure Challenges

Refugees and Employment

Aid & Dignity

Children of the Camps

Immediate vs. Longterm

Displacement Limbo

The Right Kind of Foreign

Being An Arab Researcher

Next Generation?

Exporting American Ideals

An Implicated America

Cultural Perceptions & Reality

Roles of a Tourist

Fractured Families

LGBTQ Refugees

Urge for Apology

New Families, New Hope

A View Into Resettlement

Heaviness of Hope

Changing Healthcare Restrictions

To Take the Photo or Not

Ethics of Interviewing

Making a Difference?

Ethics of 'Voluntourism'

Research With Vulnerable Populations

Child Beggars and Poverty at Large

Detached Engagment and Doing What's 'Right'

This Team in the News

Faculty Perspectives: Eve Puffer

Alumna Spotlight: Leena El-Sadek ’15 Combines Justice and Global Health

One-of-a-kind Field Research Culminates Seniors’ Four Years with Kenan

Kenan Program Connects Students and Refugees, Gives Senior New Perspective

2016 Koonz Human Rights Prize Winners

Josephine Ramseyer Wins Koonz Human Rights Prize for Best Alternative Project

Congratulations to the Student Leadership and Service Award Winners

Living in Refuge

Michelle Khalid: My Bass Connections Pathway

Libby MacFarlane: My Bass Connections Pathway

Bass Connections: Displacement and Global Mental Health Team Begins Work

Michelle Khalid Discusses Finding Her Calling through KIE Programs

Understanding the Refugee Crisis and Effective Ways to Get Involved at Duke

Bass Connections has been an amazing experience. My experience challenged me to grow both intellectually and as a person. —Michelle Khalid

Additional support for this project was provided by the Silver Family Kenan Institute for Ethics Fund in Support of Bass Connections.

Team Leaders

  • Eve Puffer, Arts & Sciences-Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Abdul Sattar Shakhly, Arts & Sciences-Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Suzanne Shanahan, Kenan Institute for Ethics|Arts & Sciences-Sociology

/graduate Team Members

  • Sonia Hatfield, Masters of Public Policy
  • Elizabeth MacFarlane, Global Health - MSc

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Grace Benson, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Leena El-Sadek, Cultural Anthropology (AB), Global Health (AB2)
  • Kimberly Farmer, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Malena Price, Int Comparative Studies (AB), Asian & Mid East Studies (AB2)
  • Josephine Ramseyer, English (AB)
  • Julie Stefanich, Public Policy Studies (AB)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Nadia El-Shaarawi, Kenan Institute for Ethics