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Title: International aid workers' experience of support : an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Author: Serning, Niklas
ISNI:       0000 0004 2713 2206
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2011
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This dissertation explores the experience of support by international aid workers deploying to, being in and returning from complex emergencies. Seven participants were interviewed using semi structured interviews focusing on the experience of support, and the material was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis - IPA. Three superordinate themes were identified, the first highlighted the ease with which peer support (colleagues and friends around you, family back home et cetera) was often experienced, the second pertained to the difficulty with which formal support (in-organization counselling support, support from management et cetera) was often experienced, and finally the third superordinate theme detailed the experience of being on mission, where the strongest finding centred on difficulties in the returning home process. Existing literature on international aid workers' experience of support was utilised in order to shed light on the results, and existential migrant themes also proved useful in order to clarify the material. The clinical significance of the study included a recommendation for awareness building on the difficulty of coming home from missions, a focus on peer support and also ensuring that counsellors are familiar or have experience of the international aid workers' situation in the field. The choice of IPA as method was deemed a useful one. Its clear guidelines coupled with a solid methodological grounding informed both the quality of the interviews as well as the sensitivity and depth of the analysis. Further qualitative research on neighbouring areas and also quantitative research on this area was called for.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available