Chemonics is hosting a Trauma-Informed Approaches in Development Summit on December 7 in Washington D.C.

Trauma-Informed Approaches in Development Summit .

Event | December 7, 2023

Chemonics is hosting a Trauma-Informed Approaches in Development Summit on December 7 in Washington D.C.

As part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, Chemonics International was thrilled to host this exciting event, which took place in person at our Washington D.C. offices on December 7, 2023.

During the Trauma-Informed Approaches in Development Summit, we launched our Trauma-Informed Approaches Toolkit, while also showcasing trauma-informed programming in action.

The summit included a panel discussion on Trauma-Informed Approaches in Action: Creating Trauma-Informed Spaces within Communities, featuring practitioners and experts from USAID’s Inclusive Development Hub, Heartland Alliance International, Chemonics’ safeguarding initiative, and two Chemonics UK-implemented activities, the Western Balkans Rule of Law Initiative, and the Syria Education Programme. They shared insights and perspectives from a range of sectors, including gender-based violence prevention and response, education, safeguarding, and mental health and psychosocial support programming. There was also an interactive workshop on Applying Trauma-Informed Principles in Practice.


Opening RemarksCatherine Kannam

Catherine Kannam, chief operating officer, Chemonics International
Catherine has previously worked as the senior vice president for Chemonics’ Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan region which included Chemonics’ Gender, Equality, and Social Inclusion (GESI) and Peace, Stability, and Transition technical practices. Catherine brings years of technical experience in stabilization, local economic development, governance, and GESI. She serves as an executive council member on diversity and inclusion and as a co-executive sponsor of “ChemTea,” our employee resource group committed to supporting, connecting, and promoting Asian and Pacific Islander talent at Chemonics.

Keynote SpeakerShauna Caria

Shauna Caria, gender equality and social inclusion senior advisor, Chemonics International
Shauna Caria is Chemonics International’s global Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) practice lead. With 11 years of development experience, Shauna is an expert in cross-sectoral gender mainstreaming, inclusive development, safeguarding and systems approaches for social norms change. She has worked to champion safer communities, co-authoring a Sexual Harassment and Exploitation and Abuse Prevention and Response Toolkit, and prompted industry-wide shifts in defining inclusive development in her piece The Problem with the Phrase ‘And Other Vulnerable Groups’. Shauna holds an M.A. in International Relations and Economics (Johns Hopkins) and a B.A. in International Human Rights and Law (University of Washington). Shauna is also a co-author of Chemonics’ Trauma-Informed Approaches Toolkit.

PanelistsAmy Chin

Amy Chin, director of international programs, Heartland Alliance International
Amy has over a decade of experience in human rights and international development managing USG-funded projects, especially USAID projects in conflict and volatile environments. She has worked in Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kosovo, and Rwanda with organizations such as World Learning, Democracy International, The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Abt Associates, IFES, Palladium, and EnCompass LLC. She has focused on working with women, vulnerable populations, marginalized groups, trauma survivors, and refugees in capacity-building, leadership training, and mentorship. Heartland Alliance International implements programs globally, in technical areas that include mental health and psychosocial support, gender equity, access to justice, and stigma-free HIV prevention, care, and treatment.

Jeta Pajaziti Doli

Jeta Pajaziti Doli, monitoring, research, evaluation, and learning manager, Western Balkans Rule of Law Initiative (Chemonics UK)
Jeta has a comprehensive background in project management life cycle, with more than eight years’ experience in monitoring, research, evaluation, and learning. Her background includes private sector and youth development, higher education improvement and management, and the rule of law. Jeta holds an MA in Public Administration from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. She is currently the GESI focal point on the Western Balkans Rule of Law Initiative, which is funded by the UK Conflict, Stability and Security Fund. Jeta co-authored a piece on Deconstructing Ingrained Patriarchal Attitudes in the Western Balkans One Individual at a Time in 2023. 

Lyla Schwartz

Lyla Schwartz, senior mental health advisor, USAID’s Inclusive Development Hub
Lyla is a senior mental health advisor and researcher with expertise in childhood trauma, gender-based violence, childhood abandonment, war-conflict trauma, emergency psychological interventions and behavioral health. After working in the mental health sector in the United States, she engaged in critical frontline work in Haiti, South Africa, India, Peru, Thailand, and Iraq with a focus on providing emergency psychological aid to youth traumatized by armed conflict, victims of torture and exploitation and youth at risk of suicide. Lyla is currently engaged in critical research, assessments, training on sensitive issues such as psychological trauma and workplace harassment, advocacy with important sector stakeholders, and monitoring and evaluating projects.

Margarett Lubin

Margarett Lubin, senior safeguarding advisor, Chemonics International
Margarett brings over 20 years of safeguarding experience at various organizations. She started her career in the human rights sector, doing work that involved supporting and ensuring the safety and well-being of people in refugee situations, including children. This led to opportunities to develop and lead a few safeguarding-related programs, including anti-trafficking in persons, child-safeguarding, protection, women and girls’ empowerment, youth protection, and integration of people living with disabilities. Margarett is leading Chemonics’ safeguarding initiative, developing new measures and methods to mainstream safeguarding for the company’s global portfolio.

Reham Jabbar

Reham Jabbar, acting technical director, Syria Education Programme (Chemonics UK)
Reham Jabbar is the acting technical director for the UK Aid-funded Syria Education Programme or Manahel, with over eight years of experience supporting international development programs that provide long-term solutions to education. She specializes in managing learning processes, adaptive management, and communicating project achievements and progress. She has experience in many disciplines, such as program implementation, project management, partnership, capacity building, and reporting. Reham authored the Briefing Paper on Incorporating a Trauma-Informed Approach in Primary Education Programming in Northwest Syria in 2023, and a piece on Unlocking Resilience: The Journey of a Trauma-Informed Education in Northwest Syria. 

Moderator and Workshop Co-HostNada Raslan

Nada Raslan, gender equality and social inclusion specialist, Chemonics International
Nada has over seven years of experience in international development and humanitarian aid, specifically focused on underrepresented populations, and populations within fragile and conflict affected settings. Nada holds an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics, and an MSc in Psychological Sciences from Brunel University London, where she authored the publication Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict: Children’s Protection Concerns and Intervention Outcomes in Syria. Her GESI experience includes mainstreaming gender inclusion and safeguarding, inclusive economic growth, response and prevention of GBV, and protection of minority groups. Nada is the lead author of Chemonics’ Trauma-Informed Approaches Toolkit.

Workshop LeadDr. Tim Calvey

Dr. Tim Calvey, senior consulting psychologist, manager of clinical services, The KonTerra Group
In his role with The KonTerra Group, Tim offers guidance to organizational leaders, human resources, and safety and security professionals on providing trauma-informed approaches to supporting staff. He regularly facilitates training engagements on mitigating stress and building resilience for individuals working in and returning from a high threat, high operational stress assignment.

Closing RemarksMelissa Marland

Melissa Marland, senior vice president, Strategy Division, Chemonics International
Melissa brings more than 20 years of experience in sustainable development, including 17 years with Chemonics in leadership positions spanning proposal strategy and design, work planning, and performance management. An expert in USAID business development, Melissa most recently served as principal advisor on the new business support team, providing mentorship, capacity building, and quality control to the company’s proposal efforts. As senior vice president of the Strategy Division, Melissa leads strategic initiatives that position Chemonics for medium- to long-term growth, supports practice management teams and new business teams across the company, and promotes a culture of evidence and learning. Prior to this role, Melissa served as an executive with Land O’Lakes Venture 37 where she oversaw practice area management, recruitment, and new business development efforts. Melissa holds an MSc. in agribusiness from Imperial College London and a B.A. in international relations from The College of William and Mary. She also completed executive education in innovation for economic development at Harvard University.