What I’ve Learned with Professor Mike Wessells

In this episode, I speak to Professor Mike Wessells, Professor Emeritus at Columbia University, and a long-time champion of community- and people-led approaches for child protection and MHPSS. Mike and I discuss an example of deeply participatory work undertaken with war-affected young mothers in Liberia, Sierra Leone and northern Uganda.

By talking us through the mind set and approach used to work with these young mothers, Mike shows us how giving space to the mothers to decide for themselves what outcome was best for them, enabled what they and the community considered to be a successful reintegration process.

Additionally, through this example, Mike also highlights how peacebuilding and social cohesion are inextricable elements of community- or people-led actions for the wellbeing of children and communities.

Episode recorded 23 March 2023

Professor Mike Wessells
Professor Emeritus of Clinical, Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.
Researcher and practitioner, MHPSS and Child Protection


Building meaningful participation in reintegration among war-affected young mothers in Liberia, Sierra Leone and northern Uganda.

Integrating MHPSS and peacebuilding: A mapping and recommendations for practitioners

How process matters in strengthening MHPSS: A Reflection

Endline report – Community Action to Address Child Marriage and School Dropout:

Findings from Action Research on Community-Led Child Protection in Jharkhand, India

Supporting community-led child protection – an online guide and toolkit

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