National Capacity Building Project

Welcome to the 2019-2022 Guide to Services


The National Capacity Building (NCB) Project at the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) is pleased to announce our guide to services for FY19-22. We work in collaboration with the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) to provide capacity building and training to organizations serving survivors of torture in the United States. As the technical assistance arm of the Office of Refugee Resettlement's Survivors of Torture Program (SOT), we will implement ORR’s TA goal of ensuring“that DS SOT grantees and ORR-funded organizations serving survivors of torture have the TA and resources needed to provide quality, integrated, and sustainable services to survivors and their families in the United States.” 

The NCB TA partners are recognized leaders in the field of torture rehabilitation, with collectively over six decades of direct services (DS) experience and providing TA to DS SOT grantees and other ORR-supported organizations serving torture survivors, healthcare providers and community-based organizations, including entities in underserved regions.

The Survivors of Torture Integrated Care Continuum (SOT-ICC) is a self-assessment of integrated care practices and systems designed for programs serving torture survivors. NCB’s technical assistance (TA) will be informed by the application of this SOT-specific integrated care framework, to measure the coordinated, co-located, and integrated levels of care among providers. We will design training activities and resources based on the summary results of the SOT programs’ self-assessment, as well as on the findings of our TA needs assessment survey and interviews, in order to assist SOT programs and refugee service organizations as they move incrementally toward eventual integrated care. NCB will utilize an organizational and community capacity building approach in supporting the cross-cultural, strength-based and trauma-informed healing work among SOT programs.

Two Major Objectives of the National Capacity Building Project

  • Objective 1: Build the capacity of direct service survivor of torture grantees and ORR-funded organizations to provide effective, holistic, and integrated services to survivors of torture.

  • Objective 2: Assess and strengthen the quality and sustainability of services provided by direct service survivors of torture grantees to improve effectiveness and ensure availability beyond the project period.

Summary of NCB Project’s Technical Assistance and Training Components

To accomplish these objectives, the NCB has prioritized the following project components. Click on the links below for a full description of each of the components.

Getting to Know You

From time to time NCB will send out surveys to solicit your input and ensure that our work remains relevant to you and addresses your needs.  We design surveys carefully, mindful of your time, and make transparency a goal – letting  you know what the responses were, and providing you with appropriate feedback from surveys that you complete.  In the coming project cycle, survey topics will include assessment of your needs and TA needs and interest assessment, additional administrations of the SOT-ICC, and others, as needed.”

Who We Are

The Center for Victims of Torture

Established in 1985, the mission of the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) is to heal the wounds of torture on individuals, their families and their communities and to end torture worldwide.

The Center for Victims of Torture works toward a future in which torture ceases to exist and its victims have hope for a new life. We are an international nonprofit dedicated to healing survivors of torture and violent conflict. We provide direct care for those who have been tortured, train partners around the world who can prevent and treat torture, and advocate for human rights and an end to torture.

National Capacity Building Project

Since 2001, the National Capacity Building Project (NCB) has offered technical assistance and specialized training to more than 40 torture survivor rehabilitation programs and organizations, to improve the quality of care to torture survivors and to strengthen those organizations serving them. Now in its 20th year, NCB is working in partnership with the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma to expand and build networks of providers to foster knowledge-sharing among torture rehabilitation professionals and provide training in clinical skills and best practices, financial sustainability, organizational development, program management, and data analysis and evaluation. Programs and organizations are eligible for NCB services if they are funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) under the Torture Victims Relief Act, or have membership in the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs. The NCB Project is funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.  Get to know the CVT project staff here.

Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma

The Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) at the Massachusetts General Hospital was founded in 1981 and has since been a pioneer in the health and mental health care of survivors of mass violence, torture, and natural disasters. HPRT has treated more than 10,000 traumatized patients from many diverse cultures, and its clinical models and instruments of care have been culturally adapted by clinics throughout the world. HPRT’s large-scale epidemiologic and community surveys of more than 6,000 research subjects have firmly established the medical, psychiatric, and socioeconomic impact of violence on civilian and refugee populations. HPRT developed the first culturally valid screening instruments, such as the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire, for measuring trauma events and torture-related symptoms. The instruments have become a “gold standard” in the field and have been translated for use in more than 30 different languages. HPRT has also been involved in building health and mental health systems of care in post-conflict countries. Using its culture- and science-based curriculum and training tools, HPRT has trained more than a thousand primary health care and mental health practitioners in the United States and internationally, and local indigenous healers and refugees have benefited from HPRT’s training activities. HPRT also offers a certificate program – Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery – in conjunction with Harvard Medical School and is now in its thirteenth year.  Get to know the HPRT project staff here.