Committee on International Relations in Psychology: 2008 Annual Report

Founded in 1944 to advise APA on the rehabilitation of psychological laboratories and libraries in post-World War II Europe, CIRP is one of APA's oldest continuing committees. Over the years, the Committee's policy positions have aimed at fostering the development of international psychology as a science and profession, at fostering human rights, and at supporting APA as a world citizen organization. CIRP was instrumental in APA’s gaining special non-governmental (NGO) consultative status with the United Nations and continues to oversee APA’s U.N. representation.

CIRP met twice in 2008. The 2008 members were Stephen Quintana, PhD (Chair), Lynn Collins, PhD, Carol Enns, PhD, Oliva Espin, PhD, Pamela Flattau, PhD, Laura Johnson, PhD Shinobu Kitayama, PhD, Jeanne Marecek, PhD (Chair Elect for 2009), Guerda Nicolas, PhD.

Highlights from 2008 activities included continued development of strategic goals and plans to meet the APA’s international program and policy needs, innovative committee- sponsored convention programming, review of APA’s U.N. representation, recruitment and recommendation of new APA U.N. representatives, the selection of APA and APF award winners, the nomination of psychologists for international awards, and reports and draft policies concerning international quality assurance, international response to humanitarian emergencies, and selection and appointment of delegations to United Nations convocations.

Completed Activities

  • Together with the Office of International Affairs (OIA) CIRP planned the celebration of the Fulbright fellowship as a mechanism for fostering international exchange and understanding at the 2008 convention – over 100 former Fulbrighters attended and participated in special programming and social events.

  • In addition to the Fulbright activities, CIRP sponsored convention activities with Divisions, International Affiliates and members, and programming on activities at the United Nations. CIRP recruited and recommended the appointment of two psychologists to replace members rotating off the APA/U.N. NGO representative team.

  • CIRP awarded grants for the following scientific meeting conferences:

- Interamerican Congress of Psychology (SIP/CIP) for Web construction (Guatemala City, Guatemala)

- 3rd International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology (St. Petersburg, Russia)

  • CIRP selected the 2009 APA Distinguished Contributions to International Psychology and 2009 APA Humanitarian award winners, who will be recognized by the Association at convention in Toronto.

  • On behalf of the APF, CIRP named the 2008 recipients of the Frances Culbertson Travel Award and the Henry David Grants.

  • Together with the Board of Education Affairs (BEA), CIRP completed the report of the Task Force to advise APA on possible roles it might play in international quality assurance issues, and developed an APA policy: APA as a Learning Partner.

  • Together with BPA, CIRP recommended to the Board and Council that psychology continue to be involved in the revision process for the Mental Health chapter of the International Classification of Disease, conducted by the WHO.

Planned and Ongoing Activities

  • CIRP developed a draft policy statement of APA’s responses to international disasters that was adopted by the Board of Directors at its December meeting. In addition CIRP collaborated with the Disaster Response Network to draft a statement on recommendations for psychologists’ responses to international disasters.

  • CIRP developed a draft set of procedures for the development, selection and actions of APA delegations to United Nations convocations.

  • CIRP developed draft program outlines for outreach including departmental memberships and publications access programs.

  • One member of CIRP serves on the APA oversight group for the International LGBT Network
     A joint BEA and CIRP working group on internationalizing the psychology curriculum continued its work by conference call throughout 2008.