Of the 67 million primary school-aged children not in school, 40 million live in countries affected by armed conflict. Tens of millions more have been displaced or otherwise affected by natural disaster, or face daily risks due to lawlessness, crime and gang activity. Because education mitigates the vulnerabilities stemming from fragility and conflict, it is critical to restore education venues, services and system capacity in crisis and conflict affected environments.
Great progress has been made toward increasing equitable access to education in crisis and conflict environments for 15 million learners by 2015 (USAID Goal 3), but there still remain significant knowledge gaps regarding effective policies, programs and practices for improved educational access and quality in the world’s most challenging environments.
No researcher, institution or initiative can address these gaps single-handedly; broad coordination and collaboration are essential. To this end, USAID has funded the USAID Education in Crisis and Conflict Network (USAID ECCN)—a community of practice composed of USAID staff, implementing partners and other stakeholders working to improve equitable access to education in the world’s crisis and conflict affected environments.