Violent conflict presents one of the greatest threats to human development. Nearly half of the more than 1.4 billion population living in fragile and conflict affected states are below the age of 20. This blog post explores recent reports that indicate that equitable and relevant education is one critical way to build young people’s capacities and strengthen social cohesion to mitigate the negative effects of violent conflict on young women and men’s lives. Read more »
Bush and Saltarelli (2000) told us that there are two faces of education in ethnic conflict – education grievances and structural features that can act as drivers of conflict, and education policies that can build connectors and promote peace. Many countries face new and divisive tensions as economic and other forces impact unevenly on different ethnic, linguistic, religious and other groups, leading to instability and sometimes armed conflict.
The Sustainable Development Goals Targets 4.1 and 4.7 ask educators to see that all children complete primary and secondary school, Read more »
Another year has come to a close, and within the EiCC community, we are well aware of the 65 million displaced people around the world who are still in search of a safe home that will allow them to pursue fulfilling lives. A couple of months ago, ECCN hosted a roundtable on urban refugee education and the key takeaways are available here. Conversations from that event lingered in my mind during my recent trip to Germany last month, Read more »
In early November, eleven USAID education officers joined the USAID ECCN training team for a week in balmy Bangkok, Thailand for the second iteration of our foundational course: Essentials for Education in Crisis and Conflict.
The goals for the course were to:
- Use data and information on crisis and conflict-affected contexts to inform responsive programming
- Procure and oversee or manage a Rapid Education and Risk Analysis
- Design relevant,
Read more »
The 6th annual mEducation Alliance Symposium took place in Washington, DC in October and members of USAID ECCN joined dozens of others to learn and engage with innovations that have evidence of promising impact along focal tracks, such as: Crisis, Refugees, and Conflict, Education System Strengthening, and Youth and Workforce. Read more »
Teaching and learning materials have a powerful impact on children because the images and language they contain can influence a child’s understanding of the world—and themselves. Especially in environments that are prone to conflict and crisis, those materials can have a compounding effect and help mitigate or contribute to conflict in the society. In support of the goal to promote inclusivity and equality in teaching and learning materials, the U.S. Read more »
Historic change has happened at the global policy level that will have a profound impact on how we work.
In little over a year, world leaders have come together and agreed to the High Level Meeting on Refugees and Migrants, World Humanitarian Summit Commitments to Action, Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Security Council Resolution on Youth, Peace and Security, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Read more »
USAID ECCN Support Team members attended several events surrounding the UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York this week. Below, USAID ECCN’s new Senior Researcher Colette Chabbott details her experience at the Dubai Cares and INEE event on September 20, 2016.
Despite a very early morning start, attendance was encouraging and energy was evident at the launch of a new $10 million E3 research initiative, Read more »
To learn more and engage on this topic, join us for a webcast on September 8.
What do Ethiopia, Nepal, the Philippines, and Niger have in common? Each country had episodes of conflict in the 1990s, and each bucked the global trend of declining education inequalities in a subsequent time period. Researchers have long puzzled over the relationship between inequality and civil conflict; do grievances over a lack of access to resources or social capital actually lead people to go to war? Read more »
Five young activists from Nigeria, India, Colombia, Morocco and Syria are leading education initiatives that exemplify what the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 has called for in regards to youth involvement in peace and security building within communities. Challenging the perception that youth are either victims or perpetrators of violence, these five young leaders are heroes and models for how young people in conflict areas around the world are partners for peace and development. Enjoy the synopsis of a rich discussion that illustrates how these five activists are building peace and resilience within their communities through a variety of education initiatives. Read more »
Gender mainstreaming is an approach that seeks to identify the distinct roles, needs and opportunities of different gender and age groups and to put strategies in place that will ensure equitable access to services and close opportunity gaps. In Somalia, there are profound disparities between the sexes that start early in life and in this context gender mainstreaming is a critical step toward equity and getting girls to school. Somalia is not an easy place to be female. Read more »
In March 2016, I traveled to El Salvador as part of team looking at the impacts of violence and insecurity on education. Although I was aware of the high levels of violence in this country, I was shocked to learn the extent to which the daily lives of students and teachers were affected by violence. Teachers, principals, and international partners alike referred to the drop-out “crisis” in El Salvador – the disappearing students – as a result of gang violence. I heard stories of students who were forced to flee their communities, and in some cases, the country, or hide in their homes instead of attending school. Read more »
USAID ECCN is launching a new initiative to identify, gather, and share a repository of strong indicators related to increasing equitable access to education in areas of crisis and conflict. Through this initiative, the community of practice will have the opportunity to inform and shape how the field collects and uses monitoring data to capture and guide our work in years to come. We invite you to get involved! Below we briefly describe the purpose and approach for this initiative. Read more »
USAID ECCN member Giulia McPherson with Jesuit Refugee Service recently returned from the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and volunteered to share about her experiences through a brief interview with USAID ECCN.
USAID ECCN: How were you and your organization involved in the Summit?
Jesuit Refugee Service co-hosted a side event at the World Humanitarian Summit entitled Delivering Quality Education in Emergencies: What Needs to be Done? Read more »
Most education service delivery in conflict- and crisis-prone areas takes place in contexts where education is already in a state of crisis. The reality of people’s lives in many places is that they are either already in a crisis situation, emerging from one or entering one. These complex social and economic dynamics at community, national and regional levels often negatively impact the delivery of essential services, including education. Despite the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement, Read more »
May 12-14, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: USAID education staff from 7 African conflict-affected countries, joined by State Department and USAID/E3 Foreign Service Officers, participated in a newly developed USAID ECCN workshop titled Effective Education Program Design and Management in Crisis and Conflict Settings. USAID’s Nina Weisenhorn welcomed participants to the workshop and described how programming in crisis and conflict requires a shift from USAID’s traditional management approach, which assumes that we can foresee, with some certainty, how a country or sector will change over time. Read more »
Many practitioners struggle with program design and management of education projects in places where the threat of conflict is ever-present, where militias, gangs, and even just bullies are right around the corner. Recent reports from the field provide insight and tools on adaptive management and feedback loops, the core of USAID’s Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) approach. Read more »
The infatuation with randomized controlled trials that has swept the field of international development in recent years has certainly not been without clear benefits. The language of “causation” versus “correlation”, “attribution” versus “contribution” and so forth has helped both donors and practitioners to think more clearly about the impacts of different aspects of programming. But what many RCTs have shown – and the comic provides one example of – is just how complex international development is, Read more »
Hazards, either natural or human-made, do not necessarily lead to crisis. While education systems are often impacted by crises, there are measures that can be put in place to mitigate risks and increase efficiency and equity.
Ministries of education (MoE) are increasingly aware of this and countries including South Sudan, Uganda, Mali, Burkina Faso and others have started planning for crises before they occur. Read more »
Rising inequality is one of the greatest challenges facing the global community today – and equity is rightly at the heart of the new development agenda, reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Education 2030 Incheon Declaration. Nowhere is the challenge of equity more salient than in education, with its potential to positively shape life outcomes – or further exacerbate societal disparities.
How prepared are we in the education community to address this challenge? Read more »
If you have a headache, you can take an Advil. In an ideal word, all projects would be conceived to address a specific ache with a “treatment” that we know will ease the pain. But the aches of countries in crisis and conflict are complex, multifaceted, and closely interlinked. How do we find an Advil for that?
We can begin by documenting what works (and what does not!) – by amassing evidence in a systematic way. Read more »
When was the last time you asked yourself that question? Too few people do, and too few organizations do. Then why should you?
Because if you don’t understand the risks around you and your intervention, and how you and your intervention are in a relationship with those risks, odds are you’re a hazard. That means you’re increasing the risks faced by the communities you’re serving.
(The Do No Harm Project helped sound the alarm back in the 1990s about how donors, Read more »
I grew up in Germany, in a village outside Stuttgart. It’s a pretty traditional area where most people know each other and most speak Swabian, a German dialect that is almost impossible to understand for the un-indoctrinated.
I’m back home for a visit and we’re watching the evening news as we’ve always done. Today’s events: another 40 people died crossing the Mediterranean – amongst them 17 children. 10,000 refugee minors are declared missing. Read more »
To answer this question, the ECCN support team recently conducted an analysis of 26 Performance and Evaluation Monitoring Plans (PMPs) from current USAID Goal 3 (G3) programs. The analysis investigated current efforts to measure the impact of our work towards increasing equitable access to education in conflict and crisis-affected areas. As a community of practice we are working in diverse contexts, implementing innovative approaches, and surely making a difference in the lives of our beneficiaries. Read more »
Is your education project in places where the threat of conflict is ever-present, where militias, gangs, or just bullies are around the corner, and where one runs away from rather than toward security forces for help? These situations, in the words of Ben Ramalingam, present “wicked problems”, where:
- Goals are difficult to define, often with powerful stakeholders diverging on personal, political and institutional interests;
- Change requires shifts in culturally conditioned relationships and behavior;
Read more »
Several hours of gunfire would keep us awake that night but the evening was for good food and insight from the Catholic fathers. We were a small (five Congolese, one English) team commissioned by USAID ECCN to spend November 2015 in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to ‘gather, build, and consolidate evidence for the field’. We were looking at Alternative Education (AE), especially Accelerated Learning Programs (ALPs); Read more »
A recent analysis of youth in Liberia indicates that fewer than ten percent are employed, whereas a Mercy Corps assessment indicates that something like eighty percent have at least one income stream, and almost half these youth have more than one source of income from work. This ‘mixed livelihoods’ lifestyle is a central feature of youths’ complex experience and identity. Yet, this work is often episodic, part-time, and can sometimes put youth at risk, Read more »
The UN Security Council adopted historic Resolution 2250 (SCR 2250) on youth, peace and security earlier this month. For the first time a Security Council Resolution focuses exclusively on the crucial role of young men and women in peacebuilding and countering violent extremism—and education featured prominently.
We know that education has “two faces”—it can play a critical role in shaping factors that foster peace or fuel division, and it can influence whether a young man or woman will engage in violence or not. Read more »
Following up our first blog on adaptive management and emergent theories of change for Goal 3 activities, we are highlighting Melissa Patsalides’ (Acting Deputy Director for USAID’s Office of Learning, Evaluation and Research) recent update on innovative policy and guidance developments in the Agency.
“Adaptive management is something many USAID staff and implementing partners have intuitively felt the need for, and sometimes implemented in spite of apparent bureaucratic constraints, Read more »
Hello ECCN colleagues, I hope that the following and subsequent blogs will trigger a rich discussion among ECCN members about how best to incorporate concepts of adaptive management and emergent theories of change into USAID Goal 3* programs. PLEASE JOIN THE DISCUSSION by responding to this blog, and sharing your own ideas and related links, research, cases and evaluations that exemplify how ‘Adaptive Management’ and an emergent theory of change can work for education programming in crisis and conflict. Read more »