Early childhood education and peacebuilding in postconflict northern and eastern Uganda achievements, challenges, and lessons learned

Author: W. Glenn Smith
Year: 2015
Agency: UNICEF
Full Citation: Smith, W. G. (2015). Early childhood education and peacebuilding in postconflict northern and eastern Uganda achievements, challenges, and lessons learned. Peacebuilding Education and Advocacy in Conflict-Affected Contexts Programme. Kenya: UNICEF Learning for Peace
Resource Type:
  • Research
    • Qualitative
  • Design, Implement, Research and Evaluate for Better EiCC Programs
    • Conflict Sensitivity in Programming
    • Peacebuilding Programming
  • Africa
    • Uganda
Target Population(s): Early Childhood (0 to 5), Learner
Overview: This case study examines the role of Early Childhood Education (ECD) in these two postconflict contexts [Northern and Eastern Uganda], particularly its potential for advancing peacebuilding. Although preprimary education of some kind has long been available for privileged children in a few large town areas like Gulu, the concerted effort by the government to improve service delivery and make ECD available throughout the country, even in the most remote settlements, has been done over the past 10 years. (vi)
Methodology: The study is based on literature review, consultations in Kampala and field research in the Acholi sub-region (Gulu, Pabo and Kitgum) and Karamoja sub-region (Moroto, Tapac, Amudat). In August 2014, eleven ECD centres were visited, five government education authorities and three implementing partners were interviewed, and thirteen FGDs were carried out with caregivers, parents, community members and education students. In total some 156 individuals provided information to this case study through interviews or FGDs. (pp. vi-vii)
Findings: The report documents various ways in which PBEA programming impacts either directly or indirectly on children, households and communities.
  • ECD programme is contributing to addressing issues of equity that are widely believed to lie at the root of much contemporary intergroup conflict by rapidly extending preprimary education and life skills training to all children, including those children in rural and marginalized areas
  • ECD, by providing safe places for children several hours a day, is helping struggling families to survive the current period of drought by freeing up time for productive livelihood activities that increase household welfare.
  • ECD is promoting constructive social behaviour among children, including interpersonal and life skills that enhance constructive interaction among peers.
  • ECD is promoting constructive social behaviour among parents and communities more broadly by enhancing the profiles and roles of children inside the household, removing barriers to information exchange, and encouraging open lines of communication between different sub-communities in a given locality. (p. vii-viii)

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