Author: Burde et al, Dana
Year: 2015
Full Citation: Burde, D., Guven, O., Kelcey, J., Lahmann, H., & Al-Abbadi, K. (2015). What works to promote children’s educational access, quality of learning, and wellbeing in crisis-affected contexts. (Education Rigorous Literature Review). London, UK: Department of International Development.
Overview: This study is a rigorous review of evidence that shows which interventions promote educational access, quality of learning, and well being among children living in crisis-affected, as well as in immediately post-crisis settings. We define crises as emergencies caused by violent conflict, natural disaster, or both. We define educational access as “the opportunity to enrol, attend, and complete formal or nonformal education programmes” (INEE, 2010, p. 115); quality of learning as it relates to both academic achievement and attitudes (e.g., tolerance); and wellbeing as holistic health, including physical, emotional, social, and cognitive characteristics. Our primary goal is threefold:
  1. to assess the strength and quantity of the existing evidence of effective practices and programme interventions in countries and regions affected by crises;
  2. identify relevant and robust evidence of effective interventions from high-, middle-, and low-income countries to serve as a point of departure for future research; and
  3. develop conceptual models that suggest pathways and mechanisms to test in future research.
Methodology: Covers a total of 184 academic publications and gray literature published by donor agencies and think tanks. These are highly selective and meet a minimum standard of rigor based on DFID’s 2014 guidelines.
Findings: The review finds few rigorous experimental studies (5) or quasi-experimental studies (8) conducted in countries affected by crises that assess the effects of interventions on children’s educational access (3), quality of learning (4), or wellbeing (6). Among these, even fewer rigorous studies (6) exist that take context (disaster or conflict) into account in the research design. There are, however, many strong observational studies, including both detailed ethnographic and case studies analysed qualitatively as well as data collected via surveys, pre- and post-test designs, and analysed statistically. The review identifies areas for further research.

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