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International Development, Education, Conflict & Peacebuilding

Leading the debate around the role of education in peacebuilding

Over the last decade, the UNESCO Centre has contributed to many projects which evaluated the potential role for education in peacebuilding in post conflict societies. Our research in this area is regarded as particularly influential, informing policy-makers at the highest level of international governance.

Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding (2014-2016)

Between July 2014 and June 2016 the 'Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding', a partnership between UNICEF; University of Amsterdam, the University of Sussex and Ulster University, conducted research in 4 partner countries to investigate the role of education in peacebuilding in post-conflict societies.

The research formed part of the 'Learning for Peace' initiative, which aimed "to strengthen resilience, social cohesion and human security in conflict-affected contexts, including countries at risk of, or experiencing and recovering from, conflict".

The research was conducted in Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa, and Uganda. In each context, three topic areas were addressed:

  • The integration of education into peacebuilding processes at global and country Levels
  • The role of teachers in peacebuilding
  • The role of formal and non-formal peacebuilding education programmes targeting youth

Ulster University's contribution to the output of the Research Consortium can be found below

The complete output of the Research Consortium can be found on its dedicated website

All outputs are also a part of a more extensive global resource collection hosted by the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

Education Sector Governance, Inequity, Conflict and Peacebuilding in Kenya and South Sudan (2016)

Building upon the research of the Research Consortium, the researchers from the UNESCO Centre and partner institutions were also commissioned to conduct research in Kenya and South Sudan. Funded through UNICEF's Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO), this study examines the linkages between inequities in education and broader political economy dynamics that contribute to conflict pressure. Researchers from Ulster University led the Kenyan branch of the research.

A Review for Norad : Education in Fragile Situations (2013)

The Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (Norad) commissioned UNESCO Research Associate Christine Ellison to produce a synthesis report regarding education in fragile states. Moreover, Norad also initiated the report to be a critical analysis of Norway's contribution to the field, with an aim of influencing future state foreign policy.

Uganda Conflict Analysis (2012)

Funded by the Government of the Netherlands as part of the UNICEF Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy Programme, this study identified range of conflict drivers at the national, sub-national and community levels in Uganda. This analysis aimed to form the base to help identify formal and informal education programming to support conflict transformation and peacebuilding.

The Role of Education in Peacebuilding (2010-2012)

Commissioned by UNICEF, this 15 month research study examined  the role of education in peacebuilding in postconflict settings and considered how education interventions and programming could have a stronger role in the peacebuilding architecture of the UN system.

Education for All (EFA) - Global Monitoring Report 2011

The Education for All movement ran between 2000-2015 and aimed to expand education provision to all children, young people and adults around the globe. Each year a Global Monitoring Report was produced to review the progress UNESCO member states had made towards achieving universal education coverage. Additionally, each report also incorporated a theme. In 2011, the theme was education and conflict. Our UNESCO Chair, Prof. Alan Smith, served as a special adviser to the report. The full report can be found below, as well as Alan's submissions to the project.

Situational Analyses of Education and Fragility (2010)

This project was carried out by the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Working Group on Education and Fragility. Established in 2008, this group aimed to identify key elements in the complex relationships between education and fragility. Four case studies were commissioned: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia and Liberia. The UNESCO Centre led the Bosnian branch of the project.

Education, Conflict and International Development (2003)

This paper was commissioned by the Department For International Development (DFID) in order to review significant issues related to education and conflict reduction. The report is divided into four main sections: 1. the relationship between education and conflict; 2. potential responses of the education sector; 3. the relationship between international organisations working in this field; 4. the policy implications of the study.