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Promoting access to quality, safe, and relevant education for all persons affected by crisis

News and Views

This page features the latest news and blog posts by experts working in the field of Education and Fragility, including members of the Working Group on Education and Fragility, and archives all issues of the Education and Fragility Monthly Newsletter.




The New Berghof Handbook on Peace Education and Conflict Transformation

The interaction between direct and structural peace education offers new prospects for sustainable peace education whose aim is to promote conflict transformation. Improving the structural conditions for a long-term conflict transformation culture can do much to enhance the development of learning spaces for peace.

The new Berghof Handbook Article on Peace Education offers an in-depth assessment of peace education and its role in encouraging and enhancing conflict transformation.

To read the full blog, please click here

The Quantitative Impact of Armed Conflict on Education: Counting the Human and Financial Costs

Commissioned by PEIC, this research sheds fresh light on the numbers of children affected by conflict and estimates the impact of conflict and insecurity on education in terms of direct and indirect costs.

Evidence documented in the Education under Attack series of reports demonstrates that several thousands of schools are impacted by targeted attacks each year, with the education of hundreds of thousands of students being interrupted, in some cases permanently. However, the figures for out-of-school children (OOSC) in conflict-affected countries number in tens of millions rather than hundreds of thousands. This study looks at the wider impacts of conflict, including collateral damage and indirect impacts on education, and finds that in quantitative terms, targeted attacks represent only the tip of the iceberg.

To read the full blog, please click here

EU Children of Peace: Providing Education in a Safe Environment 

Today, 90% of victims of conflicts are civilians. Half of them are children. 
In fact, of the approximately 75 million children who are out of school worldwide, half live in conflict areas and are especially vulnerable to the fallout of war.
A 13 year-boy from the Democratic Republic of Congo where the EU Children of Peace project provides schooling through Accelerated Learning Programmes and safe spaces explains, 'With education I think I will have a future that won’t have to involve guns and fighting. Without school you have no choices in life, you are just trying to survive.'

To read the full blog, please click here

War Child Canada’s Accelerated Learning Program in West Darfur

Salima Jaffer is a Project Officer with War Child Canada, where she manages the Sudan, South Sudan and Sierra Leone portfolios. Salima has previously worked with the Aga Khan Foundation in Tanzania and Uganda, and the Tropical Health Education Trust in Zambia. 

In 2012, 2,307,500 children in Sudan were out of school; 20% of those children resided in Darfur (*). In West Darfur, nearly 30% of all out of school children have never attended school. West Darfur’s 2012 Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in basic education was 72%; lower than the national GER of 80% and significantly lower than the regional average for lower-middle income Sub-Saharan African countries of 105%. Further, in 2012, West Darfur’s basic education completion rate was only 69.9% and its secondary education completion rate was a paltry 13% (**). The need for an Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP), a system that allows young people to catch up on their education, is clear.

To read the full blog, please click here.


Lessons learned from my participation in the INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility

Sidonia Gabriel was a program officer at the swisspeace Foundation. In her function in the Peacebuilding Analysis and Impact team she particularly focused on conflict sensitivity as well as strategic planning, design, implementation and evaluation of peacebuilding engagements.

As Sidonia has become the director of the Centre for Peacebuilding (KOFF) at swisspeace, her successor will continue to represent swisspeace in the INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility.

Sidonia writes: Before swisspeace became a member of the INEE Working Group (WG) on Education and Fragility in mid-2012, I was asked by the Framework Team for Preventive Action to give a presentation of conflict sensitivity to the Working Group on their behalf.  I met a group of mostly women, creative and committed education specialists that had a strong sense of their common cause: To strengthen education practitioners and policy makers to render education programmes more effective in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.

Today, the INEE Conflict Sensitive Education Pack and other tools and guidelines are developed and available; a High-Level Symposium on the topic has taken place in Paris, we have started to systematically collect lessons learned, and the WG members with their promotional activities are present all over the world.

The participation in the WG provided me with lessons learned that I carry along in my future work for peacebuilding and conflict sensitivity:

  1. Language matters
  2. Think of the strategic level
  3. Education is transformative
  4. Getting out of the silo ...

To read the full blog, please click here.

Interview with Sarah Dryden-Peterson and Rebecca Winthrop

Conducted by Marianne Baesa, WGEF Communications Intern

Sarah Dryden-Peterson is co-chair of the INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility and Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Rebecca Winthrop is Director of the Center for Universal Education and a Senior Fellow of Global Economy and Development at The Brookings Institution, and represents the agency in the INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility.

Please describe your current work or your agency’s activities on education and fragility:

Sarah DP: I teach a graduate-level course on “Education and Armed Conflict” at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The class is made up of about 45 students in the International Education Policy program, and one of the goals of this class is to train the next generation of professionals in the field. Students are exposed to the critical issues in education and conflict, and are given an opportunity to collaborate with UNHCR field offices to see how the UNHCR education strategy is being implemented on the ground. ...

Rebecca W: My current work is at the policy level, which involves high-level policy advising particularly at the global level, but also at the country level and ultimately at the school level. We produce research that is presented in ways that policy makers can understand by helping set the agenda, shaping the debate on issues, highlighting evidence they may have missed, and assisting in designing policy. ...

To read the full interview, please click here.

Launch of the IIEP & PEIC crisis-sensitive educational planning and curriculum programme


UNESCO-IIEP helps education ministries develop capacities to plan and manage their education systems in a crisis-sensitive way. Partnering with the Protect Education from Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) of the Education Above All Foundation, and collaborating with INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility (WGEF) members, IIEP is now launching a programme on crisis-sensitive planning, policy and curriculum.

The main outcome of this programme will be a resource package for education ministries that will consolidate and build upon existing tools by WGEF members. Following an initial meeting in Paris in April 2013, the programme is being officially launched at the end of October 2013 during the WISE Summit in Doha, Qatar. To produce the resource package, IIEP will undertake activities including:

For more information, please contact: Lyndsay Bird, UNESCO-IIEP, [email protected]

UNICEF launches Peace-building Education Initiative in Myanmar


In response to on-going waves of inter-communal violence across Myanmar, UNICEF launched ground-breaking peace and reconciliation initiatives for Myanmar’s children with a 5 day workshop on peace-building through education. The workshop – conducted with the Ministry of Education – recognises peace and reconciliation is the most important issue facing Myanmar today and will lead to the dissemination of literature nurturing children’s ability as peace agents.

In a significant demonstration of acceptance, harmony and solidarity, the workshop brought together 70 Myanmar participants from 11 ethnicities and 5 religions including representatives from government, civil society, the arts, and the media. The workshop is the first time in Myanmar’s history that such a diverse group of people have come together to produce literature focused on peace-building with and for children.

Source: UNICEF Press Release



The newsletter contains information and resources of interest and relevance to those working in education in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, and updates on activities of the INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility and its member agencies. Relevant resources and information for inclusion can be sent to [email protected].

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  • April - Second Special Edition on Conflict Sensitive Education

  • March
  • February
  • January - Special Edition on Conflict Sensitive Education