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RERA in Gao Region (Mali)

Tue, March 7, 8:00 to 9:30am, Sheraton Atlanta, 1, Georgia 11 (South Tower)

Proposal

The Education Recovery Support Act (ERSA), financed by USAID, is implemented by the Education Development Center (EDC) and a range of local partners. The program started in July 2015 for a period of five years, under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. ERSA aims to provide education and training opportunities for children and young people in the Gao Region.
A Rapid Education and Risk Analysis (RERA) was required by USAID to be implemented post-award. It was to be conducted during the last quarter of 2015, by the ERSA. Its purpose was to analyze the effects of the crisis on the lives of the populations, the school system and on the security situation, in order to design inputs and define the project's implementation strategies for the region. More specifically, the analysis aimed to:

- identify potential communities where the project will intervene, based on the needs, the number of potential beneficiaries and the security realities,
- understand the causes of the conflict as well as the populations' perceptions of the conflict,
- understand the consequences of the conflict on education, educational needs and the expectations of the populations,
- know the risks faced by the populations and by the vulnerable populations (risks and risk perceptions),
- identify training and employment opportunities for young people, and
- identify the factors, stakeholders and local mechanisms of division, of cohesion and resilience.

The RERA allowed for the analysis of perceptions of the communities as to the sources, factors and those responsible for the crisis, and to highlight the influence of ethnicity and gender on these perceptions. Insecurity and the lack of employment opportunities are the most important issues for all communities, as much as food insecurity. Ethnic tensions are very present and resentment due to injustice between the north and south of Mali is very strong. While insecurity comes mainly from armed groups, local elected officials and traditional leaders, as well as NGOs, are singled out as sources of division at the local level.

The RERA provided ERSA with a series of recommendations. These recommendations concern the process of social negotiations, the principles and criteria for selecting the intervention communities, strategies for the retention of beneficiaries, youth vocational training strategies, curricula content and languages in which education is to be carried out, resilience activities and the promoting of peace, sustainability of achievements, the indirect impact on the formal education sector, risk awareness and mitigation, constructions and rehabilitations or even monitoring-evaluation.

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