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How to strengthen evidence to improve education in conflict and crisis settings

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

Session Submission Type: Group Panel

Description of Session

This panel focuses on improving evidence and understanding of the provision of education for some of the most vulnerable populations consistently left behind: learners in emergencies and protracted crises. The panel aims to:
1. Build the case for greater investment in data and evidence in education in crisis settings as a critical step towards achieving SDG 4.
2. Discuss key issues and challenges related to conducting research in crisis contexts that could have a direct, positive effect on education planning and ultimately on delivery against SDG4 indicators.
3. Propose ways forward by showcasing innovative approaches and tools developed and applied in several settings to support education data collection and knowledge sharing in crisis contexts.

The vision laid out in the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” is an ambitious endeavour towards which the global community has set sail. For the education community, the dual aims of tackling remaining MDG agenda issues and addressing new, complex and sensitive issues such as equity in education, education quality and global citizenship serve only to highlight the extent of the ambition.

The focus on equity requires that the global community re-engage more meaningfully with issues that have been frequently highlighted, yet rarely confronted or operationalized. The education of children and youth affected by crisis, including those that have been forcibly displaced, is undoubtedly a key issue in the discussion of achieving educational equity globally, and sustaining positive change in this area.

International consensus on the issue already exists: the need to pay special attention to populations in conflict-affected countries has been recognized both in the SDG resolution and the Incheon Declaration on Education 2030. Despite this consensus, education remains the least funded humanitarian intervention. Little is known about the learning achievement of children in crisis situations or what works to facilitate these children ‘not being left behind’. The development of policies, plans and programmes is obviously impaired if there is no evidence base that examines the variety of barriers to learning which these populations encounter. Monitoring educational achievements and needs, identifying what works in which contexts, addressing the multiplicity of situations, settings, legal and protection contexts, and coping with the financing challenges are all critical obstacles to overcome as part of guaranteeing that children and youth affected by crisis have the chance to benefit from inclusion in SDG4.

The panel will highlight the critical importance of developing an evidence base for educational planning and programming in crisis situations. Existing methodological frameworks to assess the quality of the global response in producing and disseminating data in conflict-affected areas and emergencies settings will be discussed, along with steps which governments and the international community can undertake. The panel will highlight new initiatives to better monitor the educational situation of children and youth affected by crisis. Finally, using country examples, the panel will examine how the use of data and evidence helps ensure the right to education of many children by enabling stakeholders to optimize resources, make evidence-based decisions and disseminate best practices.

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