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Selecting and using project-level education equity indicators for access and retention: New guidance and tools for more conflict-sensitive education

Thu, March 29, 8:00 to 9:30am, Hilton Reforma, Floor: 4th Floor, Doña Adelita

Proposal

There is solid evidence that inequitable access to education across groups ("horizontal" inequality) is a driver of conflict, and that conflict-sensitive education must seek to reduce equity gaps. In 2017, the Education Equity Research Initiative's workstream on conflict and fragility identified that project-level education equity indicators are not readily available to program implementers, despite a common focus on equity, making it difficult for projects to measure changes in equitable outcomes in any way other than simple disaggregation of project indicators. Measuring equitable education access requires understanding how children’s background characteristics and their group affiliations shape their access to education opportunities. Key characteristics of many excluded children include coming from the poorest segments of the population, residing in rural areas, female gender, belonging to nomadic or pastoralist groups, being refugees or internally displaced, facing discrimination based on ethnic origin, being of a minority language group, and having a disability.

To fill this gap, the Equity Initiative’s workstream on conflict and fragility followed a participatory, cross-organizational process to review existing literature and develop guidance for implementing organizations operating in conflict and crisis environments for the development of project indicators to measure equity of access to educational opportunities.  While many of the core concepts and principles of the guidance are applicable to developing country contexts in general, this document highlights strategies for addressing data availability challenges that are typically most acute in contexts of conflict and crisis.  The guidance includes recommendations for standard indicators, as well as customized indicators that can be tailored to individual programs. As such, the guidance is intended primarily for implementing partners of projects operating under USAID Education Strategy Goal 3, and implementers of similar projects that are fully or partially focused on improving equitable access to education in conflict and crisis environments.

This presentation will introduce the work conducted by the Equity Initiative’s workstream on conflict and fragility by briefly outlining general measurement concepts of equitable education access and key measurement challenges specific to conflict and fragility settings. It then introduces potential standard indicators on equitable education access that allows for aggregation and comparison across projects as well as guidance on how to develop customized indicators that recognize context-specific patterns of exclusion and education inequity.

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