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Institutionalizing conflict sensitivity in education—a look at our progress to date

Tue, April 16, 1:30 to 3:00pm, Hyatt Regency, Floor: Atrium (Level 2), Garden Room A

Group Submission Type: Refereed Round-Table Session


As attention to education in crisis and conflict-affected environments has grown in the last two decades, so too has awareness that education activities do not, as was once assumed, offer equal and neutral benefits for all stakeholders. Instead, education activities are recognized as being subject to the same contextual dynamics and inequities as any other public ‘good’. In this sense, education can be understood to have “two faces” (Bush and Saltarelli 2000), one that supports equity, peacebuilding and public cohesion, and one that either intentionally or unintentionally undermines these. Given the now broadly accepted consensus in the humanitarian and development communities that above all, aid should “do no harm” (Uvin, 1998 and Anderson, 1999), the growing recognition of education’s ‘two faces’ has given rise to an increasing awareness of the need for conflict sensitivity in designing, implementing, evaluating and researching education activities in crisis and conflict-affected environments.

The Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) made a significant contribution to the growing understanding of conflict sensitivity through its publication, in 2013, of the INEE Conflict Sensitive Education Pack. This resource, freely available in English, French, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese includes Guiding Principles, a Reflection Tool, a Quick Reference Tool, and a Guidance Note. In addition, INEE developed a wide range of conflict sensitivity training materials, and encourages its members to access these to develop and implement further training and application of conflict sensitivity principles and practices.

Although these resources have significantly contributed to the knowledge base regarding conflict sensitive education, much work remains to be done in terms of further institutionalizing its core tenets and practices among the wide range of humanitarian, development and local actors working in education (Paffenholz; 2016, Causton 2009; Goddard 2014). The proposed panel will take a look at institutionalization progress to date, first the ECCN-sponsored researcher Kelsey Shanks will share a broad overview of CSE institutionalization literature and then describe her research to document the outcomes to date of INEE’s 2016 CSE Training of Trainers, held in Amman Jordan and attended by some thirty organizations, which made commitments to further CSE training in their home environments. Next, this session will take a more narrow focus to look at what one organization, War Child Holland, has done to institutionalize CSE among its education staff world-wide. The panel will conclude with a description of ECCN and INEE’s joint effort to develop a short, online introductory CSE Training Course. Course developer Nour Mounajed will describe her approach and give a brief tour of the course.

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