Journal on Education in Emergencies Volume 2

Research and Evidence

We are pleased to announce the second issue of the Journal on Education in Emergencies (JEiE). This issue features articles that analyze educational programs formarginalized and vulnerable populations living in a wide range of circumstances of crisis or conflict, and that examine resilience as a response to these emergency settings. Given the recent increase in hate crimes in the U.S. and much of Europe, the rise of misogyny and racism around the globe, and growing fears of refugees, “outsiders,” and those who appear different from the mainstream, the importance of research focused on marginalization and on efforts to bridge social divides takes on a heightened sense of urgency. Although all of the articles in this issue were written before the recent voter upheavals in the U.K. and the U.S., many of the ideas they address speak to these divides—as the field of education in emergencies has always attempted to do.

Paradoxically for educators working and writing in the field of education in emergencies, despite the surge of hostility toward immigrants and refugees in the past several years, we also have seen an exponential increase in attention to education in countries affected by conflict. This has brought new actors to focus on these issues (e.g., Gordon Brown, Erna Solberg, Malala Yousefzai) and new efforts to promote education in these contexts. Although this attention provides an important opening for JEiE, it simultaneously underscores the tension between internationalizing initiatives like the journal on the one hand, and the national, inward-looking responses from those who feel left out of the global economy and citizenry on the other. Most of the populations described in the articles in this issue live on the edge of the globalized world, where they face inequity, social marginalization, and violence, in both conflict-affected rural villages in Afghanistan and the urban metropolis of Delhi, India.

Although JEiE sits squarely on the side of international cooperation and collective action, it also speaks to the concerns and challenges faced by marginalized populations who may be left out of unequal economic arrangements or be left on the sidelines by intensifying global communications and interconnectedness. We hope the articles in this issue will help us move forward collectively to increase support for the marginalized populations living in conflict or crisis anywhere, and to understand factors that may promote their participation and sense of belonging in society.

The Journal on Education in Emergencies

The scholarly, peer-reviewed Journal on Education in Emergencies aims to fill gaps in EiE research and policy. Building on the tradition of collaboration between practitioners and academics in the field of EiE, JEiE’s aim is to help improve learning in and across service-delivery, policy-making, and academic institutions by providing a space where scholars and practitioners can publish rigorous quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research articles, and robust and compelling field notes, both to inform policy and practice and to stir debate. JEiE’s aim is to provide access to the ideas and evidence necessary to inform sound EiE programming, policy-making, funding decisions, academic program curricula, and future research.

JEiE specifically aims to:

  1. Stimulate research and debate to build evidence and collective knowledge about EiE
  2. Promote learning across service-delivery organizations, and policy and academic institutions informed by evidence
  3. Define knowledge gaps and key trends to inform future research
  4. Publish rigorous scholarly and applied work that will set standards for evidence in the field

To achieve these goals, JEiE seeks articles from scholars and practitioners who work across disciplines and sectors to focus on a range of questions related to education in countries and regions affected by crisis and conflict. JEiE works closely with INEE, today a network of more than 12,500 scholars and practitioners around the world, to collect new research articles and field note submissions and to distribute high-quality published work. This vast global partnership of activists, academics, policy-makers, and practitioners in education enables JEiE to make a unique and powerful contribution.

The full Journal on Education in Emergencies can be downloaded for free from the INEE website. Full abstracts of the articles in the second issue are also published below.

We invite you to join us in this collective endeavor and urge you to consider submitting your EiE-related studies to JEiE, which we believe will deepen and broaden the power of EiE as a social movement.

Issues and Contents

Our aim is to publish JEiE online twice a year. Each issue will feature 4-6 peer-reviewed articles written by researchers and practitioners in the field of EiE. The three sections of JEiE are:

  1. EiE Research Articles (Section 1): Articles in this section have a clear research design; use an explicit, well-recognized theoretical or conceptual framework; employ rigorous research methods; and contribute to the evidence base and advance knowledge on EiE. Articles that develop new EiE theoretical or conceptual frameworks or challenge existing ones are also welcome. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods articles are appropriate.
  2. EiE Field Notes (Section 2): Articles in this section address innovative approaches to EiE; progress and challenges in designing, implementing, and evaluating initiatives; or observations and commentary on research work. Articles in this section typically will be authored by practitioners or practitioner-researcher teams.
  3. EiE Book Reviews (Section 3): Articles in this section offer a critical review of a recently published or upcoming book, or of substantial studies, evaluations, meta-analyses, documentaries, or other media that focus on EiE.

Please see our website——for more information and detailed submission guidelines.

Abstracts from the second issue of the JEiE 

Finding a Way Forward: Conceptualizing Sustainability in Afghanistan's Community-Based Schools Michelle J. Bellino, Bibi-Zuhra Faizi, and Nirali Mehta

Community-based educational (CBE) models have gained recognition across diverse contexts for closing access gaps, leveraging local assets, and shaping cost-effective and culturally relevant educational opportunities in marginalized communities. In protracted conflict contexts such as Afghanistan, CBE compensates for weak state capacity by cultivating community engagement and support. This article considers the impact of CBE in the voices of Afghanistan’s educational and community stakeholders, gained through interviews and observations with parents, teachers, students, educational officers, and school shuras (councils) across eight communities in two provinces. Against a backdrop of continued insecurity, resource shortages, and uncertain projections for future government and NGO support, conceptions of sustainability emerge as salient but poorly defined, and as lacking common understanding among stakeholders about the purposes and long-term prospects of CBE. We argue that the success of CBE models depends on how various actors define sustainability and what it is the model is seeking to sustain. The study underscores three dimensions of sustainability: (1) self-reported changed attitudes toward education, (2) decisions about student transitions from community to government schools, and (3) emergent indicators of community ownership over CBE. Across these measures of sustainable attitudes, actions, and community arrangements, quality education is positioned as a mechanism for long-term community commitment. However, increased community interest and capacity to sustain CBE is at odds with the current policy approach, which anticipates the eventual handover of all community-based schools to the government.

Will You Send Your Daughter to School? Norms, Violence, and Girls’ Education in Uruzgan, Afghanistan Dana Burde and Jehanzaib Khan

Access to education for all children around the world is supported by international human rights norms. Despite this broad endorsement, some international actors wonder whether promoting access to education for girls may conflict with dominant local attitudes, values, or customs. Using stratified survey data and complementary qualitative interview data, this study explores why parents choose to send their boys and girls to school in Uruzgan, Afghanistan, what prevents them from doing so, and what normative tensions emerge in as they make these decisions. Our data show, first, that placing value on their boys’ education is not enough to prompt parents to enroll them in school; parents must also perceive that educating their boys will have future returns, thus prioritizing pragmatic assessments over normative value. However, those who send both boys and girls to school are more likely to prioritize the normative value education of education. Second, our data show that parents who report experiencing or having personal knowledge of a higher number of attacks against education are less likely to send their children to school. Finally, we show that normative struggles over girls’ education take place primarily within the local community and society, rather than between foreign organizations and the local population. Regardless of education level, both men and women cite tenets of Islam as a key motivation for educating girls and boys. Although some describe education as a human right, they say that Islam is the source of these rights, not Western organizations or institutions. The greater challenge for aid workers, therefore, is pragmatic (to ensure security) rather than normative (to promote beliefs about the appropriateness of education).

Resilience of LGBTQIA Students on Delhi Campuses Anjali Krishan, Apurva Rastogi, Suneeta Singh

In this paper, we document how LGBTQIA students on college campuses in Delhi, India, are handling discrimination in the aftermath of the Supreme Court of India’s ruling on December 11, 2013, that recriminalized homosexuality in India. Applying a resilience research approach, our study revealed that LGBTQIA students are mired in a context of adversity and discrimination that leaves them struggling to achieve their desired outcome: acceptance of their LGBTQIA identity. Students employ both protective and promotive resilience strategies to reach the desired outcome, but these efforts come with a high cost that is borne by both individual students and the LGBTQIA community. Resilience strategies, therefore, have not necessarily improved the adverse environment in Delhi’s extremely homophobic higher education establishments. In this paper, we identify which strategies are most likely to lead to positive, long-lasting change.

A School Under Fire: The Fog of Educational Practice in War Kathe Jervis

This article explores a little-known footnote in the history of the U.S. military occupation in Iraq. In mid-2007, when the war in Iraq was at its height, the author accepted a job to document the beginnings of a school designed and operated by the U.S. military in Iraq. Although this school was in many ways like any other, every aspect ultimately was conditioned by its singular context: it was a school for Iraqi juveniles captured in war. The author documented the situation of the teenage detainees attending this school run by the U.S. military, and described their educational program. Data collection included both semi-structured and informal conversations with the detainees, their teachers, their guards, and those in the military hierarchy who made decisions about the school and its curriculum; the author also conducted extended classroom observations. Document analysis included school schedules, students’ written work and artwork, and assessments. The author gathered information to inform decision-makers about elements missing from the school program, to raise questions about texts and materials, and to offer ideas as the school developed. This article, which is adapted from the field notes the author maintained as part of her assignment, raises questions about the role of the U.S. military in providing education to detained Iraqi juveniles and describes daily life in school.

School-Based Intervention in Ongoing Crisis: Lessons From a Psychosocial and Trauma-Focused Approach in Gaza Schools Jon-Håkon Schultz, Laura Marshall, Helen Norheim and Karam Al-Shanti

It is a complex challenge to design education in emergencies responses that meet local needs, are sensitive to local culture, build on international guidelines for best practice, and use research-based methods. This paper presents lessons learned from the implementation of the Better Learning Program, a school-based response in Gaza that combined psychosocial and trauma-focused approaches, and discusses how international guidelines were incorporated. The Better Learning Program intervention was designed as a partially manualized, multi-level approach to help teachers, school counselors, and parents empower schoolchildren with strategies for calming and self-regulation. The stepwise approach first targeted all pupils, then pupils who reported having nightmares and sleep disturbances. The goal was to help these students regain lost learning capacity and strengthen resilience within the school community. The intervention was implemented in 40 schools over two and a half years, with a target group of 35,000 pupils. Teachers and school counselors reported that the combined psychosocial and trauma-focused approach was compatible with their educational perspectives. The approach appeared to enable teachers to be more proactive when teaching pupils affected by war. This paper concludes with reflections and lessons learned.