Education and Fragility

Fragility was a commonly used term in the early 2000s to describe contexts affected by conflict, crisis and/or poor governance. The terminology of “education and fragility” was used to broaden the discussion on education in emergencies (EiE) to look at countries at all stages along the humanitarian-development spectrum as it was felt that EiE was understood  as mostly referring to humanitarian crises. 

IRC in Colombia
© J. Arredondo, IRC

Education is a powerful tool that when designed and implemented well can help a society emerge from conflict towards peace and stability. Schools and classrooms can provide the space in which people of different origins are brought together and taught how to live and work together peacefully.

However, the dynamics in fragile contexts – poor governance, violence, repression, corruption, inequality, and exclusion – can negatively impact the quality of learning that children and youth experience in the classroom and further entrench inequity, division, discrimination, and structural violence along religious, cultural, ethnic, or linguistic lines.

Education’s potential to either mitigate or exacerbate conflict and fragility is a result of nuanced interfaces between education policies, planning, and programming and the drivers and dynamics of conflict and fragility. An understanding of these conditions is critical to ensure that education, at a minimum, does no harm and, at its best, contributes to conflict prevention and long-term peace building.

Key Statistics

  • In 2016, education in emergencies received 2.7% of humanitarian aid, well below the target of 4%. Meanwhile, in the past five years, funding requests for education in emergencies have increased by 21%.

  • 75 million children aged 3 to 18 live in countries facing war and violence and need educational support.
  • Each year of education reduced the risk of conflict by around 20%.

  • Children in fragile, conflict-affected countries are more than twice as likely to be out of school compared with those in countries not affected by conflict, adolescents are more than two-thirds more likely to be out of school. 

  • If the enrollment rate for secondary schooling is 10 percentage points higher than the average, the risk of war is reduced by about 3 percentage points (a decline in risk from 11.5% to 8.6%)

This collection was developed with the support of Susy Ndaruhutse, Head of Education Reform at the Education Development Trust.

Background Paper

INEE Framing Paper: Education Finance in States Affected by Fragility

Published by
Education Development Trust (formerly CFBT)
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

This framing paper for the 2008 INEE Policy Roundtable provides analysis, lessons learnt and recommendations on the financing of education in states affected by fragility.

English
Policy Document

Capacity Development for Education Systems in Fragile Contexts

Published by
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)
,
European Training Foundation (ETF), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and Sector Project Education and Conflict Transformation

This paper examines fragility, capacity development and education and the links between these by analysing relevant research and policy literature.

English
Research Publication

State-Building, Peace-Building and Service Delivery in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States

Published by
Education Development Trust (formerly CFBT)
Save the Children
,
Practical Action Consulting

This literature review is the first output of a one-year DFID-funded research programme exploring the links between service delivery in education, health, sanitation and water, and wider processes of state-building and peace-building in fragile and conflict-affected states.

English
Research Publication

Private Sector Engagement in Education: Conflict-affected and Fragile Contexts

Published by
American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

The paper addresses three central questions: what are the narratives and practices around private sector engagement in education; how does that relate to conflict-affected and fragile contexts; and what are the critical considerations for the future?

English
Manual/Handbook/Guide

Protecting Education In Countries Affected By Conflict

Published by
Education Above All (EAA)
Global Education Cluster
Save the Children

This booklet is one of a series of booklets prepared as part of the Protecting Education in Conflict-Affected Countries Programme, undertaken by Save the Children on behalf of the Global Education Cluster, in partnership with Education Above All, a Qatar-based non-governmental organisation.

English