Education and fragility in Afghanistan: A situational analysis

This paper is a part of a wider research project on education in fragile contexts being undertaken under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Network on Education in Emergencies (INEE). It asks how education can be delivered effectively in Afghanistan and how it contributes to, or mitigates, fragility.

Informed by an analytic framework developed by INEE, the paper explores five drivers of fragility: security, the economy, governance, social, and the environment. These five drivers overlap and are causally intermingled. The concept of ‘fragility’ is problematic – theoretically, practically, and politically – and is here used to denote the set of difficult operating circumstances for education agencies.

This study shows the primacy of ensuring security in order to deliver education. This cannot be done solely by military means: it needs willpower, not just firepower. Community and home-based education creates security, promotes education quality and enhances social capital. Foreign aid focused on military or corporate profits fuels fragility. Aid reform is needed. The MoE needs to be in charge of coordinating all education efforts. Disaster prevention should be integrated into the national education plan. A national education plan is not just a planning tool, but also a driver of capacity development and a needed symbol of hope and resilience.

Resource Info

Resource Type

Case Study


Published by

Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), UNESCO International Institute for Education Planning (UNESCO-IIEP)

Authored by

Morten Sigsgaard


Education and Fragility

Geographic Focus