Synthesis Report: The Integration of Education and Peacebuilding

The purpose of this synthesis report is twofold. First, it examines how education is included in peacebuilding and development frameworks in four distinct conflict-affected environments (Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa and Uganda). Second, it compares, summarises and critically reflects how education policies and governance contribute to the peacebuilding process. In doing so, we pay close attention to aspects of redistribution, representation, recognition and reconciliation (see: Novelli et al. 2015). Throughout the report we deliberately distinguish between explicit and implicit forms of peacebuilding through education. The former refers to activities such as peace education, peacebuilding training for teachers, programmes and initiatives purposely put in place for a conflict- affected society to come to terms with the legacies of a conflict. The latter, refers to policies, activities and programmes that may not be intentionally designed to build peace but indirectly impact processes of social transformation and change, necessary for sustainable peace and development.

Key Findings:

  • No matter the degree of state fragility and concomitant peacebuilding process, education is in the main equated with aspects of redistribution and economic development.
  • There is an underlying assumption that processes of recognition, representation and reconciliation will automatically occur once redistribution in education is tackled. However, inequalities in education are also related to aspects of social cohesion, representation or how grievances are deeply rooted in the history of state formation.
  • Programs need to go beyond explicit ‘peace education’ at the individual or communal level, and additionally consider implicit approaches that promote equity and social cohesion through education.
  • Aspects of representation need to be more in the foreground when it comes to education governance and planning –decentralization is not always the solution.
  • More data is needed on how unequal access to high-quality education affects social transformation in the long term.

Resource Info

Resource Type



Published by

Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding

Authored by

Alan Smith, Simone Datzberger, Alan McCully


Peace Education
Education Policy
Education for Peacebuilding