Promoting access to quality, safe, and relevant education for all persons affected by crisis

Learning for Peace Resources


From 2012-2016, UNICEF and the Government of the Netherlands undertook a 4-year partnership entitled Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy Programme (PBEA), also known as “Learning for Peace”. The objective of this program was to test how education can be leveraged to contribute to the mitigation of drivers of conflict in fragile and post-conflict countries. Unlike other UNICEF education in emergency programs, peacebuilding was seen as the primary objective of Learning for Peace, with the goal of strengthening – through the education system and the provision of social services – resilience, social cohesion, and human security in conflict-affected contexts.

Below is the full collection of resources produced and compiled by the Learning for Peace program.

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Advocacy and Issues Briefs

Education for Peacebuilding Brief
UNICEF, 2014

This brief makes the case that education is crucial to peacebuilding and to fostering more cohesive societies. Education is arguably the single most transformative institution that can touch every citizen, female and male, when it is equitably available, good quality, relevant and conflict-sensitive. It forms the bedrock of a country’s economy, good governance, gender equality, identity and culture.

This resource is available in English and French.

Gender, Education, and Peacebuilding Brief
UNICEF, 2016

This brief is intended to inform policy discussions among education and peacebuilding actors on relevant gender considerations across both fields.

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Early Childhood Development and Peacebuilding Brief
UNICEF, 2015

This brief highlights a number of specific ways early childhood development programming can contribute to peacebuilding: 1. Providing safe, caring and loving environments for young children; 2. Promoting positive attitudes and skills in children; 3. Improving caregiver and children well-being; 4. Reducing con ict and violence; 5. Diminishing inequities and contributing to social justice; and 6. Serving as platforms for community cohesion. 

This resource is available in EnglishFrench, and Spanish.

Contributions of Early Childhood Development Services to Preventing Violent Conflict
Early Childhood Peace Consortium (ECPC)

The purpose of this brief is to: (1) demonstrate the societal risks that result when early childhood development (ECD) services are lacking and (2) show how ECD services contribute to sustaining peace through increasing social cohesion, equality and economic productivity.

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Education Inequality and Violent Conflict
UNICEF and FHI360, 2016

This policy brief hightlights the evidence that rising inequalities in education can increase the risk of conflict, and consequently, experiencing conflict can exacerbate preexisting education inequality. Among other things, investment in equitable education opportunity may be key to a country’s risk of (re)lapsing into conflict.

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Guidance Materials

UNICEF Technical Note on Conflict Sensitivity and Peacebuilding
UNICEF, Jun 2012

This Technical Note responds to the growing recognition1 that: (i) countries affected by conflict and high levels of violence are a priority for UNICEF; (ii) UNICEF plays a vital role in peacebuilding; and (iii) UNICEF needs a more systematic approach to ensure all its programmes are conflict sensitive and to design explicit peacebuilding interventions in order to improve the quality of its programmes and achieve better and more sustainable results for children in these contexts. 

The note aims to support a more systematic approach in UNICEF to conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding. While conflict sensitivity applies to all programmes, including humanitarian, peacebuilding applies only UNICEF’s development programmes. The note explains key concepts, offers tools and approaches, identifies entry points in UNICEF strategies, frameworks and programmes, and provides examples of UNICEF programmatic contributions in this area.

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Guide to Conflict Analysis
UNICEF, Nov 2016

This Guide is a tool for UNICEF staff and leadership to understand, situate and operationalize conflict analysis into UNICEF programme planning and implementation. In the UNICEF context, conflict analysis is understood as the systematic study of the profile, causes, actors and dynamics of conflict. In essence, a conflict analysis seeks to understand who is involved in a conflict and what they want to achieve and why – including the historic and current events and developments that influence them.

The Guide can be used as a stand-alone resource, or it can be used as a reference for UNICEF staff that have completed a training workshop on conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding (country office, regional office or online). Each tool and concept should be contextualized and adapted to the realities, dynamics and needs of the context in which it is used.

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Lessons Learned for Peace: How conflict analyses informed UNICEF’s peacebuilding and education programe
UNICEF, 2017

Conflict analysis is the fundamental starting point for understanding the causes and dynamics of violent conflict, shaping conflict-sensitive programming, and developing peacebuilding interventions. By identifying the various causes of conflict, education policymakers and practitioners can employ strategies to address both immediate and structural or root causes of violent conflict, avoid worsening the existing tensions, and contribute to long-term peace.

Lessons Learned for Peace documents a wealth of information towards building the evidence base in support of multidimensional peacebuilding that occurs at all levels of society, from the community to the national government, and involving civil society, the United Nations system, and an array of international and national partners.

By sharing practical experience, this report highlights factors that policymakers and practitioners in education and other sectors can apply to informing social services for peacebuilding programmes.

This resource is forthcoming.

Programming Guide: Conflict Sensitivity and Peacebuilding
UNICEF, Nov 2016

The Conflict Sensitivity and Peacebuilding Programming Guide is a tool for UNICEF field staff and leadership to understand, situate and operationalize conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding through UNICEF’s existing work or new initiatives in different contexts and in partnership with other stakeholders.

This Programming Guide can be used as a stand-alone resource, or as a reference for UNICEF staff that have completed a workshop through the HATIS Capacity Development Project (CO, RO or online). Each tool and concept introduced should be contextualized and adapted to the realities, dynamics and needs of the context in which it is used. It is, therefore, not an exhaustive guide but provides a framework that can then be further elaborated through existing CO knowledge. 

In each chapter, a few sector-specific examples are shared to further shed light on how a given concept can be applied across sectoral pillars.

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INEE Conflict Sensitive Education Pack
INEE, 2013

INEE developed a Conflict Sensitive Education Pack to support the integration of conflict sensitivity in education policies and programs. Available in English, French, Arabic, and Spanish, the pack includes:

  • Guidance Note that offers strategies for developing and implementing conflict sensitive education programs and policies.
  • Reflection Tool that is designed to help you reflect on the impact of conflict dynamics on education programs and how these education programs can help either mitigate or exacerbate the conflict dynamics. 
  • INEE Guiding Principles on Integrating Conflict Sensitivity in Education that describes the basic principles of “do no harm” and its extensions
  • Support promotional materials including PowerPoint presentation, talking points, and user feedback form.

Download this resource.


Learning for Peace: Narratives from the Field – A Compendium of Programme Strategies, 2012–2016
UNICEF, 2017

Learning for Peace Narratives from the Field explores the nature of conflict as a barrier to development and the potential of education as a bridge to peace.

Designed for the benefit of education and peacebuilding practitioners, as well as other social service providers, it discusses a wide range of emerging conflict-sensitive (‘do no harm’) and peacebuilding (‘do more good’) strategies. These strategies and the associated documentation are based on case studies developed through diverse partnerships in the 14 core countries: Burundi, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Liberia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, the State of Palestine, Uganda and Yemen

Chapter introductions and strategy summaries cover the following topics: (a) Key Concepts of the context; (b) Underlying causes and dynamics of conflict; (c) Theory of change and programme strategies; and (d) Emerging results and implications for future programming.

This resource is forthcoming.

Child-Friendly Schooling for Peacebuilding
UNICEF, 2014

Over the past decade, the child-friendly schools (CFS) model has emerged as UNICEF’s signature means to advocate for and promote quality education for every girl and boy, particularly in fragile contexts. 

In 2013, UNICEF commissioned research into how child friendly schools might contribute, in practice as well as in theory, to the development of values of democratic participation in children and youth; as well as to their harmonious relationships at the intrapsychic, interpersonal and intergroup level. 

The report reviews the fields of child-friendly education, and reviews the CFS approach through a peacebuilding lens, identifying elements in CFS theory and practice that are ‘peacebuilding resonant’ (already making a contribution to peacebuilding), ‘peacebuilding latent’ (having unrealized peacebuilding potential), and ‘peacebuilding gaps’ in CFS thinking and provision that need to be filled. The report also identifies and reviews noteworthy low-cost practices in education for peacebuilding developed within but also independent of the CFS framework.

Download this resource in English and French.

INEE Background Paper on Psychosocial Support and Social & Emotional Learning for Children & Youth
INEE, 2016

The purpose of this paper is to review and clarify relevant terminologies and approaches relating to psychosocial well-being and social and emotional learning (SEL) in education in crisis-affected contexts, and to explore how psychosocial support (PSS) and social and emotional learning relate to one another.

It serves as a background paper for a guidance note on psychosocial support and social and emotional learning for children and youth in emergency settings

The paper also lists and refers to key resources for education in emergency practitioners that can be used for providing psychosocial support in emergency settings.

The target audiences for this paper are education practitioners, academics, and policy-makers working in education in emergencies and protracted crises.

Download this resource in EnglishFrench, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic (forthcoming).


INEE Guidance Note on Psychosocial Support and Social & Emotional Learning in Crisis and Fragile Settings
INEE, 2017

This resource is forthcoming.

The Role of Communities in Protecting Education from Attack: Lessons Learned
Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), 2014

GCPEA’s study, The Role of Communities in Protecting Education from Attack: Lessons Learned, examines how organizations supporting education programs have engaged communities to protect schools, students, and teachers in countries experiencing attacks on education. GCPEA has documented a pattern of attacks in 30 countries in the last five years. 

The report is intended as a guide for people working in the field. In it, GCPEA urges international and local organizations to seek guidance and input from affected communities when working to prevent and respond to violent attacks on education.

Drawing from reports by international agencies, interviews with practitioners, and field research in Côte d’Ivoire, the study synthesizes lessons learned in community-based efforts to protect education in 21 countries. It presents 12 steps that organizations can take to collaborate with communities in designing protection programs. These include: coordinating with local education actors; mapping community resources; assessing risks; developing a jointly agreed plan that reflects community concerns; and working with community members, including children, in monitoring and evaluating programs.

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Protecting Education Personnel from Targeted Attack in Conflict-Affected Countries
Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), 2014

The paper addresses the scope and nature of attacks on education personnel and the range of measures put in place to protect them. Many of the measures have not been formally evaluated. Additional research is needed to understand the dynamics of attacks on teachers and how to most effectively protect teachers. However, lessons have been drawn from practitioners’ experiences, academic, NGO, and government reports, as well as case study research in the Philippines, included in the paper.

The paper’s priority recommendations include that Governments: Adopt legislation and policies to protect teachers, including from election violence; implement the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict; not employ security forces to protect teachers unless there is a no alternative; enable teachers to return to posts after attacks when it is safe to do so; ensure that education delivery and content is conflict-sensitive; and provide accountability for attacks on education personnel.

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What Ministries Can Do to Protect Education from Attack and Schools from Military Use
Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), 2015

This "Menu of Actions" in this guide is intended as a resource to empower personnel of ministries responsible for education to better prevent attacks on education or protect schools from military use, mitigate the impact of attacks when they do occur, and respond to attacks. The actions are drawn primarily from publications by GCPEA and its member organizations. Although the focus of the paper is on schools, many of the recommendations may be considered for universities or other educational institutions (e.g. vocational training centers).

The suggested actions for Ministries to protect education from attack consists of seven components:

  1. Analyze the situation and monitor the attacks
  2. Secure the schools
  3. Ensure education continuity
  4. Support communities
  5. Be conflict sensitive
  6. Systematize the protection of education
  7. Advocate for support, including for state endorsement of the Safe Schools Declaration and implementation of the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict

Download this resource in English and French.

What Schools Can Do to Protect Education from Attack and Military Use
Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), 2016

This resource is part of a collection of resources compiled by UNICEF’s 2012-2016 Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy Programme (PBEA), known as “Learning for Peace”, which was funded by the Government of the Netherlands.

The paper describes what is actually being done in the field at the school-level to protect education from attack, identifying the risks and challenges involved, and drawing out lessons learned from these measures as well as other literature on the topic. The measures have not been formally evaluated, so much of the understanding of what is successful and what is not is based on the anecdotal assessment of practitioners and is context-specific. 

The following seven school-based measures are described: 1. Unarmed physical protection measures; 2. Armed physical protection measures; 3. Negotiations as a strategy to protect education; 4. Early warning/alert systems; 5.Alternative delivery of education; 6. Psychosocial support; and 7. Comprehensive school-based safety and security plans.

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Risk-Informed Education Programming
UNICEF, 2017

Crisis has a powerfully destructive impact on systems and populations.1 States affected by conflict, natural disaster, climate change and other hazards are the furthest away from achieving development goals. While current development and humanitarian approaches in hazard-affected contexts have undoubtedly played an important role, evidence indicates that they are not sufficient to fulfill the rights of all children. Policies and programs across the development to humanitarian continuum must be risk-informed in order to contribute to the resiliency of populations and social services to withstand.

Towards this end, agency-wide UNICEF will take actions to adjust both how it works, as well as what it delivers. To adjust how it works, UNICEF Offices at all levels will: identify, assess, and manage risks using a common risk language. As one of several tools to facilitate these operational adaptations, UNICEF is currently developing a Basic Package on Risk-Informed Programming which will include guidance and tools to support country offices to: identify hazards, assess risks, and apply risk-informed approaches to programming across all sectors.

This resource is forthcoming.

Handbook on Child Recruitment, Prevention, Release and Reintegration
UNICEF, 2017

This handbook is a user-friendly, operational reference for field staff, policy-makers and donors on child recruitment, prevention, release and reintegration. It focuses on programmatic implementation of the Paris Principles, particularly in rapid on-set emergencies. It provides comprehensive background information and technical guidance on a range of activities related to the prevention of child recruitment and child release and reintegration processes such as:

  • Key Concepts of children’s association with armed forces and armed groups
  • Policy and programme design for preventing child recruitment
  • Release of children associated with armed forces and armed groups
  • Reintegration of children formerly associated with armed forces and armed groups
This resource is forthcoming.

Emerging Practices in Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation for Education for Peacebuilding Programming
Search for Common Ground, 2015

This practical guide focuses on key elements of program DM&E for education interventions with peacebuilding aims in fragile environments.

It presents critical information, practical tips, resources and tools for all stages in program cycles, and emerging practices and lessons learned from the field, including those arising from the UNICEF Learning for Peace programme.

This document addresses the following key questions:

  • What should practitioners consider when designing programs and accompanying M&E systems that contribute to education for peacebuilding programming?
  • What are unique and specific considerations for conducting outcome-oriented M&E planning within complex, conflict-sensitive contexts?
  • What are some relevant M&E tools and resources for education for peacebuilding programming?

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Monitoring and Evaluation of Participatory Theatre for Change
Search for Common Ground, 2016

Participatory Theatre for Change, similar to other participatory communication, has typically been one of the ‘hard to measure’ approaches to address social and development challenges.

This publication outlines specific considerations for incorporating M&E from the beginning of the Participatory Theatre for Change process. Specifically:

  • It offers practical guidance and tools for implementing monitoring and evaluation in Participatory Theatre for Change programmes, or programmes that include participatory theatre.
  • It highlights considerations and approaches for process and quality monitoring of participatory theatre programs and practitioners.

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Indicators Framework for Peacebuilding, Education and Social Cohesion
UNICEF, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, 2017

The guidance paper highlights a framework to think through the measurement and evaluation of education to peacebuilding.

Building on the approach developed by Vinck and Pham on attitudes about peace, a proposed framework illustrates the manner in which education experience contributes to key peace factors, or even contribute to conflict where it manifests negatively – specific may inevitably differ significantly from one societal context or conflict system to another (and even from one community or family, etc. to another).

Notwithstanding the different country and conflict contexts examined, it is possible to position and articulate the places, forms and manifestations of education experience and its effect on peace and resilience factors, by weighing the extent to which a positive or negative experience of education (1) Strengthens or undermines social cohesion, (2) Draws on or compromises responsive leadership, good governance and inclusive politics, (3) Fosters or inhibits access to economic resources and opportunities, (4) is a source of learning from or merely further entrench the legacies of past conflict, (5) is supported or undermined by societal information and communication networks, and (6) contributes to or undermines systems of rule of law and perceptions of justice and security

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Reports and Outcome Evaluations

UNICEF Programme Report 2012-2016: Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy in Conflict-Affected Contexts Programme (PBEA)

The Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy in Conflict-Affected Contexts (PBEA) Programme Report summarizes processes, results and learning that occurred during the entire course of the PBEA programme –Learning for Peace.

It draws extensively on reports produced by the 14 participating UNICEF country offices, five regional offices, a total of nine headquarters sections, units or divisions, and partners engaged in the programme. These documents were systematically coded and analyzed for this report. This evidence was supplemented by a review of an extensive body of research produced within and outside the auspices of the programme, as well as Members of the Learning for Peace Programme Management Team.

The report illustrates how the programme operated on the rationale that, when delivered equitably and effectively, education and other social services can strengthen capacities to manage conflict shocks and stresses, from the national to individual levels, and promote peace, while sustaining long-term development opportunities for children, young people and their supportive communities. 

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Evaluation of UNICEF’s Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy Programme (PBEA)

The extent to which social services (i.e. education) can be used for peacebuilding is an under-defined area of work that has not previously been tested at scale in UNICEF.

Evidence was gathered from a review of documentation, two site visits, and interviews with selected staff members and partners. The evaluation employed an established methodology of ‘outcome harvesting’, which combines extensive document review with an in-person, participatory verification process.

The main findings of the evaluation were: (1) using a social service such as education for delivering peacebuilding results demonstrated that social service providers can address the causes of conflict in fragile and post-conflict countries; and that (2) UNICEF was well-positioned to engage in peacebuilding work based on its mandate and institutional strengths. 

The evaluation also noted that while UNICEF engagement in peacebuilding had strengthened, further work was required to incorporate peacebuilding solutions within education and other social service programmes. 

Click to download the full report and the summary report.

Pan-African Symposium on Education, Resilience and Social Cohesion
Federal Republic of Ethiopia, UNICEF, ADEA

This report summarizes the lessons learned and promising practices shared at the Pan-African Symposium on Education, Resilience and Social Cohesion, held on 1 –3 June 2016 at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The symposium was organized jointly by UNICEF (WCARO and ESARO) and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), with its Inter-Country Quality Node (ICQN) on Peace Education. It was attended by Ministers of Education and Heads of Delegation from 14 African countries, including conflict-torn states.

This report synthesizes the major themes and lessons learned at the symposium and outlines key recommendations. It aims to establish the empirical base for the commitments agreed upon by the Ministers and Delegations of the 14 countries represented. 

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Research Products

Literature Review: The Integration of Education and Peacebuilding
Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding, Nov 2015

The review identified three main rationales for the role of education in peacebuilding: education as a ‘peace dividend’; as a means of strengthening governance; and as an entry point for transformation and change.

Speed and visibility of restoration of education services is important in terms of a ‘peace dividend’, but is only likely to contribute positively to peacebuilding if it is seen to benefit all, particularly where there have been inequalities or marginalization of certain regions or groups.

This visibility is important, but it will only contribute to confidence in the state if it is provided in a way that generates trust between the state and all its citizens.

Decentralization policies need to be carefully implemented to ensure that the overall impacts do not result in greater politicization of the education sector.

From a peacebuilding perspective, four priority areas for education policymakers can be identified from the literature: protection of children and safe learning spaces, addressing inequalities, promoting social cohesion, and supporting reconciliation.

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Syntheis Report: The Integration of Education and Peacebuilding
Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding, Mar 2016

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.

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Education and Transitional Justice: Opportunities and Challenges for Peacebuilding
International Center for Transitional Justice, 2015 

In the past two decades, the relationship between education and conflict has received increasing attention from researchers, policy makers, and practitioners working in the fields of education, child protection, and peacebuilding. This relationship has been considered in two directions, regarding: first, the impact
of conflict on education; and second, the ways in which education can both trigger conflict and contribute to establishing peace.

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The role of education in Peacebuilding Country Report: Myanmar
Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding, Feb 2016

At present, there is a stark divide between the national peace process and education reform. New opportunities exist to make inclusion, conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding central pillars for further reform.

Stronger reform is needed of existing language of instruction policies. The inability for children to use their mother tongues in schooling has been a grievance of various ethnic groups.

There are concerns that bridging the parallel education systems and offering greater standardization may not acknowledge the particular needs, challenges and expected roles of teachers vis a vis their communities -teacher accountability might be better managed within the profession itself, and ideally at the level of the school or township.

The gendered experiences and outcomes of schooling for boys and girls vary and must be better considered within policy and programming.

Need for greater coherent policy development and institutional co-ordination at national and state level on youth issues, and to move beyond considering youth as a singular entity or as mere economic (f)actors.

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Education and Social Cohesion Country Report: South Africa
Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding, Apr 2016

In South Africa, the historical antecedents of colonialism punctuate the dynamics of peace, equity and social cohesion, to the extent that apartheid legacies remain manifested in the ways in which inequality persists within the new state.

While post-apartheid reforms attempted to form a united education system, efforts to equalize education opportunity are not yet fully realized.

Addressing the 4R dimensions of peace building: redistribution, recognition, repre-sentationand reconciliation, requires context-specific strategies that address the historic and structural drivers of inequality making social cohesion difficult to realize.

This requires political will and consensus amongst educational stakeholders to support teachers to acquire the knowledge, skills and disposition of teachers to become agents of peace and social cohesion.

When this occurs, education interventions can certainly make a positive contribution to peace building, social cohesion, and mitigating violence.

If schooling system outcomes in South Africa continue to be bifurcated, social cohesion may remain elusive, peace tenuous, and conflict will continue to loom.

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The Transformative Potential of Positive Gender Socialization in Education for Peacebuilding: Uganda
UNICEF and AIR, 2016

This report is part of the knowledge generation component of the Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy in Conflict-Affected Contexts (PBEA) programme, a partnership between UNICEF and the Government of the Netherlands. 

The Gender Socialization in Schools programme pilot in Karamoja, Uganda, has demonstrated the value of a gender-transformative approach to addressing prevailing gender norms that have contributed to conflict –and which have the potential to be harnessed for peace –in the Karamoja region.

The pilot program’s accompanying impact evaluation shows that such a training intervention can have a positive impact on teachers’ knowledge of gender concepts and their relevance in the classroom. It also demonstrates the potential for shifting attitudes towards more progressive views of gender equality. While the research showed early indications of a shift towards gender equitable practices, teachers ultimately remained constrained by structural factors and the entrenched nature of the traditional views on gender roles held by the wider community.

Qualitative findings indicate, however, that stronger reinforcement strategies and links to the community as part of a longer-term approach would likely result in a transformation of teacher practices. Support from multiple community stakeholders is essential if shifts in gender roles, power relations and conflict dynamics are to be achieved at the macro level.

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Synthesis Report: Language Education & Social Cohesion (LESC) Initiative Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand
UNICEF, 2016

This LESC Synthesis Report was motivated by the need to find a response to the risks that children face in educational and non-educational settings associated with language and ethnicity issues.

LESC involved elements of action research, facilitated dialogues, language policy development support, consultations and situation analysis, professional development and training, and the core activity of action study/research.

A key general finding of the LESC Initiative is that conventional analyses of conflict have underestimated the role of language and ethnicity differences in generating original conflicts and in sustaining conflicts once they have commenced. However, while language policy, whether in education, law, or public administration, is often associated with conflict and can erode social relations between different groups of people, consultative language planning informed by research evidence creates opportunities for stakeholders to reflect and engage with critical issues, invariably playing a major productive role in increasing social cohesion.

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The Role of Education in Peacebulding Country Report: Uganda
Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding, 2015

Education in Uganda was initially seen as a means to economic and social development. More recently, policies have started to address peacebuilding education.

The current national curriculum incorporates aspects of peacebuilding to some extent. Peacebuilding is approached as a pedagogical tool for conflict prevention, but not as a means of coming to terms with a conflict-shattered past.

Non-formal education initiatives have proven to be more conflict-sensitive.

The rise of private schools is potentially widening the gap in access to quality education in Uganda. Questions on the role of the state in overseeing and monitoring private education institutions can no longer be avoided.

As recognized by MOESTS, teachers have a key role in fostering peace but maximizing this potential is constrained by the resource shortages, structural inefficiencies and lack of coordination between stakeholders.

Educational infrastructures for youth have improved. However, these efforts have not necessarily increased the political and economic agency of youth.

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Education Under Attack 2014
Global Coalition for Portectin Education from Attack, 2014

This is the most comprehensive compilation of data regarding targeted attacks on schools, universities, their students and staff produced to date and covers the period 2009-2013. Drawing on media, UN and NGO reports, as well as interviews with experts in the field, it found attacks occurring in 70 countries with a significant pattern of attacks taking place in 30 –more than ever reported previously. It is unknown if the high incidence of attacks documented was due to better reporting, improved research techniques, or an actual increase in attacks.

The report includes a global overview, three thematic chapters, and country profiles for all 30 countries with significant attacks. In addition to attacks on primary and secondary schools in these 30 countries, attacks on higher education occurred in 28 of them, and military use of educational facilities took place in 24 of them.

The recommendations in the report were incorporated as commitments in the Safe Schools Declaration, a framework for protecting education in armed conflict that has been endorsed by 54 states as of July 2016.

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The Links between Equity, Governance, Education and Peacebuilding in Kenya

This study’s quantitative analysis draws on secondary statistical datasets to examine the dimensions of inequality (in terms of educational access, resources and outcomes). Qualitative analysis draws on a combination of policy documents, academic literature and stakeholder interviews to better understand the processes by which education can either contribute to conflict and tensions in Kenyan society or promote social cohesion and sustainable peacebuilding.

The analysis highlights the importance of considering both income inequality within regions and relative deprivation among regions, since some of the most impoverished counties in Kenya are among the most equal counties (Turkana, Wajir, Mandera). Furthermore, pockets of poverty such as urban slums exist within some wealthier counties, which have relatively good education indicators. Unequal outcomes at the primary level are linked to wide disparities in the quality of education provided, particularly across public and private schools. Such inequities are reinforced in the transition to secondary school. Governance issues like corruption and political patronage hamper equitable provision of education services, undermining citizens’ trust. In order to promote equity and peace, it is crucial that the education system recognizes the diverse cultural, economic and environmental needs of children and youths.

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Education Inequality and Violent Conflict: Evidence and Policy Considerations
FHI360 Education Policy and Data Center, Jun 2016

Key findings from Does horizontal education inequality lead to violent conflict? and The Effects of Armed Conflict on Educational Attainment and Inequalityare summarized in this four-pager.

Based on the quantitative evidence that rising inequalities in education can increase the risk of conflict, and consequently, experiencing conflict can exacerbate preexisting education inequality, the policy brief urges for greater attention to equity in education, particularly in conflict-affected and fragile settings. Specifically:

  • Investment in equitable education opportunity across ethnic, religious, wealth, and gender groups, as well as across individuals, may be key to a country’s risk of (re)lapsing into conflict.
  • Continued service provision during violence, particularly to disadvantaged groups, may be an essential element of peacebuilding in the wake of conflict.

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Literature Review: The Role of Teachers in Peacebuilding and Social Cohesion
Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding, Sep 2015

Recognizing that teachers underpin the success of any education system, exactly what role teachers play and how they play it, varies across the different bodies of literature.

Teachers can be both perpetrators and victims of violence. The recognition of the teacher themselves as agents who both experience and affect conflict highlights the need for understanding the dual role of teachers in post-conflict contexts.

Teacher professional development is considered vital in supporting teachers in order to ensure equity, peace and social cohesion.

Teachers are assigned the role of agents of social cohesion whereby they address the legacy of civil conflicts in contexts where ethnicity, race or religion have mitigated against the promotion of social cohesion.

Textbooks as key mechanisms for the curriculum are not used in isolation, and their content is mediated by teachers and students to create meaning in specific social contexts and in classrooms.

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World Development Report 2011 - Conflict, Security, and Development
The World Bank

The 2011 World development report looks across disciplines and experiences drawn from around the world to offer some ideas and practical recommendations on how to move beyond conflict and fragility and secure development. The key messages are important for all countries-low, middle, and high income-as well as for regional and global institutions: first, institutional legitimacy is the key to stability. When state institutions do not adequately protect citizens, guard against corruption, or provide access to justice; when markets do not provide job opportunities; or when communities have lost social cohesion-the likelihood of violent conflict increases. Second, investing in citizen security, justice, and jobs is essential to reducing violence. But there are major structural gaps in our collective capabilities to support these areas. Third, confronting this challenge effectively means that institutions need to change. International agencies and partners from other countries must adapt procedures so they can respond with agility and speed, a longer-term perspective, and greater staying power. Fourth, need to adopt a layered approach. Some problems can be addressed at the country level, but others need to be addressed at a regional level, such as developing markets that integrate insecure areas and pooling resources for building capacity Fifth, in adopting these approaches, need to be aware that the global landscape is changing. Regional institutions and middle income countries are playing a larger role. This means should pay more attention to south-south and south-north exchanges, and to the recent transition experiences of middle income countries.

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Exploring the Linkages between Education Sector Governance, Inequity, Conflict, and Peacebuilding in South Sudan 
UNICEF, Feb 2016

This research draws on a conceptual framework that captures the economic, cultural, political, and social dimensions of education governance and inequality and their relation to conflict and peace. The framework combines dimensions of redistribution (equality and inclusion in education access, resources, and outcomes), recognition (affirmation of diversity in education structures, processes, and content), representation (participation in decision-making related to resource allocation and use), and reconciliation (dealing with the past and relations of horizontal and vertical trust).

Quantitative analysis of education, census, and conflict data revealed clear patterns of inequality in educational access, resources, and outcomes in South Sudan. Inequalities were particularly clear across different states and across counties within states. While relations between groups may be facilitated through recognition of identity and diversity in education structures and content, vertical trust between communities or schools and government, and between levels of government, is negatively affected by inadequate redistribution of education opportunities and resources, limited attention to vertical aspects of recognition, and limited opportunities for representation in decision-making.

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Community engagement to strengthen social cohesion and child protection in Chad and Burundi
International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD)

As formal and non-formal child protection systems are eroded due to conflict, children and caregivers become easy victims for recruitment for armed violence and other harms.

This participatory research study from Burundi and Chad reports how youth, women and elders can contribute to strengthening both child protection and social cohesion. The guiding question was: How do groups at the community level protect children, youth and women/girls while promoting social cohesion, peacebuilding and general human security?

The study finds that poor governance, corruption, politicization and polarization, and resulting ethnic-induced violence; as well as lack of social services and breakdown of positive values were thought to be key drivers of conflict.

Community members confirmed the need to strengthen the engagement of youth who are perceived to have many skills in understanding the current reality of young people in communities; of women as primary care providers engaged in many well-being initiatives; and finally, recognized Elders such as Bashingantahe in Burundi and Mbang in Chad as crucial to solving local disputes.

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Gender, Education and Peacebuilding: A review of selected Learning for Peace case studies
UNICEF, 2016

The present reviews and analyses evidence from four selected Learning for Peace projects. The overarching question the review seeks to answer is: How can education interventions address gender inequalities in contexts of armed violent conflict and in the process contribute towards sustainable peace?

The case studies cover a range of contexts, institutional settings, categories of learners, and educational activities. In Uganda, the review examined the Gender Socialization in Schools in Uganda (GSSU) teacher training pilot project in the country’s Karamoja region, which aimed to support teachers in managing safe and equitable classrooms. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the review selected a component of work in Equateur province in which in-school youth were mobilized to design their own peacebuilding projects. In Côte d’Ivoire, the review examined an initiative to provide members of Mother and Early Childhood Clubs with training and mentoring, enabling them to support the village-based early childhood development centers (ECDCs) that cement relations between women from different ethnicities. The Communities Care (CC) programme in Somalia and South Sudan seeks to transform negative social and gender norms condoning gender-based violence into positive ones.

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Youth Agency and Peacebuilding: An Analysis of the Role of Formal and Non-Formal Education
Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding, Feb 2016

This Synthesis Report aims to understand the ways in which the agency of youth – or their ‘space for manoeuvre’ – is impacted (or not) through a range of formal and non- formal education interventions, and how this enables or restricts young peoples ability to contribute to processes of peacebuilding and social cohesion, either in political, socio-cultural or economic ways. It combines a focus on youth agency, peace building and education – an intersection that is often not addressed simultaneously. Recognising education’s potential to enhance or undermine processes of sustainable peacebuilding and social cohesion, this report brings together a focus on the role of formal and non-formal education initiatives that are available to (some) youth in four conflict-affected countries: Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa and Uganda. In addressing these issues the report aims to provide useful analysis and reflection for a range of audiences including scholars, practitioners and other professionals working in youth-related policy and programming as well as youth themselves, whose voice is too frequently marginalized.

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A Rigorous Review of Global Research Evidence on School-Related Gender-Based Violence
UNICEF, 2016

Key Findings:

Major evidence gaps exist in how to provide safe, inclusive and violence-free learning environments for girls and boys.Research has been skewed towards evaluations of short-term interventions, with little long-term follow-up.

The most promising interventions with girls, boys and teachershelp them to reflect critically on gender identities, norms and inequalitiesthat shape the risk of gender-based violence; providing practical strategiesfor addressing SRGBV.

Promising interventions in schools promote inclusive, anti-violence school policies and rules, curricula and teaching approaches, and collaborations with parents, community members and with local support services.

Holistic community-based programmes that develop critical reflection and interpersonal skills, alongside socio-economic support/trainingcan help deter peer violence, gang involvement, cyber bullying, violent crime and other negative behaviours.Interventions in war zones need to be carefully tailored to local conditions, and more evidence is needed using a gender lens.

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Literature Review: Youth Agency, Peacebuilding and Education
Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding

This Literature Review on Youth Agency, Peacebuilding and Education aims to provide insights into youth agency and the dynamics of conflict and peace in conflict‐affected contexts. In particular it focuses on how educational interventions may contribute to enhancing the agency of youth as peacebuilders. The review draws on the theoretical framework developed for the consortium, which locates youth within peacebuilding processes of reconciliation, redistribution, recognition and representation (four R’s). The review aims to communicate its findings to a broad audience, including academic researchers, professional practitioners, policy makers and interested young people.

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Peace Dividends and Beyond: Contributions of Administrative and Social Services to Peacebuilding
United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office, 2012

This report argues that there is significant evidence to include administrative and social services amongst the menu of choices available to directly support peacebuilding in any given context. Finding the appropriate balance among the many peacebuilding priorities in any setting should ultimately be a country-driven exercise – one that is inclusive of a wide range of stakeholders at different levels, especially historically marginalized groups.

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Literature Review: Horizontal Inequality in Education and Violent Conflict

This review examines existing literature on inequality and intrastate conflict, the role of educational inequality in conflict settings, and the linkages between theories of conflict and the role of schools in society, with a focus on inequalities between identity groups and subsequent intergroup violence.

Studies focusing on horizontal educational inequality measuring disparities between identity groups have been limited, and the findings so far have been modest and on the whole inconclusive. Metrics of educational inequality have been limited by data availability challenges

Evidence on the peacebuilding role of education is primarily composed of advocacy and policy materials, and empirical research on the role of education in shaping positive peace is confined mainly to ethnographic studies.

There is a clear need for continued research on the role of educational inequality as a driver of conflict, as well as the role of education in mitigating group divisions and providing a foundation for peace and stability after violence.

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The Communities Care programme: changing social norms to end violence against women and girls in conflict-affected communities 
Sophie Read-Hamilton, Mendy Marsh

While significant progress has been made in recent years in responding to violence against women and girls in humanitarian contexts, timely and quality care and support to survivors still remains a challenge. Little is known about effective prevention. Few interventions have targeted underlying drivers of violence against women and girls (VAWG), which include social norms. In response to the urgent need to increase access to services for survivors, as well as the imperative to develop and test effective strategies to actually prevent VAWG in conflict-affected communities, UNICEF has developed the Communities Care: Transforming Lives and Preventing Violence programme. An innovative and holistic initiative currently being piloted in internally displaced camps and communities in Somalia and South Sudan, the Communities Care programme is premised on the idea that while armed conflict causes horrendous suffering, the changes created to community structure, economic roles, and social dynamics offer an opportunity to promote social norms that uphold women and girls’ equality, safety, and dignity. While the pilot phase is ongoing throughout 2016, indications to date are positive. The preliminary analyses of data suggest promising trends, with the intervention communities having significantly greater improvement than the control communities on some of the dimensions of social norms measured. Communities Care programme is also promoting community actions against violence in pilot sites. Evidence and lessons from Communities Care will contribute to the refinement of efforts to prevent and respond to VAWG in conflict-affected settings around the world.

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  More materials coming soon...

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Côte d'Ivoire


Learning for Peace, Côte d'Ivoire 
Peace Messenger Clubs (5:11)

Learning for Peace, Côte d'Ivoire 
Transitional Justice Radio (4:42)

Learning for Peace, Côte d'Ivoire
Women's Group and ECD (4:23)


South Sudan


Learning for Peace, South Sudan
Youth and Peacebuilding (6:06)


Learning for Peace, South Sudan
Mari Malek (4:17)


Learning for Peace, South Sudan
A Year of Plenty (5:11)


Learning for Peace, South Sudan
Oh, Peace, Where do you live? (1:06)


Learning for Peace, South Sudan
Literacy in cattle camps (1:35)


Learning for Peace, South Sudan
The Power of One (5:09)




Learning for Peace, Uganda
Gender equality in the classroom (5:36)



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