News from USAID's Education in Crisis and Conflict Network
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USAID Launches New Policy Framework 

On November 15, 2018, USAID released a new Education Policy that outlines why USAID invests in international education, the principles that will guide those investments, and priority areas within education where USAID will focus its work. The Education Policy complements the US Government Education Strategy released earlier this year, and  is accompanied by Program Cycle Implementation and Operational Guidance that provides information on operational aspects of the policy, including key considerations throughout the program cycle, Agency-level monitoring and reporting, budget and funding parameters, and other areas. 
The policy emphasizes education elements that are applicable across all education contexts. In addition, the policy highlights particularly relevant themes for crisis and conflict-affected contexts. It prioritizes that “children and youth, particularly the most marginalized and vulnerable, have increased access to quality education that is safe, relevant, and promotes social well-being." Promotion of Equity and Inclusion is one of the policy’s six key principles. The policy also notes the importance of responding both to sudden onset emergencies and to longer-term development; the need for improved humanitarian-development coherence; and for serving and integrating displaced populations into host-country education institutions. It notes that violence, conflict and crisis exacerbate inequalities and that these are most acute for girls and the disabled. Finally it notes the critical role that higher education can play in rebuilding.

RERA in Bangladesh

Recently, USAID Bangladesh commissioned a Rapid Education and Risk Analysis (RERA) to study host school communities in Cox’s Bazar. Staff from local and international partners, including USAID, Dexis, Exterion, and the government—about 40 people in all—reached nearly 1,000 respondents. Primary data collection, which lasted one week, has concluded, and key partners in Bangladesh received the preliminary results. The RERA takes into account the influx of Rohingya refugees on host school communities and the school community resilience in Cox’s Bazar. The RERA considered education from the pre-primary to secondary education levels, as well as schools run by the government, NGOs, and madrasas. 
The final report will be released in January 2019.

Partner Initiative Selections Made

ECCN received numerous excellent submissions in response to its two recent calls for Partner Initiatives and has selected five that it will support in the coming months. These include:

  • Conflict Education and Learning Library (CELL) Foundation’s Violent Pasts Project. CELL will collaborate with UNESCO to host a conference in Brussels, in January 2019, to discuss the narration of violence and conflict in educational materials. To learn more about the initiative, please read their new blog, “Our Violent Pasts: Examining Narratives in Textbooks and Curricula.”
  • Advocacy for Child Relief—Uganda (ACRUG) is testing the SLE Assessment Toolkit in a refugee camp environment. This toolkit adds the quantitative component to the SLE Qualitative toolkit, released this year. 
  • CAMRIS International in Northern Uganda will present several approaches to strengthening capacity, including the use of mobile money for subgrants to school management committees; the reliance on community mobilization agents based in their home communities; and the capacity building of teachers and school-based associations to ensure an inclusive approach.
  • Education Development Center (EDC) in Honduras is seeking to understand the challenges men face when engaging in their children’s education, particularly in violence-affected areas of the country. The project will also identify activities that are effective at increasing engagement and overcoming barriers.
  • Save the Children’s Return to Learning Initiative ensures refugee children have immediate access to learning opportunities. Their programming includes the Holistic Assessment of Learning and Development Outcomes (HALDO) tool as well as modular lesson plans, training modules, supplementary reading materials, and game-based activities that can be used by community volunteers. An upcoming webcast will share initial findings from the pilot.
ECCN Resource Repository
New Resources Available!

ECCN’s Data Gap Maps draw on more than 900 resources in the Resource Repository, and the ECCN team has vetted the resources. Together, they represent the largest collection of curated resources in the field of education in crisis and conflict. Recently we added three new resources:
  • A UNICEF report highlights violence in schools around the world. Nearly 150 million students report peer-to-peer violence, which takes a toll not just on them but on the economy as well, costing $7 trillion per year. Access the report here
  • A working paper that relies on mobile-phone surveys to measure resilience in places inaccessible to researchers. Read the methodology and results from Myanmar here
  • UNESCO released a report on pervasive physical and sexual bullying in schools around the world. Drawing on international surveys, the report finds that the highest rates of physical bullying occur in the Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa, whereas the highest rates for sexual bullying occur in Central America, the Middle East, and North Africa. Read the report here.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics just published a paper titled “The Effects of Armed Conflict on Children.” View the paper on the ECCN resource repository here
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What’s the Difference between ECCN’s RERA and SLE Toolkits?

ECCN has released two situation analysis and assessment tools to better understand crisis and conflict-affected contexts: the Rapid Education and Risk Analysis (RERA) and Safer Learning Environments (SLE) toolkits. These resources accomplish separate goals, but both utilize the same primary data collection methodology. 

At the upcoming CIES conference, ECCN will offer a workshop for participants to learn about both toolkits. We also encourage organizations to use these tools for future projects.

Inside the CSE Training 

Participants at the CSE Workshop in Washington, DC
In September, ECCN partnered with Save the Children and FHI 360 to provide a training for practitioners and policymakers to use INEE’s Conflict Sensitive Education (CSE) pack. Attendees representing 14 organizations with a rich array of experience attended the event. Participants received an in-depth look at CSE approaches, and how they can be used for effective monitoring and evaluation. In addition, the participants learned strategies to mitigate the potential for education to fuel conflict and reinforce inequities. 
For more details about the training as well as the perspective of two attendees, please read the new blog, “After the Conflict Subsides: The Vital Role of Conflict Sensitive Education.
ECCN and Local Institutional Capacity Development (LICD) ECCN is working in partnership with FHI360 to develop a guidance note on Local Institutional Capacity Development In Crisis and Conflict. The guidance note will address key questions in the USAID EiCC’s Learning Agenda, namely: Which institutional capacity-strengthening interventions within the education sector in crisis and conflict contexts lead to the greatest local institutional capacity to deliver those services and realize sustainable results? How can USAID education programs contribute to building more resilient education institutions in crisis and conflict contexts?
The guidance note is expected to be released in June or July 2019. 
In January 2019ECCN, the International Rescue Committee (the IRC), and NYU Global TIES for Children (TIES) will host a webcast on measurement for children’s learning and holistic development. The IRC and TIES will present results from a scoping study on how stakeholders are conducting and using research, and share information about new SEL measurement tools currently under development. Participants will have the opportunity to review and provide input on a resource to guide decision-making in SEL measure selection, adaptation, use and analysis. 
CIES: We look forward to seeing many members in San Franciso in April. Stay tuned for more information about ECCN sponsored panels and our reception. If you’re currently working on EiCC-related projects and would like to feature your work, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you there. 
Did You Miss These Recent ECCN Events?
  • The Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Humanitarian Agenda Program hosted a talk by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, who discussed the challenges humanitarian organizations face in gaining access to women, children, and young people living through conflict and crises. Find out more here
  • ECCN partnered with Save the Children to host a webcast about an education intervention that reduces inequities in crisis and conflict contexts. Access the webcast video and related resources here
  • On November 12–15, ECCN members in Africa attended a four-day training on accelerated education in Kampala, Uganda. The training, hosted by ECCN, the Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG), and USAID, was designed to improve accelerated education policies and programs using the AEWG’s 10 Principles of Effective Practice. Find out more here.
  • On November 14, ECCN and the Education Equity Research Initiative hosted a webcast to introduce Education Equity Indicators for Access: Guidance for Practitioners in Crisis and Conflict-Affected Contexts. Featuring experts from FHI 360 and ECCN, the webcast outlined the recommended six-step process for developing equity indicators. Learn more here.  
Copyright © 2018 USAID Education in Crisis & Conflict Network Support Team, All rights reserved.

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