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Peacebuilding and Education

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In 2014, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and UNICEF entered into a partnership to conduct research at the nexus of education and peacebuilding in four selected countries - Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda. The research was designed to provide reliable population-based data about perception of and experience with formal and informal education in relation to the social and institutional context, the legacy of the past and its effect on social cohesion and resilience.

The research was part of a broader initiative of UNICEF, the Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy in Conflict-Affected Contexts (PBEA) programme – Learning for Peace –designed to strengthen social cohesion, resilience and human security through improved education policies and practices. 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.

The innovative pilot programme attempted globally to establish the linkages between social services such as education with peacebuilding and strengthening resilience. This provided a unique opportunity to establish the evidence-base on how education, as a social service, can contribute to peacebuilding and enhance resilience, social cohesion, and human security, with the goal of informing policies and programming related to education, conflict and peacebuilding.

The knowledge gathered here is the result of interviews with more than 10,600 youths, parents and other adults interviewed over the course of two years. This yielded unique insight into the value of education and its role for peacebuilding and the promotion of trust, solidarity, peaceful conflict resolution and other measures of social cohesion and resilience for peace. This site provides reports from each of the four countries displayed in interactive maps. While each study had its specific goals and objectives, lessons learned from a methodological perspective contributed to the development of an assessment framework for peacebuilding and education available here.