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Peacebuilding and Education - Côte d'Ivoire

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Following a civil war at the turn of the millennium and renewed political violence in 2010-2011, Cote d’Ivoire is seeking to reconcile and rebuild itself, focusing on strategies to build peace, increase wealth, improve living conditions, and guarantee equal access to quality services, especially for women and girls. With the support of UNICEF, education had been used as a driver for peace, seeking to mitigate the impact of conflict drivers, including the harmful politicization of the education system, the politicization, division and fragility of community structures, and the inequitable access to social services.

However, there is limited evidence and knowledge to inform policies and programming that seek to connect education, conflict and peacebuilding in Cote d’Ivoire. This study aimed to fill this gap, specifically through an investigation of youth’s perception, attitudes and experience of education in relation to the social and institutional context and legacy of the past, as well as a study of mothers’ parental attitudes, collecting data on social cohesion, resilience, human security and conflict resolution which are seen as crucial elements in building peace.

The report presents the results of two surveys about peacebuilding and education conducted in Côte d’Ivoire:

  1. A survey of 2,561 youth aged 12 to 17 years old and 18 to 26 years old randomly selected throughout Côte d’Ivoire. The survey was designed to provide representative data for 5 regions.
  2. A survey in the Western region conducted among mothers randomly selected among mothers participating in mothers’ clubs supported by UNCEF and its partner, and a comparison group of mothers selected in the community. A total of 433 mothers were interviewed

Among youths, the survey results confirm the positive impact of policies that ensure universal access and participation in primary school, but also highlights important challenges of building a more cohesive society. Trust, solidarity and other measures of social cohesion were negatively associated with experience of disputes and stigmatization. Participation in peacebuilding training and outreach programs is associated with more positive perceptions of education and positive social cohesion and conflict management outcomes.

Vinck P, Pham PN, Balthazard M (2016). Now the Kids Are Safe: Population-Based Survey on Peace and Education in Côte d’Ivoire. UNICEF, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

The results of this study are also presented in an interactive map format here.