Education and Fragility -case studies


The INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility continues to advance the Situational Analyses of
Education and Fragility, a major research project designed to strengthen the evidence base on how
education can both contribute to fragility as well as serve to build resilience in fragile situations. For
the Situational Analyses, the Working Group commissioned four country case studies – or analyses
of “situations of fragility” – Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia and Liberia. A synthesis
report will bring together the findings of the case studies to generate recommendations for policy and

Release of the Desk Study Situational Analysis of Bosnia-Herzegovina

Although not widely considered a ‘fragile state’ by the international donor community, Bosnia-
Herzegovina nevertheless remains fragile due to internal and regional political insecurity. The current
political stagnation and absence of social trust in Bosnia and Herzegovina are due in no small part to
ongoing disagreement about the country’s identity and future. Such disagreement has implications for
the education of the country’s children and young people. It has been argued that the manner in which education was delivered after the 1992-1995 war, despite the Dayton Peace Agreement, supported the conflicting agendas of the three constituent peoples by stereotyping and perpetuating divisive histories, language and identities.

The desk study on Bosnia-Herzegovina – a joint publication of INEE, IIEP/UNESCO and the University of Ulster – explores various aspects of education in the post-war period and how education impacts on the context of fragility. The study highlights some specific lessons learned for educational planning in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

To access the study, click here.

Case Studies on Afghanistan, Cambodia and Liberia
The Afghanistan case study report was released in 2009 and is available here.

The Cambodia and Liberia case studies are currently in publication and will be available in late 2010 or early 2011.

Understanding Education’s Role in Fragility: Synthesis of Four Situational Analyses of Education and Fragility

The INEE synthesis report on the four case studies – Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia
and Liberia – will draw parallels across the studies on the complex relationship between education and fragility. Through comparisons guided by various analytic frameworks, the synthesis report will generate insights and recommendations for policy and programming, as well as identify possible areas for further research. The report is currently being finalized and should be available in early 2011.

More information on the situational analyses of education and fragility can be found here.

FILM: Youth Zones – Voices from Emergencies

Youth Zones -Voices from Emergencies

YOUTH ZONES documents the voices of young people affected by conflict and natural disaster. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Lisa Russell, accompanied by spoken word poet Luke Nephew and youth activist Chernor Bah, facilitated discussions and conducted creative writing and poetry workshops with youth from Liberia, Colombia, Lebanon, Northern Uganda and New Orleans, U.S. YOUTH ZONES profiles youth who work as educators, peace activists, healthcare assistants and drama mentors in an effort to rehabilitate their communities after emergencies.

The film is now available online at

(UNFPA and The Women’s Refugee Commission)


Psychosocial Assessment of Education in Gaza


UNESCO oPt recently commissioned a comprehensive report on the psychosocial impacts of the war and blockade on learners and on the overall education system in Gaza. The data collected reveals that despite showing impressive resilience in the face of enormous burdens, the psychosocial impacts facing the education system are sufficiently powerful and pervasive that, if left unaddressed, could undermine the functionality and resilience of the education system in Gaza.  Symptomatic of this was evidence of increased violence in schools; higher levels of absenteeism and drop out; and declining academic performance.

Download and read the report here.


COP 15 (Copenhagen) closed in relative disarray and pessimism. Cop 16 finished slightly more optimistically in that the final agreement had only two disenters, due to fine tuning of the wording by the Mexican hosts.

Almost 200 nations agreed on Saturday to modest steps to combat climate change, including a new fund to help poor countries, and put off major disputes until 2011 and beyond.

“This is a new era of international cooperation on climate change,” Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa told delegates at the end of two weeks of talks after breaking the deadlock between rich and poor countries.

The deal, reached at marathon overnight talks, comprises a plan to design a Green Climate Fund, measures to protect tropical forests and ways to share clean energy technologies and help developing nations adapt to climate change.

It also reaffirms a goal of raising an annual $100 billion (£63 billion) in aid for poor countries by 2020 and sets a target of limiting a rise in average world temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6F) over pre-industrial times.

“The most important thing is that the multilateral process has received a shot in the arm, it had reached an historic low. It will fight another day,” said Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh. “It could yet fail.”

The talks had lowered expectations after U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders failed to agree on a treaty at a summit in Copenhagen last year. Cancun sets no firm deadlines for an elusive legally binding accord.

Britain’s energy and climate secretary Chris Huhne said that Cancun made it more likely that the European Union would toughen cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, to 30 percent below 1990 levels from a current 20 percent.

“I think it definitely makes an agreement on 30 percent in the EU more likely,” he said of the EU contribution to avert what the U.N. panel of climate scientists says will be more floods, droughts, desertification, mudslides and rising ocean levels.

Espinosa banged down her gavel on Saturday’s accord despite objections by Bolivia, which wanted to demand far deeper cuts in greenhouse gases by rich nations, saying their climate policies were causing “genocide” with 300,000 deaths a year.

“I urge you to reconsider,” Bolivian delegate Pablo Solon told Espinosa. After repeated anti-capitalist speeches by Solon, Espinosa retorted that Bolivia’s objections would be noted in a final report but could not derail the accord by 190 nations.

The deal was unlocked after delegates simply put off until 2011 and 2012 a dispute between rich and poor nations over the future of the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol, which obliges almost 40 rich nations to cut emissions in a first period until end-2012.

“Cancun may have saved the process but it did not yet save the climate,” said Wendel Trio of Greenpeace.

Japan, Canada and Russia insisted at the talks that they will not extend Kyoto, demanding instead that all major emitters including the United States, China and India also join in a new global deal.

But developing nations say that rich Kyoto countries, which have burnt the most fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution, have to extend the agreement beyond 2012 before the poor agree to measures to curb their emissions.

Washington never signed up for Kyoto, arguing that it wrongly omitted targets for developing nations and would cost U.S. jobs. Obama’s hopes of legislating cuts have vanished after Republican gains in mid-term elections.

demonstration outside the Cancun talks

Many of the accords from Cancun simply firm up non-binding deals from Copenhagen, which were endorsed by only 140 nations. Todd Stern, the U.S. climate envoy, said the steps taken in Copenhagen were “carried forward in a really exceptional way here today.”

“It’s really pretty historic,” said Christiana Figueres, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat.

“It’s the first time that countries have agreed to such a broad set of instruments and tools that are going to help developing countries in particular,” she said.

(Writing by Alister Doyle, extra reporting by Timothy Gardner, editing by Eric Beech and Bill Trott)

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY – 2010 -Speak up – stop discrimination!

The theme for 10 December 2010 is human rights defenders who act to end discrimination.

It continues the theme of 2009 which was also about discrimination.

The Human Rights Defenders video has been produced specifically to illustrate and support this year’s Human Rights Day focus.  With its powerful and moving testimonies, it documents the experiences and motivations of a number of human rights defenders from different countries, all working to overcome discrimination of various kinds.

Although there are many special people who risk their lives to end discrimination, many people working in education ,particularly teachers, can provide the opportunities to explore discrimination within their classrooms and community, and to lay the foundations for challenging and overcoming discrimination.

Human rights defender from Gaza advocates for women

“Women are being discriminated against because of deeply embedded cultural biases still prevalent in Palestinian society, which are then reinforced by the government, as well as the community,” according to Zeinab-Al-Ghonaimy, a human rights defender and lawyer from Gaza.

Human rights defender from Gaza advocates for women’s rights © OHCHRMs. Al-Ghonaimy says that she was motivated to become a human rights defender by growing up female in Palestinian society, since she often witnessed women suffering discrimination. In 2006 she was an independent candidate for the Palestinian Legislative Council. Following this she committed herself to representing women in the courts. Now, as the director of the Center for Women’s Legal Research and Counseling, Al-Ghonaimy defends women’s rights in the Gaza Strip.

She considers her most important success as a human rights defender to be curtailing forced dress codes for women lawyers in the courtroom. Yet she has also helped widows maintain custody of children and contributed to the creation of a shelter for victims of domestic violence.

“People are discriminated against for so many reasons,” Ms. Al-Ghonaimy affirms, “being a female, having a disability or having different political views. I encourage men and women to become part of a network of human right defenders, to raise awareness and fight against all forms of discrimination. The more people involved the better. A single hand cannot clap.”

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has had an office in the occupied Palestinian territory since 1996.  In Palestine, OHCHR places emphasis on working in partnership with civil society to protect human rights.

Some useful links:

Discrimination against women

Racial discrimination

Discrimination against indigenous peoples

Discrimination against migrants

Discrimination against minorities

Discrimination against people with disabilities

Religious discrimination


In honor of World Human Rights Day, INEE has collaborated with Peter Hyll-Larsen and the Right to Education Project (housed by ActionAid International, in partnership with the Global Campaign for Education and Amnesty International) to develop INEE web pages on the following topics: 


Child Friendly Schools – Rising Voices

Child friendly schools have been around for some time and there are many variations in the interpretation of what is child friendly depending on local conditions, so it is useful to see case studies of various forms of implementation.

UNICEF has  just released a series of documentaries on Child-Friendly Schools called Rising Voices.


This series features six documentary films focusing on the personal stories of students in different countries and contexts in which child-friendly school policies are being implemented. The individual films were shot across the world, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Egypt, Ghana, Nicaragua and the Sudan. The purpose of the series is to show the depth and breadth of the impact of child-friendly schools, as they have spread across 90 countries since their inception.

Among other distributors, UNICEF has been working with Link TV, who has launched – the next generation Web site that uses the power of video to tell stories about real people and progress in global development. features the entire Rising Voices series.

CFS Sudan

Rising Voices: Moving Forward, from Sudan
Rising Voices: Hope on the Mekong, from Cambodia
Rising Voices: Raising Yusriya, from Egypt
Rising Voices: Dreams for my Daughter, from Ghana
Rising Voices: Coming Together, from Bosnia
Rising Voices: The Flowing River, from Nicaragua

For more information on child-friendly schools and for short two minute advocacy videos based on this series, please visit UNICEF’s child-friendly schools portal:


Including Children and Youth with Intellectual Disabilities in Learning



Anne from 1001 drawings

INEE has highlighted new resources on supporting learners with learning difficulties and disabilities:

This week, to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, the INEE blog features a post that highlights the development, creation and launch of the new INEE Pocket Guide to Supporting Learners with Disabilities, A second post by Annelies Ollieuz, a member of the INEE Inclusive Education and Disability Task Team who worked with the Education Cluster in Haiti for six months earlier this year, discusses the importance of addressing the needs of children with intellectual/mental disabilities in both development and emergency contexts. She shares her experiences in introducing the INEE Pocket Guide to Inclusive Education in Haiti and calls on the Education Cluster and the INEE Inclusive Education and Disability Task Team to consider providing more resources on children and youth with intellectual disabilities in learning for those working on the ground.  

Read and comment on Annalies’s blog post here.

Read the blog post that highlights the development, creation and launch of the Pocket Guidehere.