Learning About Schools in Development

INEE has included this interesting paper in its latest newsletter:

Charles Kenny, Center for Global Development)

There has been considerable progress in school construction and enrollment worldwide. Nonetheless, the quality of education appears very poor across the developing world, limiting development impact. Thus we should measure and promote learning not schooling. Conditional cash transfers to students on the basis of attendance and scores, school choice, decentralization combined with published test results, and teacher pay based on attendance and performance may help. But learning outcomes are primarily affected by the broader environment in which students live, suggesting a learning agenda that stretches far beyond education ministries.

This essay briefly discusses a number of links in the chain between school construction and improvements in the quality of life -between construction and enrollment, between enrollment and learning, and between schooling and both economic growth and health outcomes.

To learn more about the methods used in this paper and to download the full report, clickhere.


Rebuilding Education in Haiti – some new resources

INEE has included the following article on resources for rebuilding education in Haiti in its latest newsletter:. 

(from UNICEF)

January 12 marks one year since the deadly earthquake that devastated Haiti’s education system and affected millions of children. Twelve months later UNICEF and partners are focused on rebuilding efforts to ensure children can access quality education in a safe environment. Below are a series of stories on the role education has played in the reconstruction efforts one year on.


Rebuilding Haiti’s education system one year after the earthquake

Educating against cholera in Haiti


Building education from the ruins

Christine’s story: A 14-year-old Haitian student braves the aftermath of the earthquake

A Haitian engineer helps UNICEF rebuild education from the ruins

UNICEF report:

Haiti: One year report (education excerpt)

Children in Haiti: One Year After – The long road from relief to recovery

To access all of the podcasts, stories and reports, click here.

Children and armed conflict – review of 2010 (CRIN)

CRIN (Child Rights Information Network) has published a review of the main children and armed conflict stories of 2010.

2010 saw a big push for universal ratification of the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on armed conflict and sexual exploitation. Read details of the UN’s campaign. The UN Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, has published an article on the campaign in the International Journal on Children’s Rights.

The campaign seemed to boost ratifications to Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict as eight more States committed in 2010: Republic of Congo, Cyprus, Gabon, Georgia, Guyana, Hungary, Malawi and Seychelles.

In 2010, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child issued recommendations on the OPAC reports of Bosnia and Herzegovina,EcuadorIsraelLiechtensteinMongoliaMontenegroNicaragua,PolandSierra LeoneSri LankaSudan and Turkey.

Negotiations on the planned overhaul of the UN Security Councilcontinued. At issue are categories of membership, the veto system, regional representation, the possibility of an enlarged Council and the relationship between the Council and the UN General Assembly. Full story.

report by Turtle Bay examined the murky side of reform, examining how even the physical layout of the building had led to greater secrecy of the body by limiting contact with the media.

However, the UN Security Council acted strongly against sexual violence in 2010, passing a resolution in December to name and shame individuals and parties to armed conflict that are “credibly suspected” of committing rape or other forms of sexual violence. The resolution was passed on the heels of the UN’s harrowing report on mass rape in the eastern Congo in July and August 2010. Download the report.

The UN has toughened up on sexual violence in recent years, with the Security Council passing resolutions 1325 and 1820 on the issue and, in February last year, the UN Secretary-General appointedMargot Wallstrom as the first ever Special Representive on Sexual Violence.

Meanwhile, justice at the International Criminal Court (ICC) took a step backwards as the trial of Thomas Lubanga for the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict was suspended. At issue was the refusal by the prosecution to disclose an intermediary’s identity to the defence. Controversy over the disclosure of names and evidence is ongoing. Full story.

The first ever review of the ICC’s work was held in June to evaluate the Court’s impact so far and discuss proposed amendments to the Rome Statute. A key development included the adoption of a resolution by States Parties to strengthen the enforcement of sentences. Provisions setting out the terms of the Court’s ability to investigate and prosecute individuals for the crime of aggression were also accepted. Full story.

In a further bid to strengthen protection of civilians from the effects of armed conflict, a new international Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force in August. The Convention, which bans the production and use of cluster munitions and obliges States to compensate victims, does not include some of the biggest stockpilers among its adherents. Full story.

And finally, in September, Valerie Amos of the United Kingdom, took office as the the new Head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The Under-Secretary General, appointed by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, is responsible for overseeing all UN humanitarian emergenices. The appointment practices of Ban Ki-Moon have, however, been widely criticised. He has been accused of giving key positions to big donor countries and awarding posts based on political motivations rather than experience.Full story. CRIN will continue to report on appointment processes of key children’s rights positions in 2011.


CRIN keeps an update on the situation in many countries -examples are listed below:

Country snapshots

Below are some key news stories and reports from some of the countries affected by armed conflict. For updates on other countries, visit our A-Z of country pages.

A mid-year report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict published by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, revealed that the number of children killed in conflict in Afghanistan had risen 55 per cent from the previous year.

On a positive note, the Afghan government has set up a committee to deal with serious violations of children’s rights in the country.

In December, the government announced that 3,000 children had been discharged from the Afghan National Army and police force after the UN sent a letter to the government about their presence. Officials say the children will now receive training and education in other fields. Full story. Recruitment of children into the police force was banned in April. Full story.

An Amnesty International report detailed abuses against indigenous peoples by guerrilla groups, security forces and paramilitaries in Colombia. Survival International warned that 34 groups face extinction as a result of violence on their land. Full story.

National newspaper “El Tiempo” reported that Colombia’s Justice and Peace Commission is investigating over 200 cases of minors recruited by paramilitary group the United Self-Defence Forces (AUC), with reports of 2,700 cases in total. Full story.

Democratic Republic of Congo
The United Nations released a long-awaited report on “indescribable” atrocities committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 1993 to 2003, when tens of thousands of people were killed, and numerous others raped and mutilated by both armed Congolese groups and foreign military forces. Download the report.

Reports were also released on the extent of sexual violence in the country by Oxfam and Amnesty International among others.

Recruitment of children into armed groups continues apace. Read more here and here.

However, in December, the UN Security Council imposed sanctions against Colonel Innocent Zimurinda of the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) for abuses against children. Full story in CriEnglish.com.

In March, doctors in Fallujah reported a spurt in birth defects resulting from weapons used by the US after the invasion. Full story.

WikiLeaks released war logs claiming that a British rifleman shot dead an eight-year-old girl in Iraq while she was playing. Submissions published by WikiLeaks also document concerns by US forces about the increase in the use of children as potential terrorists.

Many Palestinian children were unlawfully arrested last year, especially children from east Jerusalem. Full story.

In March, Defence for Children International and Human Rights Watch published reports on the use of children as human shields. Two Israeli soldiers have been charged after a complaint was filed by DCI although DCI remains concerned that the charges are too lenient.

Also read a report on the impact of forced displacement in high risk areas.

Kashmir (India and Pakistan)
There were protests in Indian-administered Kashmir in February over the killing of a 15-year-old boy by a police tear-gas round aimed at dispersing a protest against Indian rule. Full story.

In March, two children were wounded in “unprovoked firing” by Indian forces across the de facto border dividing the disputed region, according to Pakistani officials. Full story.

Read the UN Secretary General’s country report.

The UN Secretary General published a report on the situation of children in armed conflict in the Philippines in January.

In March, a children’s rights group filed a complaint before the National Commission on Human Rights against the military for the torture of three minors who the military accused of belonging to the New People’s Army (NPA). Full story.

In June, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights heard that in Peru, terrorist group the Shining Path continues to use children in its activities in a hearing presented by the Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDDHH) with support from Save the Children. The recruitment of children into the Peruvian Armed Forces was also under discussion. Read the full report here (in Spanish).

The UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Shamsui Bari, on a visit to the country, declared: “many children and young people risk being recruited by armed groups and used in the front lines and [where] there are generations who have known nothing but violence and conflict.”

The UN Secretary General issued a full report on children and armed conflict in Somalia in November.

Sri Lanka
The Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict and the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers issued a joint briefing on children affected by armed conflict in Sri Lanka in March. The report was published in response to a report by a Special Envoy of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict to Sri Lanka.Download the report.

In August, a panel investigating war crimes in Sri Lanka opened. Journalists’ coverage of the investigation into the final phase of the armed conflict has been restricted. Full story.

A ceasefire agreement signed early in the year between the Government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) contained provisions to protect children involved in the conflict. In August, the army in Southern Sudan pledged to demobilise all child soldiers by the end of the year. The country’s future remains uncertain ahead of the referendum on whether to split the country in two taking place this week. Full story.

In June, political protests in Thailand came to a head after a two-month stand-off. Allegations of children being exploited were made on both sides. Full story.

United Kingdom
A group of NGOs is calling for a change in the law to end the practice of recruiting 16 and 17-year-olds into the armed forces. The second reading of the Armed Forces Bill will be presented to the House of Commons this week. Read a briefing on the issue by the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers.

United States of America
In December, the US administration caused outrage by backtracking on its commitment to end the recruitment of children into armed forces in certain countries in order to strengthen military cooperation, according to Human Rights Watch. President Obama waived the application of section 404 (a) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act 2008 for Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Yemen. The law prohibits all forms of defence-related assistance to countries that actively recruit troops under the age of 18.

The only remaining restrictions apply to Myanmar and Somalia. Full story.

In November, Omar Khadr, who was captured at the age of 15 in Afghanistan and held in Guantanamo Bay for eight years, was sentenced to eight years for war crimes. He will serve his sentence in his homeland, Canada. Full story.

Ongoing fighting in the northern provinces of Saada and Amran in Yemen is taking its toll on children. Read about children’s situation in a report by Seyaj for Childhood Protection.



Achieving the Millennium Development Goals – Teaching for Action+UNAIDS

The INEE newsletter once brings news of new information, sources and events. This one is about the MDGs and education.

(Committee on Teaching About the United Nations)

Date: January 14, 2011
Location: UN Headquarters in NYC, North Lawn Building

All 192 member states of the United Nations have signed a time-bound agreement to work to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; and ensure environmental sustainability and child protection all by 2015. The 8th goal emphasizes that the MDGs can best be achieved through multifaceted global partnerships. At the ten-year mark, an assessment of progress on meeting the MDGs is underway.

Panel presentations will offer information and updates of the progress being made toward the MDGs. The session on Education will be moderated by INEE Director Lori Heninger.

To register and for more information on speakers and panels, visit the Committee websitehere.

REPORT: An Education in Conflict
(Al Jazeera) 

Despite widespread commitments on paper to the second Millennium Development Goal – the provision of universal primary education by 2015 – 72 million children remain out of school. More worryingly, 39 million (54 per cent) of these children reside in conflict-affected fragile states (CAFS), where they face multiple pressures in terms of lack of access to basic rights, and an accompanying unwillingness on the part of international donors or even local governments to place an emphasis on providing education.

To learn more on education in CAFS and the issues in achieving the MDGs, read the full reporthere.


The second item is a resource from UNAIDS

RESOURCE: UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team on Education

(Education Cluster, INEE, UNAIDS and UNICEF)  

This guide on HIV in Education in Emergencies provides information for education practitioners who provide, manage or support education services in emergencies. It provides guidance for mainstreaming HIV and sexual and reproductive health issues into formal and non- formal education responses for adolescents 10-19 years old.

Multiple approaches are needed to respond to the HIV epidemic.  Such combined measures help to reduce immediate risk, change underlying social dynamics that make people vulnerable to HIV, and better respond to the needs of people living with HIV. The education sector has a role to play in all these preventive measures, and this guide provides information on all four areas. For schools and learning spaces, this means that life skills based HIV education (behavioural measures) is undertaken within a protective and enabling learning environment which has access to services (legislative/structural measures).

To access the guide, click here.