Education and Fragility – Conflict Sensitive Education

From the latest newsletter from INEE Education and Fragility

Spotlight on a CSE Pack ToolINEE Guidance Note on Conflict Sensitive Education

The Guidance Note offers strategies for developing and implementing conflict sensitive education programmes and policies. Building upon the INEE Minimum Standards, the Guidance Note is a useful tool for practitioners, policy-makers and researchers working in conflict-affected and fragile contexts. The Guidance Note and the INEE Minimum Standards are referenced throughout the Reflection Tool, and can be consulted to find more detailed information and examples as needed.A Quick Reference Tool on Conflict Sensitive Education is included in the Guidance Note which follows the framework of the INEE Minimum Standards and provides bulleted guidance, key actions and suggestions for conflict sensitive education.Guidance Note on Conflict Sensitive Education [English] [French]


Reshaping the International Education Agenda to Include Youth in Situations of Fragility and Crisis

Youth education in general, and more specifically youth education in crisis contexts, is not clearly represented in the current development agenda (MDGs and EFA). With consultations on-going regarding the post-2015 development agenda, it is now time for all concerned stakeholders to position themselves within the current debate and identify missing issues.

As millions of youth live in areas of conflict, post conflict, violence and disasters, collective outlining of the real needs in the field and advocating for their inclusion in the post-2015 education agenda, through clear priorities, is essential. Securing youth’s right to quality, inclusive and relevant education in e

mergency and fragile contexts is essential to protect them as well as to help them rebuild their communities.This position paper outlines how the post-2015 goals are being shaped, it identifies the progress already made in relation to youth education in fragility and crisis and highlights the remaining gaps. Its purpose was to lay the foundations for the discussions held during the INEE-RET Round Table held on 15 October 2013.

To access this position paper, please click here.


INEE – Contextualizing Global Standards to Local Settings

From the INEE newsletter:

Contextualizing Global Standards to Local Settings: Challenges and Lesson Learned
Tzvetomira Laub, INEE Coordinator for Minimum Standards 


This paper reflects on challenges and lessons learned from the contextualization of the INEE Minimum Standards, the only global tool that articulates the minimum level of educational access and quality in emergencies through to recovery and development. Contextualizations have taken place in eight countries/territories to date: Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Somalia, and South Sudan.

Contextualization refers to the process of debating, determining and agreeing upon the meaning of global guidance in a given local situation: it is about examining and “translating” the meaning and guidance of the Standards for the context of a country/territory. Contextualization participants consider how the Standards can be achieved within the particular national context (baseline, structures, constraints, opportunities, etc.) that they are being adapted to.

Guidance in this paper will be useful to host partners seeking to contextualize the INEE Minimum Standards in other countries. It is also useful to partners in other humanitarian sectors who wish to carry out contextualizations of other leading quality and accountability standards for humanitarian response, e.g. Sphere Standards, Minimum Standards for Child Protection and others.

To view and download this resource, please click here.

The Sphere Handbook in Action – free e-learning course

The Sphere Handbook in Action e-learning course
Sphere Project

The Sphere Handbook in Action e-learning course aims to strengthen the effective use of the Sphere Handbook, Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response. It brings the Sphere Handbook to life through the use of realistic scenarios, helping the learner to get acquainted with its core messages and to understand how to use the Handbook holistically.Taking the course is free of charge. No academic qualifications are required. Each person may take the course at her or his own pace.

Available in English, Arabic, French & Spanish.
Watch a 90-second trailer, and access the course on the Sphere website.

The State of the World’s Girls 2013 – Because I am a girl -what is educating a girl worth?

Because I am a Girl, The State of the World’s Girls 2013
Plan UKThis 2013 ‘Because I am a Girl’ report looks at what happens to adolescent girls in disasters, and why. Using original research, reviews of secondary material, and the voices of girls themselves, we show how adolescent girls’ rights are being ignored before, during and after disasters, both in the urgency of a disaster response, and in the gaps between humanitarian and development work. We examine the tension between girls’ vulnerability to violence, and the resilience that they so often show in times of crisis. We look at what needs to be done, and give examples of good practice. We make the argument that listening to what adolescent girls have to say, ensuring that both their rights and their needs are catered for, and strengthening their resilience, is a key missing piece of humanitarian work.

Click to download the full report, or the executive summary.


The Global Partnership for Education’s new infographics below remind us how and why investing in girls’ education makes a difference, here are some facts:

> Some countries lose more than $1 billion per year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys,

> Women’s education has prevented more than 4 million child deaths in the past 40 years

> Investing in girls education could boost agricultural output in Africa by 25%

For further information, see UNESCO’s EFA Global Monitoring Report Education Transforms: download the Girls’ Education Factsheet and see the Education Transforms website.




Read this piece by Susan Ngongi,UNICEF Representative in Ghana, to learn more about the transformative role that girls could have in growing Ghana’s economy, if they receive the right investments.




Investments in girls yield the greatest national dividends:

Mothers transmit their social and economic status to their children more easily than fathers. Educated young women have smaller families and healthier children. They are less likely to marry young or die in childbirth, more likely to send their children to school, and better able to protect themselves and their children from malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, trafficking, and sexual exploitation. An educated girl has better opportunities. She is more likely to get a job and earn a higher wage, and her nation’s economy is likely to benefit as a result. An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 per cent and an extra year of secondary school by 15 to 25 per cent. One percentage point increase in female education raises the average level of GDP by 0.3 percentage points. Well implemented, schools boost productivity and are a great equalizer of opportunity. This is the main avenue through which to develop the skills of girls. Ghana has achieved parity between boys and girls in primary school, but the gap begins to show in secondary school and by the tertiary level there are approximately twice as many boys as girls.

Source: UNGEI

The Classroom: A Place for Inner Peace Education

The Classroom: A Place for Inner Peace Education
Gloria María Abarca Obregón, Mexico
I have been a primary school teacher for 12 years and strangely enough I always wanted to be one. I love being a teacher and thanks to my job, I have had the opportunity to be in many diverse encounters and meet the most different people. This is how I experience being a teacher, and above all, how I experience being a human who, through education, found a way of teaching, learning and living, where peace and education go hand in hand. It has become not only a teaching style, but a personal philosophy and a lifestyle.
I wish to share with you my lived experiences in the classroom of a public primary school in Mexico, with the goal of giving a voice to my own real experiences of inner peace. As a teacher, I want to share with other teachers all around the world what is possible to achieve through this transformative approach.
To read the full post, please download here.
To download Spanish version, please click here.
teachwithout brders

If wars begin in the human mind, then it is through our minds – through education – that war can be vanquished by peace. At Teachers Without Borders, we believe that teachers can lead the way towards peace in their classrooms and communities. Our Peace Education Program is designed to help them in this pursuit. By providing teachers with a framework for peace education, we are contributing to the growing movement towards a global culture of peace.

Teachers Without Borders’ Introduction to Peace Education is a teacher professional development course that explores peace education in theory and practice. In addition to offering the course as an onsite workshop in various contexts around the world, we make it available as a free download or a free self-paced online course.

Learn More:

A note about the UN’s approaches to Peace Education:

In 1945, the United Nations was established to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, “to reaffirm faith in the …dignity and worth of the human person [and] in the equal rights of men and women”, “to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained”, and “to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom…”. (
Preamble to the UN Charter  outside link)

Peace education has developed as a means to achieve these goals. It is education that is “directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms”. It promotes “understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups” and furthers “the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.” (Article 26, Universal Declaration of Human Rights  outside link)

In other words, peace education is an integral part of the work of the United Nations. Through a humanising process of teaching and learning, peace educators facilitate human development. They strive to counteract the dehumanisation of poverty, prejudice, discrimination, rape, violence, and war. Originally aimed at eliminating the possibility of global extinction through nuclear war, peace education currently addresses the broader objective of building a culture of peace. In this global effort, progressive educators world-wide are teaching the values, standards and principles articulated in fundamental UN instruments such as the UN Charter  outside link, Human Rights documents, the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)  outside link, the Convention on the Rights of the Child  outside link (CRC), the World Declaration on Education for All, and many others.

UNICEF and UNESCO are particularly active advocates of education for peace. UNICEF describes peace education as schooling and other educational initiatives that:

• Function as ‘zones of peace’, where children are safe from violent conflict
• Uphold children’s basic rights as outlined in the CRC
• Develop a climate that models peaceful and respectful behaviour among all members of the learning community
• Demonstrate the principles of equality and non-discrimination in administrative policies and practices
• Draw on the knowledge of peace-building that exists in the community, including means of dealing with conflict that are effective, non-violent, and rooted in the local culture
• Handle conflicts in ways that respect the rights and dignity of all involved
• Integrate an understanding of peace, human rights, social justice and global issues throughout the curriculum whenever possible
• Provide a forum for the explicit discussion of values of peace and social justice
• Use teaching and learning methods that stress participation, Cupertino, problem-solving and respect for differences
• Enable children to put peace-making into practice in the educational setting as well as in the wider community
• Generate opportunities for continuous reflection and professional development of all educators in relation to issues of peace, justice and rights. (Peace Education in UNICEF Working Paper Series, July 1999)

Much of the work of UNESCO is centred on the promotion of education for peace, human rights, and democracy. The notion of a “culture of peace” was first elaborated for UNESCO at the International Congress on Peace in the Minds of Men, held at Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire, in 1989. The Yamoussoukro Declaration called on UNESCO to ‘construct a new vision of peace by developing a peace culture based on the universal values of respect for life, liberty, justice, solidarity, tolerance, human rights and equality between women and men’ and to promote education and research for a this vision. (UNESCO and a Culture of Peace, UNESCO Publishing, 1995)

Underlying all of this work in the field of peace education are the efforts of committed educators, researchers, activists, and members of global civil society. Acting in partnership with the United Nations and its Specialised Agencies, Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), educational institutions, and citizen networks have advanced education for peace by linking ideals with extensive research and practice. The Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21st Century (UN Document: Ref A/54/98  outside link), is a significant example of such work. One of the first principles of this document is the necessity of instituting systematic education for peace. According to the Agenda, their Global Campaign for Peace Education aims to “support the United Nations Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World and to introduce peace and human rights education into all educational institutions, including medical and law schools.”

“A culture of peace will be achieved when citizens of the world understand global problems, have the skills to resolve conflicts and struggle for justice non-violently, live by international standards of human rights and equity, appreciate cultural diversity, and respect the Earth and each other. Such learning can only be achieved with systematic education for peace.” -Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education

The International Peace Research Association, founded with support from UNESCO, has a Peace Education Commission that brings together educators working to promote a culture of peace. The Peace Education Network, based in London, also works alongside the UN in promoting peace through education. Overall, the participation of global civil society in building a culture of peace is essential. Get connected!

Framework and Rationale
Many teachers are already practising peace education without calling it by name. Historically, in various parts of the world, peace education has been referred to as Education for Conflict Resolution, International Understanding, and Human Rights; Global Education; Critical Pedagogy; Education for Liberation and Empowerment; Social Justice Education; Environmental Education; Life Skills Education; Disarmament and Development Education; and more. These various labels illuminate the depth and diversity of the field. Using the term peace education helps co-ordinate such global initiatives and unite educators in the common practice of educating for a culture of peace.

Because the year 2000 is the International Year for the Culture of Peace  outside link (UN Doc A/RES/52/15) and the period 2001-2010 is the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (UN Doc A/RES/53/25), the UN Cyberschoolbus Peace Education site joins the global movement  outside link to build and sustain a culture of peace through education.

Some more reading and resources for studying and implementing peace education:

            Education for human rights…young people talking (DVD), UNESCO: 2011.

Teaching the transatlantic slave trade: achievements, challenges and perspectives, UNESCO, 2011.

World development report 2011: conflict security and development, World Bank: 2011.

Education under attack, 2010: a global study on targeted political and military violence against education staff, students, teachers, union and government officials, aid workers and institutions, UNESCO, Paris: 2010.

Davies L. and Bentrovato D, Understanding education’s role in fragility Synthesis of four situational analyses of education and fragility: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Liberia, IIEP, 2011.

The hidden crisis: Armed conflict and education, EFA Global Monitoring Report, UNESCO, 2011.

Smith A, The Influence of education on conflict and peace building, Background paper for the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2011, 2010.

UNESCO Guidebook on Textbook Analysis and Textbook Revision, UNESCO/ GEORG ECKERT INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL TEXTBOOK RESEARCH, Paris/Braunschweig: 2010.

Guidebook for planning in emergencies and reconstruction, IIEP, 2010.

Davies L, Think piece on education and conflict, Think piece prepared for the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2011, 2009.

Opportunities for change, Education innovation and reform during and after conflict, Ed. By S. Nicolai, UNESCO IIEP, Paris: 2009.

Brochure on UNESCO’s Work on Education for Peace and Non-Violence – Building Peace through Education (ED-2008/WS/38), English, Paris: 2008.

Expert meeting: stopping violence in schools. What works? Report, 2007.

A Human Rights-based Approach to Education for All, UNESCO/UNICEF, New York: 2007.

UNESCO Guidelines on Intercultural Education, UNESCO, Paris: 2006.

Intercultural Understanding and Human Rights Education in the Era of Globalization, APCEIU, 2006.

Margaret Sinclair, Learning to Live Together: Building skills, values and attitudes for the 21st Century, UNESCO/IBE, Geneva: 2004.

UNESCO’s Work on Education for Peace and Non-Violence, UNESCO, Paris: 2008.

UNESCO (1996) Learning: The Treasure Within (also known as the Delors Report; Report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Century).

The Right to Science Education – from pre-school onwards

When we talk about rights to science – start looking at the pre-school and primary curricula in many countries. In developing countries many children have to wait until secondary level to gain any real science education . Many opportunities for young children to explore the scientific process and experiment on real issues within their community (e.g. how to gain fresh water from polluted sources)  which are life saving experiments and enquiries, should be provided from an early age. Start as young as possible to engender good attitudes towards science and technology and ensure girls and boys have equal opportunities.

Any early ‘science’ education should  focus attention on real problems at the local level –i.e. energy, water, food security, health – new curricular should have these issues as main content as they are life preserving and brain stimulating. I have seen health education separated from the rest of the curriculum and added on as an extra burden -it should be integrated into language and maths curricula so that messages are reinforced throughout a child’s learning experiences.



The UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights tells SciDev.Net what the right to science could mean, and how to fulfil it.

[GENEVA] All people have a “right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications” — this is one of the issues SciDev.Net has recently explored in a series of Spotlight articles.

This right was recognised in the weighty 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966. But several decades later, the meaning of this right and the obligations it entails are still open to question.

Last year, Pakistani sociologist Farida Shaheed issued a report offering clarifications and recommendations to promote the right to science, as part of her mandate as UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights.

SciDev.Net caught up with her at a UN seminar on the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, held in Geneva last week (3-4 October).

Why has the right to science received so little attention so far compared with other concepts such as the right to food or the right to health?

I think nobody really understood what the normative scope and content of such a right would be. At an experts’ meeting on this subject in December 2011, one of the questions that kept being asked is: ‘what more than the right to food and health are we talking about when we talk about the right to science?’

That’s why I’m proposing that this particular article needs to be read with Article 1 of the Covenant, which is about the right to self-determination and participation.

Access to science must include participation in the whole scientific process — it’s not just the end product. You have the scientific process, then the knowledge that’s created, then the applications. All of those things make up the right to science.

Yet much of the debate seems to focus on access to technological innovation.

I think you need everything. To me human rights have to go beyond mere technological innovations, although those can also be very crucial. The ability to aspire to conceive a better future that is not only desirable but attainable, can be radically changed by technology. I’m not saying technology is not important, but the right to scientific progress and its applications is broader.

What was the most important finding from your report last year?

I came to realise exactly why scientific advancement and its applications are linked to cultural rights, both in the Universal Declaration and in the Covenant.

This aspect has puzzled many people for a while. I struggled because much of the literature said it was just coincidental that science had been put in there.

If you look at much of the UN documentation, science is seen either as a way of improving human existence or as a possible disaster for human existence.

But thinking about it, I understood that really both science and culture relate to human beings’ interactions with their environment, be it natural or social, and people’s creative responses to what is going on around them. The world changes all the time and I think artistic expression as well as scientific progress are both in essence a response to what is going on around us.

That’s the link: they both relate to human creativity. We must ensure that we all benefit from that creativity and that creators and inventors enjoy the moral and material benefits from that creativity.

It’s really about investigating, being curious about the world around you, and that curiosity takes different forms. I think we have less and less of it now, we have much narrower perspectives. In today’s world we’re very specialised, we divide ourselves up into bits and pieces, which is not how indigenous people and other cultures continue to function.

What other finding would you highlight from your report?

The second thing — and I have to really credit the work of Lea Shaver on this, among others — is the idea of knowledge as a global public good. [Shaver, who is associate professor of law and dean’s fellow at the Indiana University School of Law, United States, writes that the modern Intellectual Property (IP) regime privileges private interests over public ones, which is at odds with the spirit of social justice and cooperation that guided the Universal Declaration. The right to science and culture may serve as a tool to rebalance this, she writes.]

The thing that troubles me are issues of IP regimes, which may not be as helpful as it is claimed that they are, both in terms of innovation and in terms of protecting the rights of creators.

Even though states are entitled to use flexibilities within the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) agreement on Trade-Related aspects of IP Rights in order to protect public health, countries that really try and use these flexibilities come across enormous problems and resistance.

There’s a need for trade regimes to have a serious discussion about human rights.

If the UN system is supposed to prioritise human rights, then that has to be the yardstick against which all other regimes are assessed to make sure that they are in compliance with human rights, not the other way around.

What is needed now to take that debate beyond a mere Human Rights discussion?

I have had good engagement with the Worldwide Intellectual Property Organization. I have not engaged with the WTO but I think those are entities that need to come into the discussion.

I’m hoping that perhaps some countries can take the lead. As a Special Rapporteur I have very little leverage in bringing people together, I can only make recommendations.

One of my main recommendations last year in the report was that we need more dialogue on contentious issues. I’m encouraged by the number of steps that countries have actually taken, including countries that are not happy with the idea of this being a human right.

For instance, the United States was unhappy with the report. That’s very curious because several examples of good practices come from there. The European Union was at least open to the idea of having a discussion, and that’s really important. Europe has excellent guidelines and these are starting points for building a consensus on how to go forward.

Link to Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Link to International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Link to Lea Shaver’s paper



It is as if we have not evolved, at least in our thinking, as we view  World Food Day, knowing that weapons and weapons technology gains huge investments while we are still standing by overseeing a future where food and water is unobtainable for many. We should feel ashamed.



The World Food Day theme for 2013 is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”.

Enough food is produced for all to eat but it may not be produced efficiently so that all can access it and up to a third is wasted (see infographic below).

Teaching Resources:

To find teaching resources on the Global Dimension database to help your school mark World Food Daybrowse through the listings under the topics of FoodFarming or Famine.


These case studies may also provide inspiration:
» A nursery class learn about Indian food
» A trip to Nicaragua via the Botanic Garden
» World food in depth
» Pupils learn about food production around the world


waste food