Education in Emergencies: Social Cohesion, Peace and Conflict
At Mokoro’s seminar, ‘Education in Emergencies: Resilience, Social Cohesion and Peace‘, we explored education in emergency and humanitarian contexts. Our focus was on affected populations’ resilience and social cohesion, and the ways in which states of peace, conflict, and upheaval brought about by natural disasters affect and influence these realities.
Conflicts, natural disasters, and the large-scale forced migration that often results, raise the question of how those affected by such events – particularly children – can continue to receive the education that will help them thrive in life and achieve their potential. In emergencies and humanitarian crises, education is often the first service interrupted and the last resumed, and the issues surrounding its provision affect those on the move as well as the communities that come to host them, raising provocative questions on how the opposing states of peace and conflict affect and influence social cohesion.
Bringing together a varied group of practitioners and researchers working at the forefront of this challenging sector, this seminar delved into these issues through examination of specific case studies, as well as consideration of some of the broader developments in the field.
Allison Anderson is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Center for Universal Education, focusing on how quality education contributes to sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. She is also an adjunct professor on Critical Challenges and Opportunities in Education in Emergencies through to Recovery at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Allison is working with Mokoro on the evaluation of UNICEF’s support to education in humanitarian settings and is team leader for the Nepal country case study.
Hiba Salem is a PhD student in her final year at Selwyn College, University of Cambridge. After witnessing the devastating impacts of war on Syrian children, Hiba left her home in Damascus in 2014 to pursue doctoral studies in Educational Research, where her interests lie in education within contexts of forced migration, with a focus on social cohesion and Syrian refugee students’ experiences in Jordan. Her PhD research explores Syrian refugee students’ perceptions and experiences in order to examine the concept of wellbeing in Jordan’s segregated double-shift schools. Her publications include a policy paper discussing her findings and a literature review mapping the challenges adolescent girls face in conflict-affected settings.
Jessica Oddy is an experienced Education Research Specialist with global experience in Education in Emergencies, leading research projects, establishing communities of practice, curriculum and content development, capacity building, virtual learning design, cluster coordination, program management and providing technical expertise in the UK and in development and humanitarian contexts. She has previously worked for UNHCR in Tel Aviv and as a coordinator of educational projects for Lutheran World Relief in South Sudan. More recently she has been an Education in Emergencies Advisor for War Child and Save the Children.
Muriel Visser is one of Mokoro’s Principal Consultants. Muriel grew up in Mozambique, and worked there for 11 years during and after the war, mainly in the field of adult literacy, teacher education and training, and HIV prevention. Muriel completed her PhD in 2004 (Florida State University) and since then has been working as an international consultant, leading research and evaluations of development and humanitarian efforts across a range of settings and countries, and in particular in education, gender, health and nutrition. Muriel is currently team leader for the global evaluation of UNICEF’s support to education in humanitarian settings. In addition to her consultancy work Muriel is an active contributor to the work of the Learning Development Institute (a virtual network of professionals with a different view on learning).