Evidence Gap Maps: Safe Learning Environments
The USAID Education in Crisis and Conflict Network’s (ECCN’s) Safe Learning Environments Evidence Gap Maps are interactive tools curating evidenced-based resources. The tools build the capacity of practitioners to plan and implement programs that increase equitable access to quality education in crisis and conflict-affected environments. The maps also serve to identify gaps where new or further research is needed to support safer learning environments (SLE).
Use these four interactive tools for further contextual understanding when faced with a new or unanticipated threat to a learning environment. They cover a range of threats to safe learning environments, including:
- Internal threats from within the school, including gang violence and school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV).
- External threats outside of school, including SRGBV on the way to and from school, gang violence, armed conflict, and ideological attacks on education.
- Health-related threats, such as disease outbreaks, insanitary facilities, and lack of clean water and nutritious meals.
- Natural disasters caused by natural hazards, including the effects of climate change.
The maps explore relationships between interventions and outcomes and do not suggest causality between them. They provide an alternative way of exploring evidence-based literature around a specific theme beyond typical internet or database searches.
Criteria for Selection of Studies
Studies were selected by searching for primary or secondary research (or meta-evaluations of primary research) on SLE interventions and their outcomes from a variety of sources: academic journals; implementer, donor, and research organization databases of evaluations and studies; Google Scholar; outreach to the community of practice; and reference sections of existing studies. The update included studies published in English between 2019 and 2023 that addressed the specific hazards, included interventions and outcomes in the school learning environment, and were not duplicates. Program descriptions, policy documents, advocacy pieces, blogs, videos, opinion pieces, and guidance documents for implementation were excluded.