Evidence Gap Maps: Safe Learning Environments
The USAID Education in Crisis and Conflict Network's (ECCN's) Evidence Gap Maps are being updated and are temporarily unavailable. Check back soon for updated maps.
Here you will find USAID Education in Crisis and Conflict Network's (ECCN's) Evidence Gap Maps, an approach to our objective to build evidence and capacity to increase equitable access to education in crisis-and-conflict-affected environments. These four maps focus on Safer Learning Environments (SLE); specifically a) internal threats (including gang violence that emanates from within the school and SRGBV); b) external threats (including SRGBV on the way to/from school, gang violence, armed conflict and ideological attacks on education); c) environmental threats that are related to physical health and d) environmental threats that are related to various natural hazards. Below you will find a brief description and, to the right, a supplementary video describing how these maps were developed and how to use them.
The maps explore relationships between interventions and outcomes, and do not suggest causality between them: These maps are intended to provide an alternative way of exploring evidence-based literature around a specific theme beyond typical internet or database searches. They are not intended to imply causality where evidence exists.
Criteria for Selection of Studies: Studies were selected by searching for primary research (or meta-evaluations of primary research) on overcoming threats to SLE from a variety of sources: academic journals, implementer/donor/research organization databases of evaluations and studies, Google scholar, outreach to the community of practice, and searching reference sections of existing studies. Studies that were not specific to developing contexts were excluded except in the case of external threats/gang violence, where many relevant studies took place in the US.
Audience for Maps: The maps are intended to provide evidence-based resources to practitioners that can be helpful in planning and implementing programs around the particular theme of that map. In particular, the practitioner can use these resources for further contextual understanding when faced with a new threat that was not originally anticipated or researched. The maps are also intended to be helpful for researchers in identifying evidence gaps to better see where new research is needed.
Improving the Maps with the Community of Practice: It is important to note that the maps are in a preliminary phase – a gap does not indicate that there is no evidence (and thus requires more research to fill it), but rather it represents the evidence that we know about. As such, these two gap maps are afirst step to build momentum around collecting, sharing, and using evidence related to safer learning environments. ECCN will continue to collect additional evidence that exists in order to populate this map more completely. Only then can actual gaps in evidence be seen, which will then show us where additional research is needed to fill those gaps.