Higher Education Global Evidence Summit: Convergence of Evidence on Higher Education and Conflict, Crisis, and Democracy
Convergence Day Summary
About Convergence Day
The last day of the Summit focused on a ‘Convergence’ of the themes and introduced new conversations to explore the role of higher education in crisis and conflict-affected settings and in supporting democracy and student activism.
Click here to visit our YouTube playlist with all recorded sessions from Private Sector Engagement and Convergence Week.
Convergence Day Plenaries
Getting to the Roots of Higher Education in Conflict and Crisis Affected Settings
- Barbara Moser-Mercer, Visiting Professor, University of Nairobi, Professor Emerita, Université de Genève
- Qusai Ahmad Al-Ma`ani, Azraq Refugee Camp
- Erin Buisse, Senior Consultant, Erin Buisse Consulting
- Jennifer DeBoer, Assistant Professor of Engineering Education, Purdue University
- Josephine Gitome, Senior Lecturer, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Kenyatta University
- Shahriar Kibriya, Co-Founder of the USAID Higher Education Solutions Network Laboratory, Texas A&M University
- Valerie Lima, Student & Membership Chair, Prytanean, University of California, Davis
- Grace Muvunyi, Dadaab Refugee Camp
- Priscilla Ndegwa, Lecturer, Kenyatta University
- Olawale Samuel, Africa Regional Hub Coordinator, USAID Leading Through Learning, Education Development Center (EDC)
Higher education students, faculty/staff, and institutions face numerous challenges in settings of conflict and crisis. How can the higher education and education in emergencies communities develop a shared understanding of the needs to better address existing gaps? USAID’s Higher Education Learning Network (HELN) and Education in Crisis and Conflict Network (ECCN) joined forces to offer this session. Individuals with personal and professional experience in this space articulated three problem trees, which allowed us to analyze causes and effects of common problems related to higher education in conflict and crisis settings. The conversation was a starting point for a future technical workshop where we will explore the critical roles played by different actors and innovative ideas for making higher education a reality for all students, regardless of geography or circumstance.
The following consolidated problem tree, with causes and effects of the three problems as articulated by the session analyzers and members of the audience, appears below:
Download the full problem tree analysis: Problem Tree Analysis
Higher Education’s Impact on Social Movements and Long-Term Citizen Activism
- Rosarie “Ro” Tucci, Director, Center for Democracy, Human Rights, Governance, USAID
- Arzak Khan, Activist, Innovation for Change Network
- Marshall Ganz, Rita E. Hauser Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Organizing and Civil Society, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
- Clare Robinson, Advocacy Director, Scholars at Risk
Higher education has been called one of America’s greatest exports - advancing the value of a liberal arts education and the concepts of academic freedom and expression. But how can these institutions promote and strengthen a culture of collective action and activism, support activists, and nurture the long-term participation of citizens in civic life? This session sought to better understand how higher education institutions can strengthen democracy in the Year of Action following the 2021 Summit for Democracy. Panelists explored the role of higher education in promoting and sustaining democratic social movements around the globe from historical and present lenses.
Conflict, Crisis, and Democracy Day Closing Plenary
- Uzma Anzar, Senior Education Specialist, FHI360 and Member, USAID Higher Education Learning Network Steering Group
- Maymoona Abu-omir, Positive Youth Development and Educational Access Advocate, Middle East and North Africa