U.S. Agency for International Development (donor)
Nina Papadopoulos, Team Lead Education in Crisis and Conflict - [email protected]
Website: Safer Learning Environments (SLE) Assessment Toolkit
Introduction to the project
Global - especially crisis and conflict settings, including refugee settings.
2017 - ongoing
Development of the Pathways began in 2017. October 2019 was the release date.
The Education in Crisis Interactive Evidence Pathways Tool supports the conceptualization, design and adaptation of conflict-sensitive, contextually-informed, and evidence-based programs.
A major ‘pathway’ in this tool focuses explicitly on building the capacity of local education institutions. Other routes include topics related to helping non-state actors to implement better education programs for refugee and host community learners; improve service delivery; and improve equity and safety. (GCR Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries).
Numerous pathways in the tool include topics related to enhancing refugee learner self-reliance (GCR Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance), for example:
- Improve Service Delivery > “Conflict-sensitive education services are responsive to the social and emotional needs of learners” > “Healing classroom tools are applied”;
- “Increase equity” > “Education services are inclusive” > “Affordable non-state schools serve marginalized populations”;
- “Increase equity” > “Child protection in schools is improved” > Psychosocial support is provided through services”;
- “Increase Safety” > School-related gender-based violence is reduced” > “Psychosocial support and referrals are provided to students”.
There is room in the pathways tool for evidence related to third-country solutions. (GCR Objective 3: Expand access to third-country solutions)
Many of the pathways described above, and more, are equally helpful for countries of origin that have faced crisis and conflict and may be in a period of reconstruction, and would benefit from improvements in education. Access to quality, safe, equitable education programs may be a deciding factor in refugees’ decision to return. (GCR Objective 4: Support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity)
The evidence pathways tool was a direct response to USAID’s need for an up to date and user-friendly resource that would help USAID staff and implementers to easily access evidence related to some of the most important aspects of programming in such contexts, and use this evidence in developing program design, management, procurement and evaluation approaches.
Main activities of the Good Practice
The tool seeks to address two major needs for designing, implementing and evaluating education programming in crisis and conflict affected contexts:
- A need for evidence-based theories of change to underpin the design and evaluation of education programming
- A need for an accessible, curated set of relevant, high quality research upon which to base EICC programming theories of change.
In particular, the tool helps USAID staff and implementing partners to better design and evaluate EICC programming by:
- Identifying an array of education outcomes that programs may choose to pursue.
- Identifying the range of contributing sub-outcomes that the existing research identifies as necessary for achieving each desired high-level education outcome.
- For each education outcome, furnishing the three best available evidence and guidance sources that meet standards of rigor, quality, and relevance.
Highlighting the crucial foundational needs for conflict sensitivity and contextual understanding, without which quality EICC programming is not possible.
- The toolkit development was led by the USAID Education in Crisis and Conflict Network (ECCN) community of practice (implemented by Education Development Center and University of Massachusetts Amherst), with detailed review and contributions from the USAID Education in Crisis and Conflict (EiCC) team
- ECCN reached out to dozens of experts from academic institutions, donors, implementing organizations, and researchers to receive recommendations on which resources were the most essential for the Pathways.
Results of the Good Practice
The primary way that this tool will impact the lives of refugees and host community members is in program designers, managers’ and evaluators’ use of the easily accessible, high quality evidence it puts forward toward offering the highest quality, contextually appropriate programming possible.
We expect that the tool will continue to be updated with newer resources, and more users will use the resources within to make programming decisions.