Webcast on Protecting Education from Attack
USAID ECCN, July 4, 2016
Margaret Sinclair and Diya Nijhowne participated in a webcast hosted by USAID ECCN featuring the work of the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA). GCPEA is an inter-agency coalition of the United Nations and non-governmental organizations focused on protecting schools, universities, their students and staff, from targeted attacks during armed conflict. The webcast included an introduction to the issue of attacks on education and presented guidance for protecting education from attack.
Watch the webcast here.
Diya Nijhowne, Director of the GCPEA, has over a decade of experience working on children’s rights and protection issues, including in emergency contexts with organizations such as Global Rights, UNICEF, UNHCR, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Diya holds a Master of Social Work and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Toronto.
Margaret Sinclair, GCPEA board member and Technical Adviser with Education Above All’s Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC), has worked on education and conflict since 1987, and headed UNHCR’s Education Unit in Geneva from 1993 to 1998. She later served as a consultant on education in emergencies with UNESCO, where her work included supporting the start-up of INEE. Margaret has served as Technical Adviser to PEIC since 2010, including inter alia developing its partnership with IIEP and others on crisis-sensitive education planning and curriculum.
Nina Papadopoulos, USAID Education in Crisis and Conflict Team Leader, is a fifteen-year veteran of promoting the right of education in conflict and crisis with a diverse range of organizations. She currently works with the USAID/E3/ED team supporting USAID missions to ensure the effective implementation of USAID’s Education Strategy, particularly the agency goal of increased equitable access to education in crisis and conflict environments. Nina is a doctoral candidate at the Center for International Education at the University of Massachusetts and for the past three years she has been an adjunct at Georgetown University in the Program on Justice and Peace Studies.
Webcast Questions and Answers
Lis Wilson: Building conflict sensitivity into curriculum is definitely important, how can governments and those of us working with them take action on getting this done? Do you have examples of how this has worked well?
Lis Wilson: In the U.S., Kenya, Pakistan, and other countries there have been recent deadly shootings and attacks on university campuses—very disconcerting to all. Have there been effective responses from governments, universities, or local communities, to effectively improve the safety of their university/college students and staff?
Yoland Miller-Grandvaux: Is there research conducted on whether risks are mitigated differently for females vs males, both in terms of teachers and students?
Shai Fuxman: It seems that conflict sensitive education is an important step towards making education safer. Do you have examples of education practices that were changed in order to make them more conflict sensitive? How well have those efforts worked? What challenges come with trying to make education more conflict sensitive?
Mark Lynd: Do any frameworks or checklists exist that provide guidance on how to enter a situation in order to help people working in those situations to know how to interpret for example the stage or nature of conflict or appropriate approaches in that situation?
John Akker: Could something be said about the engagement of UNESCO in this study?
Carl Triplehorn: What are the easy baby steps which can be taken? I think of small steps such as banning guns from educational institutions is important. In my home state in the US, they are presently debating whether to ban guns from campuses.
Merrill Jordan: IBTCI works in a number of conflict environments monitoring projects, so the idea of being conflict specific really resonated with me. It makes me wonder how we can really compare data from one conflict to another to provide concrete results for donors, and hopefully implementers. What advice do you have for an organization collecting data on conflict?
Deborah Dauda: Do you have examples of programs in northern Nigeria that builds on some of the examples and approaches you suggested? What has worked and what suggestions do you have for Nigeria’s conflict context?