IIEP, Paris, 20-31 July 2009
Rebuilding resilience: Planning education in 'fragile contexts'
The IIEP Summer School 2009 “Rebuilding Resilience – Planning Education in ‘Fragile Contexts” took place at IIEP, Paris on 20-31 July 2009. It featured a wealth of speeches and debates from 21 guest speakers and experts.
If you wish to know more, read the summer school programme, see the photos and presentations, or read the final report of the summer school (forthcoming).
"I enjoyed the summer school so much and it contributed so strongly to deepen (and broaden) my understanding of good educational planning in difficult environments. I'm very grateful for this." - Judith Johannes, European Commission, East Jerusalem, participant at the IIEP Summer School 2009.
The summer school addressed national and international policy issues, and investigated a range of implications related to education and fragility. National ministries of education in so called ‘fragile contexts’ are faced with significant challenges, particularly when provision of education is rarely regarded as a high priority in these contexts.
The Summer School participants investigated some of these challenges and looked at ways to overcome them to help strengthen systems and rebuild resilience.
Practical sessions were included on mechanisms for planning and implementation, capacity development, monitoring and resource mobilization. These drew on experiences from experts and practitioners in the field.
- 29 participants from 17 countries – including Bhutan, Bolivia, Cote d’Ivoire, Georgia, Kenya, Pakistan, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Tajikistan Thailand, Uganda, and Zambia – developed draft action plans for their own education programmes to rebuild resilience in fragile contexts.
- Keynote speech by His Excellency Dr Saïdi Kibeya, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Burundi: How the Burundi education system has demonstrated resilience (see presentation) on Monday 27 July 2009.
- Launch of the IIEP and CfBT publication Donors’ Engagement: supporting education in fragile and conflict-affected states by Laura Branelly, Susy Ndaruhutse and Carole Rigaud on Monday 27 July 2009. All IIEP publications on education in emergencies and reconstruction can be downloaded free of charge.
- Opening by Nicholas Burnett, UNESCO Assistant Director General for Education; and Mark Bray, IIEP Director, on Monday 20 July 2009.
“We heard the terminology around 'fragile states'. We wish to underline the importance of being cautious in using this term. It is labelling countries in a negative way, where we are trying to develop and become stronger and prouder nations.”
(His Excellency the President of Burundi, Mr Pierre Nkurunziza, in Doha, November 2008)
One feels a great sympathy with this sentiment and can applaud the efforts of countries like Burundi, Rwanda and others who have emerged from crisis and wish to face the future rather than dwell on the past.
But there is also a need to be realistic. How does one describe states such as Zimbabwe, where an education system once described as the pride of Africa is now collapsing? We know such states face distinctive challenges in planning for education and poverty reduction and are furthest from attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Therefore it is critical to understand the challenges and embark on the opportunities that can make a positive difference.
Education has a significant and enduring impact on social and economic development and is a key instrument to achieving all the MDGs. It carries high social returns, in particular for girls and women. In order to achieve these gains, as the INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility suggests, there is a need for capacity development among education actors in the field, particularly in planning and implementation for effective education delivery in these contexts. National ministries of education are faced with significant challenges, particularly when provision of education in emergency contexts is rarely regarded as a high priority by humanitarian agencies.
Contact IIEP for further information.