Landscape Review: Education in Conflict & Crisis | How Can Technology Make a Difference?

 

Embed or link this publication

Description

Landscape Review: Education in Conflict & Crisis | How Can Technology Make a Difference?

Popular Pages


p. 1

Education in Conflict and Crisis: How Can Technology Make a Difference? A Landscape Review

[close]

p. 2

Published by: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH Registered offices Bonn and Eschborn, Germany Sector Programme Education Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 36 53113 Bonn Germany Phone: + 49 228 44 60 – 0 Fax: + 49 228 44 60 – 1766 bildung@giz.de GIZ - Education and youth: www.giz.de/education-and-youth Authors Dr. Negin Dahya, University of Washington Information School Edited by Sector Programme Education (GIZ) Design and layout Diamond media GmbH, Neunkirchen-Seelscheid Photo credits Girl with tablet, Sudan, © Camille Lemouchoux, War Child Holland School children using ENEZA on a mobile phone, © Xavier Project Syrian refugee teachers with laptops, participating in the Connect to Learn project, Domiz refugee camp in the Kurdish region of Iraq, © Stephen Richardson, IRC Man making a video, Ethiopia, © OMPT As of February 2016 GIZ is responsible for the content of this publication. On behalf of German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Division for Education and the Digital World Adresses of the BMZ offices BMZ Bonn Dahlmannstraße 4 53113 Bonn, Germany Phone: + 49 (0) 228 99 535 – 0 Fax: + 49 (0) 228 99 535 – 3500 poststelle@bmz.bund.de www.bmz.de/en BMZ Berlin im Europahaus Stresemannstraße 94 10963 Berlin, Germany Phone: +49 (0) 30 18 535 - 0 Fax: +49 (0) 30 18 535 - 2501

[close]

p. 3

Education in Conflict and Crisis: How Can Technology Make a Difference? A Landscape Review

[close]

p. 4



[close]

p. 5

Foreword and Acknowledgements This Landscape Review complements a series of products already published as part of the Mobiles for Education Alliance (mEducation Alliance). 1 The review was commissioned by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is the result of a collaborative effort with All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (USAID, World Vision (WV) and the Australian Government), World Vision International (WVI) and the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE). The review offers a selection of projects presented as case studies and synthesizes key themes and considerations for practitioners and policy makers in this field. 2 It also presents needed directions for research and development. The completion of this review, its clarity, comprehensive view of the field, and organization, would not have been possible without the contributions, conceptual and written revisions, and collaboration of Dr. Michael Holländer, Alexandra Galeitzke, and Sophia Palmes from GIZ. Their close and trusted engagement, exceptional coordination of this project, and knowledge and insight of the topic have greatly enhanced both the quality and depth of the Landscape Review. Anthony Bloome (USAID), Wendy Smith (WVI), Linda Hiebert (WVI), and Rebecca Leege (WV) have also been instrumental to the development and completion of this Landscape Review. I thank them for their time, commitment, expertise, and consultation. I would also like to thank Dr. Sarah Dryden-Petersen (Harvard Graduate School of Education) and Marie Maier-Metz (UNHCR) for their peer review and constructive feedback. I am grateful for the data that INEE provided from their survey on the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education in emergencies. Thanks to Billi Shaner (WVI) for processing that data. Special thanks also go out to Becca Fronczak and Kelle Rose, graduate students at the University of Washington Information School, and to Ronja Schröder, for their diligent work compiling data for the ICT project inventory, creating the list of academic journals and resources, and copy-editing this manuscript. Thanks also to the University of Washington Information School for generously providing resources in the form of graduate student support to organize this material. Peter Transburg (INEE) and Stephen Richardson (IRC) were important resource persons and greatly contributed to a workshop at the mEducation Alliance Symposium in October 2015, organized by GIZ to get input and feedback from practitioners. These efforts and the rich dialogue at the mEducation Alliance Symposium were important to the development of this Landscape Review. Finally, I wish to acknowledge the significant contributions of numerous people who provided valuable insight and content through interviews: Anthony Bloome (USAID), Don Dippo (York University), Paul Frisoli (IRC), Juan Pablo Giraldo Ospino (UNICEF), Jacob Korenblum (Souktel), Rana Mandani (JEI), Sandra Maignant (IRC), Mary Mendenhall (Columbia University Teachers College), Kurt D. Moses (FHI360), Edmund Page (Xavier Project), Claire Pelley (OMPT), Kate Radford (WCH), Stephen Richardson (IRC), Jackie Strecker (UNHCR), Matt Streng (Mercy Corps), and Peter Transburg (INEE). I hope that practitioners, researchers, and policy makers will benefit from the content and perspectives in this Landscape Review. The aim of the review is to highlight trends and promising practices, as well as to consider critical perspectives related to using ICT for education in conflict and crisis. The review intends to contribute to the identification of knowledge gaps and make recommendations in this field. While this is still an evolving field and more evaluation needs to be done, as well as successful projects brought to scale, I am optimistic that the potential of ICT can be further harnessed to provide access to quality education to people facing conflict and crisis. Dr. Negin Dahya Assistant Professor University of Washington Information School Seattle, Washington, USA ndahya@uw.edu 1 ‘Mobiles for Reading’, ‘Mobiles for Youth Workforce Development’ and ‘Mobile Education for Numeracy’. 2 Next to this Landscape Review with a focus on ICT for education in conflict and crisis, a Landscape Review with a particular focus on ICT for education for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP) was commissioned by the mEducation Alliance. These two products are intended to complement each other and give practical guidance to practitioners and policy makers in this field. A Landscape Review 3

[close]

p. 6

Table of Contents Foreword and Acknowledgements Executive Summary 3 5 Acronyms 7 CHAPTER 1: Background and Context 1.1 Introduction: ICT for Education in ­Conflict and Crisis 1.2 Purpose and Aims of the Report 1.3 Defining ICT for Education in Conflict and Crisis CHAPTER 2: Methodology 2.1 Research Evidence 2.2 Research Methods CHAPTER 3: ICT for System Strengthening, Teaching, and Learning 3.1 Strengthening Education Systems 3.2 Teacher Training, Higher Education, and Vocational Training 3.3 Basic Formal and Non-Formal Education 3.4 Informal Learning 3.5 Inclusive Education 3.6 Conflict Sensitive Education and Do No Harm CHAPTER 4: A Discussion on Sustainability and Scale 4.1 Rapid Response Education and Pilot Projects 4.2 Reconstructing Education Systems CHAPTER 5: Conclusions and Recommendations 5.1 Summary Points 5.2 Recommendations 5.3 Concluding Remarks Annex 1: List of Related Academic Journals Annex 2: List of Interview Participants 8 8 9 9 11 11 11 13 13 14 18 24 25 26 29 29 30 32 32 33 35 36 39 Annex 3: Select Results from INEE Survey “Technology and Education in ­Emergencies” 40 Annex 4: Project Inventory: ICT for Education in Conflict and Crisis 42 References 63 4 Education in Conflict and Crisis: How Can Technology Make a Difference?

[close]

p. 7

Executive Summary Crisis and conflict are among the biggest obstacles to ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all. 3 However, education is a human right with important implications for health, livelihood, and peace building in contexts of conflict and crisis. The use of information and communication technology (ICT) has the potential to support, enhance, and enable education for the most marginalized, affected by war, natural disasters, and the rapid spread of disease. Across these different contexts, tools like radio, mobile phones, mobile projectors, e-readers and tablets, laptops and computers can facilitate teaching and learning in a range of different ways. The term “mobility” with regard to learning is highly relevant in this landscape: it recognizes that learning should not stop as people move, and that people on the move are focused on continuing their education. The aim of this landscape review is to identify major trends, patterns, and lessons learned about the use of mobile technologies in crisis and conflict settings, and also to define gaps in our existing knowledge base. with regard to ICT for education system strengthening in conflict and crisis. The two major areas of programmatic focus in ICT for education in crisis and conflict are teacher training and student learning. A characteristic of programs working in postsecondary education – including higher education, teacher training, and vocational training – is that they are using multiple tools for teaching and learning, which gives learners varied opportunities for participation in unstable contexts. This includes the use of locally existing technologies, such as mobile phones. Overall, blended learning is an important component of education at the post-secondary level. The examined case studies also confirm that human resources and teachers are still crucial to the success of educational initiatives and projects. Good blended learning practices involve using technology to support face-to-face learning. Programs using ICT to enhance basic formal and non-formal education for children and youth are adopting learnercentered pedagogies and community-based practices. Radio is being used to mobilize in- and out-of-school children. Mobile phones distribute audio recorded or SMSbased information and quizzes related to curricula. Tablets are employed to reach out-of-school children in remote locations. Adopting locally situated and culturally relevant pedagogy and practices is important across tool use. Efforts are also being made to build on existing and established Open Educational Resources (OER). The advantage of OER in crisis and conflict is that learning materials can be made available rapidly, at low cost, and adapted locally to specific target group needs. This can be particularly useful in humanitarian contexts where fast action is necessary. However, attention has to be paid to the nature of content created or available with OER. There is also a critical need for adequate technology training and pedagogical training for teachers and community members using OER. Digital video is being used to impart necessary life skills to communities facing conflict and crisis and by creating The current landscape of ICT for education in crisis and ­ conflict This Landscape Review shows that the majority of projects operate in post-conflict settings and focus on long-term development. The identified projects support education in different ways: they operate in the field of education system strengthening, teacher training, vocational training and tertiary education, and formal and non-formal education for children and youth. ICT also play a role in informal learning through digital and social media. ICT have a high potential for education system strengthening, despite the particular obstacles that exist in conflict and crisis settings. Enabling education systems, for example, involves the use of mobile money transfers to ensure teachers receive regular salaries. Two-way communication systems using SMS (text messaging) over mobile phones promote safe learning spaces by informing parents, guardians, and young people directly about danger near schools. ICT is also being used for data collection about students, teachers, schools, and the larger education infrastructure. However, the project landscape shows much more room for growth 3 See Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4. A Landscape Review 5

[close]

p. 8

community dialogue about important topics. Sharing information in multimedia forms like digital video can teach people how to respond to a health crisis and events of natural disaster. Social media and networks can be a crucial source of information for displaced people in search of access to education. Virtual social networks play an important role in mapping and following pathways to education in conflict and crisis settings. Most of the identified projects are still at a pilot stage, testing innovative approaches and technologies, and examining ways to increase sustainability and scale. However, there is no single or simple model for either sustainability or scale given the diversity and complexity of contexts in conflict and crisis. ICT for education programs in conflict and crisis need to be iterative and adaptable. Tools can and should be the least determining factor for the success of a project; rather, good building blocks for teaching and learning remain the foundation of quality educational programming. ing in crisis and conflict in order to bring ICT to its full potential with regard to system strengthening. •  Attend to the Needs of Inclusive Education: Focus more on inclusion of additionally vulnerable populations such as girls and people with disabilities. •  Consider Do No Harm and Conflict-Sensitive Education: Consider privacy, security, and digital data ownership. Ask questions related to how could digital data be used against beneficiaries or for partisan political purposes. Attention should also be paid to the needs and interests of host communities. Develop an ICT supplement for existing conflict analysis tools to help evaluate the appropriateness of ICT supported education interventions in crisis and conflict settings. • Identify Accreditation and Certification Mechanisms: Find ways to accredit or certify learning and consider digital tools and platforms to support these processes. Provide accredited or certified opportunities for nonformal learning that can transition into formal ­education. •  Acknowledge the “Claims vs. Evidence” Gap and Compile Resources: Improve documentation and access to information about projects, research, evaluation, and related theory. •  Create Cross-Sectoral Collaboration: Explore possible benefits from collaboration and partnership focused on cross-sectoral, locally situated problems related to education. •  Explore Informal Learning Structures: Use digital media and social networks as vehicles for information on access to education and support for educational initiatives. Recommendations •  Focus on Efficient Technology Usage, Local Maintenance, and Local Procurement: Explore the potential of using singular devices for group learning, ensure a plan for local, long-term maintenance, and procure appropriate and locally available technology. •  Have Clarity in The Purpose and Context of ICT Use: Assess local conditions and define clearly the purpose of intervention before implementation; work with community members to determine appropriate ICT application whenever possible. •  Consider “System Strengthening” Initiatives: Analyze and compile best practice related to system strengthen- 6 Education in Conflict and Crisis: How Can Technology Make a Difference?

[close]

p. 9

Acronyms BHER Borderless Higher Education for Refugees BMZ German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development CEO Chief Executive Officer CET Commonwealth Education Trust CTL Connect to Learn eLS eLearning Sudan EMIS Educational Management Information System GIZ Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GMR Global Monitoring Report ICT Information and Communication Technology IDP Internally Displaced Person INEE Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies IRC International Rescue Committee IRI Interactive Radio Instruction JC:HEM Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins LMS Learning Management System MNO Mobile Network Operator NGO Non-Governmental Organization OER Open Educational Resources OHCHR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights OMPT One Mobile Projector per Trainer REACH Results for Education and Child Health RTWG Refugee Teacher Working Group SDG Sustainable Development Goals SIRIP Somali Interactive Radio Instruction Program SMS Short Message Service, also known as “text messaging” STEM Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund USAID United States Agency for International Development USB Universal Serial Bus, also known as a “flash drive” or data storage device WCH War Child Holland WVI World Vision International A Landscape Review 7

[close]

p. 10

CHAPTER 1: Background and Context 1.1  Introduction: ICT for Education in ­ onflict and Crisis C Globally, up to 65 million children between the ages of 3 and 15 are estimated to be out of school. Roughly half of these children live in conflict and crisis-affected areas and it is predicted that 175 million children globally will be affected each year by natural disasters (Nicolai, Hine & Wales, 2015; Global Monitoring Report [GMR], 2015). A child living in a fragile or conflict-affected developing country is nearly three times as likely to be out of school as a child living in another developing country with low education enrollment (The World Bank, 2011). “The problem of outof-school children is becoming increasingly concentrated in conflict-affected countries, where the proportion increased from 30 percent in 1999 to 36 percent in 2012” (Global Monitoring Report [GMR], 2015, p. 8). While gains were made for education over the duration of the 2000-2015 Millennium Development Goals, conflict-affected countries have seen much less progress than non-conflict areas (Mundy & Dryden-Peterson, 2011). The new refugee crisis – the worst since the end of WWII – is creating a “lost generation” of young people with no or inadequate access to education. As stated in “Framework for Action Education 2030” (UNESCO, 2015, p. 5): “The failure to prioritize education in humanitarian response renders entire generations uneducated, disadvantaged and unprepared to contribute to the social and economic recovery of their country or region”. Education, however, is a human right (OHCHR, 1966/2015). A recent Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR, 2015) has reconfirmed the essential role of education to improve health, livelihood, and peace building in fragile contexts. The new Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030) also include a focus on “inclusive and equitable quality education and [to] promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” 4 The realities of conflict and crisis for education present a significant challenge to reaching these global education goals. Enhancing and supporting education in conflict and crisis using information and communication technology (ICT) has garnered increasing attention in recent years. This includes the use of mobile communication and computing devices (e.g. radio, mobile phones, digital video, tablets, ereaders), content storage and dissemination tools (e.g. USB drives, mobile projectors), and traditional computers and laptops. The term “mobility” with regard to learning denotes an important perspective on education relevant to this report: it recognizes that learning should not stop as people move, and that people on the move are focused on continuing their education. The term mobility also conveys a standpoint on learning as something that is fluid and flexible, broadcast through radio waves, over mobile networks and across the vast webs of the Internet – even when infrastructures collapse or people’s physical mobility is stifled. Mobility in/for learning is suggestive of the role of people in education and across borders. Mobile devices can support communication between people. Technology can support the sharing of resources in otherwise restricted environments and across impassable boundaries. Such opportunities can lead to the exchange of valuable information, to the building of social capital, and to the construction of pathways to and through education. Thinking about the role of ICT for education in conflict and crisis includes, but also expands beyond, what might be typically defined as “teaching” and “learning.” Technology can be used for rapid delivery of content, to create custom audio or video recorded modules for mass dissemination, or to connect learners and teachers in different locations using SMS, email, or other forms of communication. There are also many factors, processes, resources, and activities involved in the larger structure of education systems. Across education systems technology can support school administration, teacher professional development, or teacher payments. Technology can also be used for data collection related to students and schools. Finally, ICT can enable monitoring and evaluation procedures and facilitate access to social support. 4 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 8 Education in Conflict and Crisis: How Can Technology Make a Difference?

[close]

p. 11

1.2 Purpose and Aims of the Report The aim of this landscape review has been to review existing research evidence and gray literature, identify key stakeholders, analyze data from a recent survey collected on the subject, and compile practices from the field. The landscape review draws on this scope of information to identify major trends, patterns, and lessons learned about the use of mobile technologies in crisis and conflict settings, and also to define gaps in our existing knowledge base. It is thus meant to promote a clearer view of the use and effectiveness of ICT for education in crisis and conflict settings. Additionally, this review seeks to brief practitioners and policy makers worldwide about how to further improve the implementation of technology-enabled projects in these settings. The hope is that such a landscape review will generate stronger dialogue among practitioners, donors, and technology creators. In practice we hope the study will further engage the community in peer-to-peer learning and collaboration to drive promising programs to scale, and create pathways through education, to reach greater numbers of conflict and crisis affected children. Key questions framing this landscape review include: Which kind of projects are currently being implemented and what are their approaches? Who are the stakeholders? What are results, evidences, and lessons learned from the projects? What should specifically be taken into consideration, when implementing ICT projects for education in crisis and conflict settings? What are the main knowledge gaps in this field? This report does not present every ICT initiative or all programs underway. Rather, it draws on salient examples of technology use in and for education to highlight crosscutting ethical, technical, and educational considerations related to conflict and crisis. The landscape review builds on the observations and findings of precedent research and reports. Examples serve to elucidate specific points, not to promote or critique their contributions to target communities. 5 To accompany this report, the mEducation Alliance also commissioned a separate Landscape Review focused on ICT for education for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). 6 These two products are intended to complement each other and give practical guidance to practitioners and policy makers in this field. 1.3  Defining ICT for Education in Conflict and Crisis Education in emergencies, conflict, and protracted crisis includes refugee education, education for internally displaced persons (IDPs), children, and adults living in regions of natural disaster and epidemic, and those who are not considered to be displaced, but are living in the midst of violence and political unrest in their home countries (Dryden-Peterson, 2011). Conflict-affected states include regions where “armed violence over government or territory emerges and disrupts the lives and livelihoods of citizens” (Mundy & DrydenPeterson, 2011, p. 2). “Fragile states” more broadly include “states where governance and institutional factors create a predisposition for future conflict” (Mundy & Dryden-Peterson, 2011, p. 3). Crises from natural disaster and disease impact social stability and have an effect on access to and quality of education. Conflict and crisis have a widespread impact that also affects host communities where refugees seek asylum; this is discussed at various points throughout this review. Education is impacted by conflict and crisis at the level of system-supports, such as financial systems to pay teachers or mobile networks to communicate with parents about schooling. Schooling is impacted by a lack of teacher training, by breakdowns in formal, accredited programs, and by gaps in programming between formal and non-formal initiatives. In addition, informal learning and pathways to education, such as through media and social networks, are important in the face of conflict and crisis. ICT can impact education across these different levels. Throughout this report, formal education is understood as institutionalized, continuous education, within state (-approved) educational establishments (schools, universities or vocational training institutions) characterized by defined learning objectives, curriculum, and certification. Non-formal education refers to organized and intentional learning that happens outside of the formal education system but still can be based on explicit learning goals. These categories sometimes overlap, particularly in the complex and fast-changing conditions of conflict and crisis. Informal learning is a part of everyday life, work, and community engagements with no specific aim necessarily and no certification. To situate this discussion, the report offers a working definition of ICT for education in conflict and crisis as follows: the adoption, application, or integration of information and communication technology to support, enhance, and enable 5 Annex 4 offers a working list of ICT for education programs in conflict and crisis settings. 6 See Landscape Review of Technology for Refugee and IDP Education. A Landscape Review 9

[close]

p. 12

educational opportunities and practices across education systems, in distinct contexts of immediate and ongoing conflict and crisis, with a focus on the psycho-social well-being and locally-situated needs of beneficiaries. 1.4 Structure of the Report This landscape review is framed with a focus on two overarching areas related to ICT for education in conflict and crisis. The first and main area of focus is related to context, taking into consideration the uniqueness of each conflict and crisis setting. A leading question here pertains to how technology is and can be used to enable, support, or enhance access to quality education in specific contexts of conflict and crisis. For example, 8.5 million children and young people were impacted by the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia (Nicolai, Hine & Wales, 2015). In Sierra Leone, the Ebola outbreak interrupted an already weak education system. Civil war had depleted the education bank in the country leading up to the Ebola crisis, where literacy rates were already below 45 percent and school attendance at the secondary level even lower. After school closures were implemented to stop the spread of Ebola, radio lessons were provided to engage upwards of 50 percent of young people in daily guided learning and activities (Poon, 2015). Radio, being free and widely available, allowed lessons distributed in this medium to rapidly reach a maximum number of people who could not congregate in a classroom or community setting. In another example, a recent report from Save the Children (2015) indicates that within Syria school enrollment has dropped from almost 100 percent pre-crisis to 50 percent; almost 3 million Syrian children are out of school entirely. Programs like Learn Syria are using Rumie Tablets to support this faltering education system. Rumie tablets are specially designed for access to pre-loaded content approved by the Syrian Education Commission. Tablets cost roughly US$ 50 per device and they can be used for access to resources in Arabic, digital calculators, educational videos, and games, as well as mechanisms to track student progress (Learn Syria, 2015). The content on these devices and their ties to government curriculum is important to their long-term relevance within formal schooling structures. The second area of focus in the report relates to the challenging issue of sustainability and scale in the landscape of ICT for education in conflict and crisis. Different types of programs, their purpose and position within education systems, and the target communities served, require unique considerations for sustainability and scale. For example, formal education initiatives need to support approved curricula. This can be a challenge in the face of collapsing infrastructure and political systems. Initiatives that require the purchasing of new technology have important financial considerations to make with regard to long-term maintenance of new devices, when few long-term funding structures exist. Successful projects developed at the community level face social, political, and economic complexities when looking to scale up or to scale out to larger and sometimes different populations. These are just a few of the factors related to sustainability and scale that will be discussed in this report. One certainty is that there is no single or simple model for either sustainability or scale given the complexity and often changing realities of education in conflict and crisis. The following chapter, Chapter II, outlines the methodolo­ gical approach used to inform this landscape review. Chapter III is organized according to type of initiative, looking first at those that aim at strengthening education systems through data collection, mobile money transfers, and creating safe learning spaces. Projects directly related to teaching and learning are also discussed, including teacher training, higher education, vocational training, and basic formal and nonformal education. Furthermore, the chapter also explores opportunities for informal learning through digital media and virtual social networks. In this way, the chapter presents a selection of projects that show a range of possible ICT applications to support education in conflict and crisis. It concludes with reflections on inclusive education and addresses some of the ethical and political considerations related to conflict sensitive education and Do No Harm. In Chapter IV issues related to sustainability and scale are discussed, looking at the different contexts of “rapid response” education and reconstruction of education systems. Finally, Chapter V gives an overview of the most important summary points related to the landscape of ICT for education in crisis and conflict, provides recommendations, and concluding remarks.   10 Education in Conflict and Crisis: How Can Technology Make a Difference?

[close]

p. 13

CHAPTER 2: Methodology 2.1 Research Evidence Many researchers claim that more research-based evidence with regard to ICT initiatives for education in development and in conflict and crisis is needed: Carlson (2013), Kleine, Hollow and Poveda (2013), Jenson (2012), Raftree, (2013), Valk, Rashid and Elder (2010), and Wagner (2014) all identify this as a major challenge and ongoing concern. 7 Evaluating the effectiveness of ICT initiatives in educational contexts is difficult under controlled and well-resourced conditions – a problem that is hyperbolized in more volatile contexts. Jenson (2012) identifies that, “Part of the reason for the claims versus evidence gap with regards to ICTs and learning is because technologies are utilized as just one of many tools for teaching and learning, and their effects on student achievement are thereby difficult to isolate and measure” (p. 2). Power et al. (2014) identify a lack of “conclusive evidence of measurable changes in teaching and learning practices, through students’ use of edtech” (p. 19). “Evidence” for many ICT for education initiatives in both “developed” and “developing” contexts show mixed or emerging results. Lessons learned from ICT for education in development are especially relevant to work in conflict and crisis because displacement and refugee crises affect local or host education systems. The vast majority of displacement, refugees, IDPs, and contexts of natural disaster are situated in developing countries. Research conducted for this report supports the need for randomized control trials and quasi-experimental designs. However, they are not the only form of data collection valued or needed: theory related to education and technology in conflict and crisis, and qualitative research documenting meaningful participation and outcomes for target groups are also needed. In addition, the field could benefit from more research and data collection related to using ICT to strengthen education systems, such as by paying teacher salaries or documenting attendance. 2.2 Research Methods This landscape review has been prepared as a desk review of research papers and reports related to the field of ICT for education in conflict and crisis. Areas of study explored for this desk review include: education in emergencies; forced migration studies; refugee education; ICT for education in development; conflict and crisis studies; and pedagogy and technology. 8 To supplement some of the gaps in the existing literature, and to ensure that the experiences of practitioners were reflected, 15 interviews were conducted with professionals working in education, non-profit, and non-governmental sectors. These 45-60 minute interviews were focused on extracting detailed information about one or two key ICT for education programs. Internet research was conducted to acquire more information about projects referenced by interviewees. Interview notes and recordings were reviewed for key themes and for unique insights into the field. Interviews were not transcribed nor coded in accordance with rigorous qualitative research standards – their purpose here has been to complement and supplement the larger discussions about using technology for education and to understand practitioner perspectives on sustainability and scale in conflict and crisis. Their contributions have informed the report immensely and reference to these interviews is included throughout. 9 Further feedback and input from practitioners was also collected during an interactive workshop at the mEducation Alliance Symposium 10 in October 2015 where preliminary findings from this report were presented and discussed. 7 In a review of academic literature related to education in crisis-affected contexts, Burde, Guven, Kelcey et al. (2015) identify only 184 research articles from peer-reviewed journals that are considered “rigorous” empirical studies in conflict and crisis settings. Research on education in certain intersecting fields, like peace and conflict studies and international studies, has been very thin. Annex 1 presents a working list of academic journals that may serve as references for research related to conflict and crisis, highlighting education-specific publications that are practitioner-oriented. 8 Works cited in this paper and additional resources reviewed for this paper are documented in the reference list. 9 Annex 2 presents a list of interview participants. 10 http://www.meducationalliance.org/page/2015-meducation-alliance-international-symposium-0 A Landscape Review 11

[close]

p. 14

Finally, at the outset of writing this report, the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) 11 and World Vision International 12 had distributed a survey to practitioners working in ICT for education in emergencies. The survey was distributed in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, and Portuguese using the data collection platform Survey Monkey. Across the language groups, there are 56 complete surveys, most of which were completed in English. This small data set is presented in descriptive form throughout the report to enhance our view of the ICT for education in conflict and crisis landscape. 13 Limitations to this report include a lack of access to information about projects where monitoring and evaluation are not available online or were not available to share through network contacts working in this sector. The intention of the report to assess the current landscape of the field also meant that a “rigorous review” of academic literature and meta-analysis of those existing empirical findings was not within its scope. 14 In addition, the author was unable to interview a full representative set of people working in this field, though attention has been paid to speak with people whose projects cover a range of educational programs and technology use in conflict and crisis, and in different regions of the world. Community members – young people and their families – were not interviewed or consulted directly with regards to the use of ICT for education in conflict and crisis. This is an ongoing gap and no doubt a loss to knowledge about ICT for education in these settings overall. In summary, this report explores empirical research as well as gray literature, and draws on interviews with key informants working with NGOs to synthesize patterns, questions, and concerns related to the use of ICT for education in conflict and crisis.   11 The Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) is a network of individual members and partner organizations committed to supporting education in emergency contexts. INEE “serves to ensure the right to education for all regardless of crisis or conflict, along a spectrum of preparedness, prevention, response and recovery” (INEE, 2015, http://www.ineesite.org/en/). 12 World Vision International “is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice” (WVI, 2015, http://www.wvi.org/about-world-vision). World Vision serves all people and is actively involved in contexts of conflict and crisis including the current Syrian Refugee Crisis. 13 The survey posed field-relevant questions related to technology solutions or interventions underway. Questions included: What is the programmatic focus of the technology solution? What is the target geography of the technology solution? What is the hardware requirement for the technology solution? What are the infrastructure requirements for the solution? An overview of selected data from the survey is summarized in Annex 3. 14 The recently published report by Burde et al. (2015) serves as a good starting point for such a review of empirical data, and includes several examples also related to ICT, though technology is not its focus. 12 Education in Conflict and Crisis: How Can Technology Make a Difference?

[close]

p. 15

CHAPTER 3: I CT for System Strengthening, Teaching, and Learning The discussion of ICT use for education in contexts of conflict and crisis begins in this section with examples of how to strengthen education systems. Subsequent sections address formal and non-formal education, from teacher training to education for children in and out of school. The use of ICT for teaching and learning includes both online and offline solutions – or blended learning. 15 Issues related to accreditation and certification of educational programs, integration of new technologies, and usage of open educational resources (OER), to name a few factors, are discussed throughout this section. Power, Gater, Grant et al. (2014) suggest, “… the effective use of any learning technology is bound up in pedagogy, curriculum, purpose, role and activities” (p. 12). Throughout this section, the context of each project is key. The government lacked information about the number of schools, teachers, and students across the country. FHI360’s data collection software and locally networked data collection tools allowed teachers and community-based data collectors to work with FHI360 and document the number of teachers, schools, and students in the region. Through this process they were also able to report on the state of the infrastructure in use (FHI360, 2015). The same software and approach was used by FHI360 in South Sudan, Sierra Leone, and 11 of 12 UNHCR supported countries, such as Ethiopia, for mapping and detailing refugee education offerings. FHI360 is also addressing cross-sectoral data collection needs and possibilities, considering how to document, for example, the health related conditions of young people in schools via mobile tablets or cell phones. Results for Education and Child Health (REACH) documents factors related to health and nutrition that also impact a child’s ability to learn. A similar example of cross-sectoral data collection comes from the Ministry of National Education in Turkey which is working with UNICEF to monitor and document demographic data of non-Turkish students. This online data management system called YOBIS allows for tracking of both education-related records and health records, with the aim of better serving non-Turkish students and responding to the changing needs of host schools ( Jalbout, 2015a). 3.1 Strengthening Education Systems Education is often understood in terms of classrooms, curricula, teaching, and learning. However, education systems require support at many different levels outside of and surrounding core components of classroom teaching and learning. Supporting education in turmoil requires interventions ranging from infrastructure to administration as well as monitoring, evaluation, and student assessment. This section presents examples of ways to use ICT to encourage the rebuilding or strengthening of education in contexts of extreme adversity. Data Collection It is the case that collecting information about school infrastructure, about teacher and student attendance and retention, or about intersecting health services can positively impact the overall functioning of a school or education system. For example, FHI360’s K-Mobile program has been supporting the Ministry of Education in Liberia to build their capacity and to map schools in the country. Even prior to the outbreak of Ebola in 2014, which shut down schools for months, Liberia’s education system was poor. Mobile Money Transfers Mobile-money transfers can also contribute to rebuilding and strengthening education systems in conflict and crisis settings. In an unpublished landscape review about mobile money transfers to support education, Chaiken (2014) discusses how mobile money transfer programs are used to pay school fees or to pay teachers in regions including Afghanistan, Liberia, and Somalia. In Afghanistan using mobile money to pay teachers has made access to regular salaries convenient, safe, and transparent. A scarcity of banks 15 Blended learning, also termed hybrid learning, refers to the use of both in-person, face-to-face teaching and the use of online and digital materials. Blended learning can take many different forms and be composed of different amounts or methods of in-person and online or remote activities. Contemporary approaches to blended learning encourage peer supported group activities and use of electronic or digital resources (on and offline) to deliver curriculum. A Landscape Review 13

[close]

Comments

no comments yet