A synthesis report of findings from Lebanon, Nepal and Sierra Leone.
Education can play a crucial role in peacebuilding in all phases of conflict, a UNICEF-commissioned study has concluded, outlining how education can help prevent conflict and contribute to long-term peace. The report, entitled “The Role of Education in Peacebuilding,” was presented on 9 February, 2012 to United Nations experts, donors, human rights activists and aid workers.
Among the key findings were that the concept of peacebuilding remains underdeveloped and contested, even among UN agencies; security concerns dominate peacebuilding and marginalize the role of education; and weak, inequitable and segregated school systems are often drivers of conflict.
The purpose of the study was to examine the role of education in peacebuilding in postconflict
settings and to consider how education interventions and programming could have a
stronger role in the peacebuilding architecture of the UN system. Given concerns about the
frequency of relapses into conflict, highlighted as a priority to be addressed by United
Nations (UN) peacebuilding efforts, the subject of the study is important and highly relevant
to strengthen peacebuilding efforts. The findings and insights presented in the report are
intended to provide a basis for consultation and discussion within UNICEF on how the
organization can most effectively contribute to peacebuilding through education.
The study comprised (i) a review of research and programme literature intended to assess
existing knowledge about education’s role in peacebuilding, to identify critical knowledge
gaps and to analyse initiatives by UNICEF and its partners in post-conflict contexts; and (ii)
three country case studies (Lebanon, Nepal and Sierra Leone) with a particular emphasis on
the work of UNICEF.Download the study