At the end of September 2014 David Selby and Fumiyo Kagawa completed a consultancy for the UNICEF Peacebuilding Education and Advocacy Program (PBEA) aimed at exploring the peacebuilding potential of child-friendly school theory and practice in conflict-affected contexts. Conflict-affected countries participating in the PBEA program include: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda, State of Palestine, Yemen, Pakistan and Myanmar.
The consultancy had two interrelated elements: review and good practice.
The review element involved:
- Identifying CFS components and processes that are already peacebuilding relevant (although they may not be characterized as such by those who practice and promote them) as well as components and elements that could be transformed into peacebuilding relevant interventions;
- Identifying gaps in CFS programs that need to be closed to make the CFS program more peacebuilding relevant;
- Exploring the potential and limitations of the CFS model for contributing to the development of pro-social competencies in children as well as fostering young peoples’ ‘endorsement and emulation of democratic values, constructive patriotism, moral courage, active bystandership, active participation, independent reasoning, socially-responsible leadership;’
- Identifying risks and vulnerabilities that might render child-friendly schools more conflict-insensitive or subject to misuse and abuse.
The good practice element involved:
- Collecting a number of case studies of noteworthy, effective and low-cost peacebuilding practice in both CFS and other school contexts primarily in developing countries for sharing with PBEA country offices;
- Proposing user-friendly indicators to enable PBEA country offices to evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of peacebuilding education interventions.
Special attention was paid throughout to quality democratic participation and its links to peacebuilding.
The Sustainability Frontiers team conducted two worldwide webinars, chaired from New York, for UNICEF country officers on 20 and 21 May 2014.
Sustainability Frontiers went on to facilitate a three-day workshop for UNICEF officers in Istanbul from 25 to 27 September 2014. Attending the workshop were UNICEF officers from Burundi, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Liberia, Myanmar, Palestine, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda as well as UNICEF officers from UNICEF headquarters, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) and UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) attached to PBEA. For further details of the workshop, click here.
A published outcome of this consultancy, Child-Friendly Schooling for Peacebuilding (UNICEF, 2014), is available online. To access the document, click here.