Research Consortium Education and Peacebuilding


Between July 2014 and June 2016 the Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding, a partnership between UNICEF and the University of Amsterdam (AISSR Programme Group Governance and Inclusive Development) , the University of Sussex (Centre for International Education) and Ulster University (UNESCO Centre), addressed one of the Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy Programme (PBEA) key objectives – ‘contributing to the generation and use of evidence and knowledge in policies and programming related to education, conflict and peacebuilding’. The Research Consortium worked closely with in-country partners in each research country, which are Pakistan, Myanmar, South Africa and Uganda, at every step of the project.

Please find the outputs of the Research Consortium here
On this page below you will find:

  • Areas of work
  • Research Consortium Dissemination Seminar Report
  • Literature Reviews
  • Country Reports
  • Synthesis reports
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Briefings
  • PBEA relevant Research Reports

Partnership with UNICEF

The Consortium started a research partnership with UNICEF HQ in New York, as part of their Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy (PBEA) programme, which is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Research Consortium was co-directed by Mieke Lopes Cardozo, from the University of Amsterdam, Mario Novelli from the University of Sussex and Alan Smith from Ulster University.

From left to right: Dr. Mieke Lopes Cardozo, Prof. Mario Novelli and Prof. Alan Smith


The consortium carried out dedicated research in the following three areas:

1. Integration of Education into Peacebuilding Processes at Global and Country Levels.
This research area addresses two main questions:

  • To what extent is education (as part of social service provision) integrated into broader peacebuilding policies and practices at the global and country levels?
  • What policies and programmes are being adopted to ensure the integration of education into peacebuilding at country level?

To address the first question, a systematic review of the literature on social service delivery and peacebuilding (with a special emphasis on education) was conducted. Investigating the second question involved a three stage approach in each of the five countries consisting of Education Sector Plan analysis in terms of conflict sensitivity, stakeholder analysis with key audiences at the national level, and analysis of education programmes at country level in terms of their relevance to conflict transformation and peacebuilding.

2. The Role of Teachers in Peacebuilding.
This research area identified elements of education policy interventions that have enabled teachers to become active agents of peacebuilding in post-conflict countries and that may inform future interventions. It investigated the conditions under which education interventions focused on teachers can promote peace and mitigate and reduce violence. The research aimed to identify measures and processes that can increase the effectiveness of such programmes in conflict affected situations.

3. The Role of Formal and Non-Formal Peacebuilding Education Programmes Focusing on Youth.
This research area aimed to increase learning among education and peacebuilding policymakers and practitioners at global and country levels on methods of maximising youth’s unique capacities, energy and potential as ‘peace makers’. It analysed the impact of both formal and non formal peacebuilding education initiatives on the agency of youth to develop strategies that enhance/impede peacebuilding processes in society.


Throughout the research project and as a cross cutting theme in all three areas, the research project aimed to understand the dynamics and impact of various forms of direct and indirect violence in relation to education systems and educational actors in situations of conflict. Each thematic focus also included a gender analysis. The research seeks to generate evidence that can inform policy and practice aimed at the global and national peacebuilding community, and the global and national education and international development communities.


Research Consortium Dissemination Seminar in Amsterdam, 20-22 April 2016

Literature reviews

The integration of Education and Peacebuilding: a review of the literature, Ulster University page1Integration-of-Education-and-Peacebuilding-Lit-Review-Sept-15-page-001

Read the full literature review here
A short Executive Summary can also be accessed here

This literature review provides a succinct overview of key literature on the contributions that education (as part of social service delivery) can make to peacebuilding. It summarises findings from three existing reviews and then synthesises the findings from a literature search of 171 documents, resulting in 79 publications for closer review. It concludes with a number of key messages for policymakers in terms of the integration of education and peacebuilding.

Literature review: The Role of Teachers in Peacebuilding, University of Sussex

Read the full Literature Review here page1The-Role-of-Teachers-in-Peacebuilding-Literature-Review-Sept15-page-001
A short Executive Summary can also be accessed here

In the context of debates relating to teachers’ role in educational outcomes, accountability and management, this literature review explores their potential to be active agents of peacebuilding. Specifically, the review aims to explore their role in promoting peace, reconciliation, social cohesion and violence mitigation, recognising that literature specifically relating to teachers and peacebuilding was limited.  The review is based on a framework (Naylor and Sayed, 2014) which conceives teachers as active agents located in particular global,
national and local policy contexts and structures.

Literature Review: Youth Agency, Peacebuilding and Education, University of Amsterdam

Read the full Literature Review here 
A short Executive Summary can also be accessed here
‘At a glance’: 3 minute overview of the Literature Review can be accessed here


This Literature Review aims to provide insights into youth agency and the dynamics of conflict and peace in conflict-affected contexts. In particular it focuses on how educational interventions may contribute to enhancing the agency of youth as peacebuilders.  The review draws on the theoretical framework developed for the consortium, which locates youth within peacebuilding processes of Reconciliation, Redistribution, Recognition and Representation (four R’s). The review aims to communicate its findings to a broad audience including academic researchers, professional practitioners, policy makers and interested
young people.


Country Reports

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Theoretical Framework 


Synthesis reports

The integration of Education and Peacebuilding. Synthesis report on findings from Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa and Uganda, Ulster University.policy-synthesis-report-final-16-page-001

Read the full Synthesis report here.
A short Executive Summary can also be accessed here.

The purpose of this synthesis report is twofold. First, it examines how education is included in peacebuilding and development frameworks in four distinct conflict-affected
environments (Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa and Uganda). Second, it compares, summarises and critically reflects how education policies and governance contribute to
the peacebuilding process.

The role of teachers in peacebuilding and social cohesion. Synthesis report on findings from Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa and Uganda, University of Sussex.

Read the full synthesis report hererole-of-teachers-synthesis-report-final16-page-001

A short Executive Summary can also be accessed here.

This synthesis report explores the role of teachers in peacebuilding and social cohesion in four distinct conflict affected environments (Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa and Uganda). It compares, summarises and critically reflects on key issues, policies and governance aspects that relate to how teachers might contribute to peacebuilding and social cohesion processes. In doing so, we pay close attention to aspects of redistribution, representation, recognition and reconciliation (see: Novelli et al. 2015).

Youth Agency and Peacebuilding: An Analysis of the Role of Formal and Non-Formal Education. Synthesis report on findings from Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa and Uganda, University of Amsterdam.

Read the full synthesis report here.
A short Executive Summary can also be accessed here.

This Synthesis Report aims to understand the ways
in which the agency of youth – visual-youth-agency-synthesis-report-final-page-001or their ‘space for manoeuvre’ – is impacted (or not) through a range of formal and non-formal education interventions, and how this enables or restricts young peoples’ ability to contribute to processes of peacebuilding
and social cohesion, either in
political, socio-cultural or economic ways. 
It brings together analyses from n four distinct conflict-affected environments (Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa and Uganda) and combines a focus on youth agency, peacebuilding and education – an intersection that is often not addressed simultaneously.


PBEA relevant Research Reports

  • UNICEF (2013) Annual Consolidated Report on Peacebuilding,
    Education and Advocacy in Conflict Affected Contexts page1 2013 Consolidated Report 16 June - Final Submitted-page-001
    The Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy in Conflict Affected Contexts (PBEA) programme is a four-year (2011–2015) innovative, cross-sectoral programme focusing on education and peacebuilding in 14 conflict-affected countries and territories. The programme included Burundi, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of  Congo, Ethiopia, Liberia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, State of Palestine, Uganda and Yemen.




All outputs are also part of the “Learning for Peace” collection hosted by the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)