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Press Release

IRC UK to lead research consortium to boost education for children in conflict zones

Multi-year, International research programme to focus on building the global evidence base for education in emergencies

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) UK will lead a new research consortium looking at the most effective ways to give the world’s most vulnerable children an education.

The IRC UK have been awarded a contract by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to run the initial three year phase of the Education Research in Conflict and Protracted Crisis (ERICC) programme.

The £15.8 million programme was announced by the FCDO in July 2021 and will address the chronic lack of research into the best methods to increase access, quality, and continuity of education in regions of conflict and protracted crises around the world. Research will begin in northern Nigeria, Jordan, and Bangladesh in the first year of the programme, and expand to include South Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, and Myanmar starting in the second year of the programme. These conflict-ridden regions are currently home to an estimated 3 million children, both refugees and internally displaced.

ERICC will focus specifically on creating a new and higher standard for education research in the humanitarian sector and growing the global body of evidence about what works for education in crisis contexts, as well as how, where, why, for whom and at what cost.

For ERICC’s research, IRC UK will be leading a consortium that includes the Center for Lebanese Studies, Common Heritage Foundation, Forcier Consulting, Innovations for Poverty Action, NYU- Global TIES for Children, Osman Consulting, ODI and the Queen Rania Foundation. The consortium will also work closely with the British Academy.

Four components are at the heart of ERICC:

  • Research on the most effective approaches to improving education outcomes for children and youth in settings affected by conflict and protracted crises.
  • Providing in-country support with an emphasis on technical guidance, small-scale research and grants to establish and grow new education programs.
  • Promoting research uptake amongst relevant education and other stakeholders throughout the humanitarian sector.
  • Strengthening research capabilities and policy networks for education in emergencies in regions affected by conflict and protracted crisis

“Worldwide there is a severe lack of evidence on how best to support the estimated 127 million children and youth whose education has been disrupted by conflict and crisis,” said Dr. J. Lawrence Aber of NYU Global TIES for Children and NYU Steinhardt, the globally-renowned education researcher and ERICC’s Research Director. “ERICC will develop robust research to close this evidence gap and work with policymakers, educators and other key stakeholders to design meaningful research and ensure these groups are better informed and equipped to meet the mounting global crisis in education. The programme will also play a critical role in convening key international and regional actors to ensure that research investments address the most pressing and complex research needs.”

“Building the body of evidence around education in crisis contexts is a very important first step,” said Dr. Jeannie Annan, Chief Research and Innovation Officer at the IRC. “Just as important is that the team behind ERICC and its partners around the globe work with policy-makers and practitioners to ensure the evidence is used to make programme, policy and funding decisions that ultimately improve programs and achieve outcomes for children.”

“Rigorous evidence on what works is vital to designing effective education programmes in crisis-affected contexts and to achieving UK commitments to support every girl and every boy to receive a quality education, no matter their circumstances,” said Professor Charlotte Watts, FCDO Chief Scientific Adviser, “This research will address critical evidence gaps, and is an important part of UK efforts to improve education for some of the world’s most vulnerable children, who are affected by conflict and protracted crises.”

About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 29 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue-uk.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.

This project was announced by the FCDO in July 2021 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-uk-funding-to-boost-education-for...