Centre for International Education (CIE)

Education sector governance, inequality, conflict and peacebuilding in Kenya and South Sudan

The project

The education system can both promote and undermine sustainable peacebuilding processes, and access to quality education itself is seen as a basic human right as well as a means to fulfilling other rights. Education can promote economic growth and social mobility, but can also foster social stratification serving to destabilise social cohesion and reconciliation. What matters, therefore, is not just what resources are put into education, but where they go, what they are spent on, and what effects they have.

This research into educational governance seeks to ask questions about the coordination and management of the education sector in these two countries: their policies and priorities, funding, and implementation and effects. In an increasingly globalised world, there is also recognition of the importance of regional, as well as global, actors in shaping national educational agendas.

The project will run from September 2014 until December 2015.

The countries

Kenya and South Sudan are both located in the Horn of Africa, a region affected by multiple conflicts. They also represent strongly contrasting cases: South Sudan is the world's newest state having emerged from a long national struggle for liberation, but is currently facing significant internal conflict. Kenya, a well-established, independent state since 1963, has been affected by both inter-ethnic conflict (2007 elections) as well as more recent terror attacks by al-Shabab linked to conflict in Somalia.

The complex context of both these countries provides a rich foundation for a critical analysis of the links between ongoing conflict, educational governance, inequality and peacebuilding.

What the research will do

It is hoped that this research will provide crucial insights into the way governance in the education sector can better promote peacebuilding in and through the sector.

The outcomes will inform policy-making and education reform in the two respective countries, provide valuable insights for the broader UNICEF Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy countries, and feed into broader debates within the UN on the necessity and strategy for widening the role of education in peacebuilding operations and the centrality of governance issues.

The team

Research will be carried out by researchers at the Universities of Sussex, Ulster and Glasgow, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Nairobi, Strathmore University in Kenya, and the University of Juba in South Sudan.

Principal Investigators:
Professor Mario Novelli, University of Sussex:
E m.novelli@sussex.ac.uk
Professor Alan Smith, University of Ulster:
E a.smith@ulster.ac.uk

Research team
Caroline Marks, University of Ulster: c.marks@ulster.ac.uk
Gabrielle Daoust, University of Sussex: g.daoust@sussex.ac.uk
Jan Selby, University of Sussex: j.selby@sussex.ac.uk
Oscar Valiente, University of Glasgow: oscar.valiente@glasgow.ac.uk
Emma Salter, University of Sussex: e.j.salter@sussex.ac.uk
Rosario Scandurra, University of Barcelona: rosario.scandurra@gmail.com