Education and Stability: Synopsis Paper

Published on 17 December 2019

It is estimated that 80% of the world’s poorest people will live in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS) by 2030. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has committed to ensuring that it not only spends 50% of its Official Development Assistance (ODA) in FCAS, but that it uses this to address the underlying causes of conflict and fragility, i.e. to build stability.

Much of this will focus on how to operate in FCAS contexts (e.g. how to deliver education services where state capability is extremely low). However, there is increasing interest in how education programming can not only work in fragile and conflict-affected contexts but work on fragility and conflict. There is some evidence on the links between education and conflict/fragility (e.g. with regards to inclusion) and some experience of programming to work across these links (e.g. peacebuilding through education) but, overall, in DFID this is an underdeveloped sector of work.

This Synopsis Paper has been produced by the Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development (K4D) programme, as part of a learning journey for DFID. The aims of the learning journey were to help ensure ODA effectively tackles the underlying causes of fragility, and to understand how education and conflict sensitive programming can impact on fragility and conflict. By sharing evidence on the links between them (e.g. with regards to inclusion) and good practice on ways of working across these links (e.g. in education for peacebuilding) it aims to ensure DFID Advisors are better equipped with evidence, ideas and lessons on how education programmes can be delivered in ways that support stability.

Related resources:

  • Alan Smith- “An introduction to Education, Stability Building and the 4Rs Framework”

  • Tejendra Pherali- “Applying the 4Rs Framework in Practice”

Cite this publication

Millican, J. (2019). Education and stability, K4D Synopsis Paper. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.

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Juliet Millican

Honorary Associate


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