INEE Conflict Sensitive Education Workshop

Do education polices and programs ameliorate or exacerbate conflict? Do NGOs and international education agencies sometimes cause more harm than good when executing their programs by disrupting local grievances? These were two of the dominant questions and themes that framed the discussion and training led by Center for International Education graduate Dr. Paul Frisoli and current CIE student Stephen Richardson


Dr. Paul FrisoliThe CIE community was treated to a lively and engaging workshop by Paul and Stephen who presented the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Conflict Sensitive Education framework and toolkit. For those who may not be familiar with the concept, “Conflict Sensitive Education refers to the design and delivery of education programs and policies in a way that considers the conflict context and aims to minimize the negative impact (contribution to conflict) and maximize positive impact (contribution to peace).”


"The workshop and framework developed by INEE was designed to strengthen institutional and individual capacity of stakeholders in developing and implementing conflict sensitive education programs, policies, and strategies," said co-facilitator Paul Frisoli. "This framework is a lens to better understand these dynamics and increase the awareness and sensitivity of participants on the decisions they make when developing and implementing education and development programs abroad."


Conflict Sensitive Education Training Participants

About 20 CIE community members engaged enthusiastically throughout the workshop and  drew from their own fieldwork and experiences when discussing potential applications for INEE’s framework. "By developing a deeper appreciation for what conflict sensitive education tries to accomplish, what I took away from this workshop is that conflict is something that should be viewed with a deeper understanding of local perspectives and histories. This allows for greater awareness of latent conflict that may be bubbling underneath the surface of society and can be exacerbated unknowingly by projects that are ostensibly designed to help," said CIE Masters Candidate Yaelle Stempfelet. "This framework is an excellent way to rethink the development cycle at the planning stage as well as during implementation to really dig deep and think though how every action might impact sensitivities on the ground."


"The CIE community is an amazing group to engage with and learn from due to the abundance of first-hand experience working in contexts affected by conflicts," said Stephen. "For me it was a valuable experience to present the Do No Harm principle in a workshop format as I’m applying this lens to my own research on NGO psychosocial support programs at schools."