CIE Completes 5 Years of Work with ECCN (2014-2019)

The USAID Education in Crisis and Conflict Network (USAID ECCN) is a community of practice composed of USAID education staff, implementing partners and others working to increase equitable access to, and improve the quality of, education in crisis and conflict affected environments. 


For the past five years, under the leadership of Ash Hartwell, CIE as a sub-contractor to EDC, has had primary responsibility for developing research and evaluation activities with ECCN. See detailed description of CIE’s work with ECCN here.


In October 2019, USAID sponsored a closing event for ECCN in Washington D.C. to celebrate the accomplishments of the program.  Nina Papadopoulos (left), the USAID ECCN Team Lead, made opening and closing remarks at the event.


Also present at the event were Wendy Wheaton, USAID South Sudan Education Technical Leader, and Paul Frisoli (right), FHI360 Vice President for Education in Crisis and Conflict


Interactive Evidence Pathways - Highlighted at the conference were a number of ECCN tools developed with major contributions from ECCN/CIE. In October, USAID launched the Interactive Evidence Pathways, an online tool to help practitioners working in education in crisis and conflict-affected environments to find state-of-the-art evidence. This tool was developed by the ECCN/CIE-UMass team including Ash Hartwell, Jenn Fleming, Kayla Boisvert, Gwen Heaner and Sahara Pradhan working in collaboration with USAID and the wider ECCN network.


The Interactive Evidence Pathways tool helps policy makers and practitioners:

  1. Gain an overview of the many contributing factors that can lead to quality, safe, accessible and equitable education in crisis and conflict-affected settings;
  2. Hone in on relevant outcomes to consider when developing a theory of change for a given context;
  3. Efficiently identify the most appropriate and high quality evidence for the particular aspect of education they are interested in, given their implementation context.


To try out the tool, see this website


ECCN Review of USAID Solicitations for EiCC - The CIE-ECCN team also recently conducted a comparative analysis of USAID solicitations in the field of education and crisis and conflict between 2011 and 2018. This work was carried out by a team at CIE including Jenn Fleming, Kayla Boisvert, and Ash Hartwell


The results of this analysis were highlighted at the ECCN Closing Event. Researchers made the following recommendations to USAID:

  1. Provide further training on the design EiCC solicitations that embody USAID’s Education Policy:
  2. Carry out collaborative, conflict-sensitive assessments of context;
  3. Use evidence-based theories of change;
  4. Incorporate the Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting framework;
  5. Update USAID’s Evaluation Policy so that it’s consistent with the new Education Policy which calls for a developmental evaluation approach;
  6. Clarify the term “collaboration” in the CLA Framework
  7. Support Missions’ use of evidence in solicitations;
  8. Track developments in EiCC solicitations, using this study’s methodology.


The full report is available for download here.