Bridging the Gaps: Lessons Learned from an NGO-University Partnership

By Mendenhall, Mary; Anderson, Allison | Harvard International Review, Summer 2013 | Go to article overview

Bridging the Gaps: Lessons Learned from an NGO-University Partnership


Mendenhall, Mary, Anderson, Allison, Harvard International Review


Education is a basic human right and a bedrock of human development. Nevertheless, approximately 28 million children living in countries or regions affected by conflict are not receiving an education. Millions more affected by humanitarian emergencies such as flooding, food shortages, earthquakes, and other disasters are also left out of education. Children and youth living in Sub-Saharan Africa figure greatly in the out-of-school statistics as both civil conflict and natural disasters disproportionately affect this region of the world. According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, half of out-of-school children globally live in Sub-Saharan Africa, with another 10 million dropping out of primary school annually.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Even when governments prioritize and support education, school systems, administrators, and teachers are often ill-equipped to prepare for and respond to crises that affect the education sector. A teacher working in Kenya during the post-election violence in 2007-08 shared that she sensed the tension and emerging divisions among students in the classroom leading up to the election, but was unsure how to manage those interactions before, during, and after the violence wreaked havoc on schools and communities. She wished that she had been better prepared at the time and has since taken steps to gain skills in peace education, disaster risk reduction, and inclusive education by earning her degree in a new graduate program for Education in Emergencies offered by the University of Nairobi, with support from the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a humanitarian NGO.

In order to understand the critical importance of providing education in emergencies, this article discusses the ways in which education can be life-saving and life-sustaining. It highlights a capacity gap, particularly amongst national practitioners, in the education in emergency arena and the corresponding capacity-building needs for practitioners working in this growing field. To illustrate the type and scale of change that is required, the article then presents a case study of a partnership between an African University and a US NGO that is working to fill this gap and build sustainable local, national and regional capacity through a graduate study program. The partnership between these two institutions is the rare collaboration that allows for the critical time and space for the University of Nairobi and the IRC to ensure that teaching, learning, and research among graduate students and University faculty are relevant to the needs of children and youth affected by crisis.

Importance of Education in Emergencies

Education is critical for the tens of millions of children and youth affected by conflict and disasters. It provides physical, psychosocial, and cognitive protection that can save and sustain lives. Quality education saves lives by providing physical protection from the dangers and exploitation of a crisis environment. Education in emergencies sustains lives by offering safe spaces for learning, where children and youth who need other assistance can be identified and supported. Educational opportunities also mitigate the psychosocial impact of conflict and disasters by providing a sense of routine, stability, structure, and hope for the future. Education provides children with the opportunity to learn new skills and values and helps them to become responsible adults, able to contribute to longer-term peace-building efforts, social stability, and economic growth.

Moreover, emergencies may even offer an opportunity for national authorities, communities, and international stakeholders to work together for social transformation by creating more equitable educational systems, building better structures, and implementing stronger educational policies. Groups that are often excluded, such as young children, girls, adolescents, disabled children, refugees, and internally displaced persons, can benefit from new educational opportunities. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bridging the Gaps: Lessons Learned from an NGO-University Partnership
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.