|Education for Reconstruction - Report for the Overseas Development Administration (DFID, 1996, 80 p.)|
In this Report we have attempted to distil a vast amount of information on past and current efforts at educational reconstruction in a number of widely varying post-crisis situations. Since no two such situations are the same, generalisation is always difficult, but sufficient general principles and advice about courses of action emerge from an analysis of what usually happens in post-crisis reconstruction for us to have been able to identify some of the main issues.
Likewise, OXFAM, in a recent press release72 listed the following recommendations which had been stressed by six of the world's largest private humanitarian aid agencies73 in their endorsement of a report outlining the findings of the Joint Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda: 74
· To improve humanitarian co-ordination, the existing UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA) should be strengthened rather than merging all UN humanitarian agencies. DHA should become a budget holder of UN Consolidated Appeals and should receive funds from donors, deciding priorities and determining which agencies receive funds.
· Governments and the UN should act on the criticism that the UN and its member governments, particularly the Security Council, ignored their own early warning signals before the genocide. They should ensure that such failures do not reoccur.
· All non-governmental agencies should subscribe to the Code of Conduct developed by SCHR and the Red Cross Movement. NGO networks should be given greater capacity to monitor compliance with the Code. SCHR agencies are already in the process of developing a series of professional and technical standards of performance.75
72Information from the Internet, 1996.
73 These agencies which form the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR) are: Caritas International, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Save the Children Alliance, Lutheran World Federation, Oxfam and the World Council of Churches (OXFAM: Information from the Internet, 1996).
74 'The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience', Joint. Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda. The report was prepared by international specialists under the aegis of the Danish government's aid department DANIDA (Information from the Internet, 1996).
75 OXFAM. Information from the Internet, 1996.
A very useful list of recommendations regarding future priorities for aid in education is to be found in Sarah Graham-Brown's book which examines education in developing countries. She argues that:
· aid to education needs to be increased
· increased aid to education cannot be at the-expense of other social and environmental needs; education can only flourish in a healthy environment
· this increase CAN be at the expense of military assistance..., and of international aid which is mainly geared towards improving the trade position of the donor country, or wasteful 'white elephant' and prestige projects
· conditionality which limits the policy options available to recipients should be lifted
· basic education for all should be a key goal
· equity cannot be achieved in basic education unless it is integrated into the broader context of social and economic reform
· most education programmes, whether in the formal or non-formal sector, which cater for poor and vulnerable groups will find difficulties in becoming financially self-sufficient; therefore, funding, whether from national or international sources, needs to be LONG-TERM
· more co-operation and exchange is needed in order to avoid the tendency, even within one region, constantly to repeat experiences; governments and NGOs must 'talk' 76
76Sarah Graham-Brown, Education in the Developing World. Longman, London, 1991, pp. 300-302.
Much work still needs to be done. In particular it would be helpful to be able to take research of this kind forward in the following ways:
· Developing procedures for early needs analysis
As we have argued above, planning for educational reconstruction best begins before intervention and assistance become possible. There is a need to develop procedures to assist aid agencies in anticipating the precise needs in particular post-crisis situations.
· Assessing the effectiveness of measures taken in educational reconstruction in particular countries
Research needs to be undertaken to assess the impact of intervention and assistance of various kinds in countries which are experiencing a period of post-crisis educational reconstruction. One or two contrasting situations might be investigated in detail and over a period of at least a year in order to evaluate the effectiveness of measures taken to assist reconstruction.
· Further analysis of existing programmes world-wide
In a two-month project we have only been able to scratch the surface. A longer period of funded research would permit more detailed analysis of educational reconstruction measures in the countries with which we have been principally concerned.