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Research report

Promoting Participation

Joan Sullivan-Owomoyela and Laura Brannelly

Community contributions to education in conflict situations

Community participation is a common phrase in the development and education sectors, along with the accompanying terms of good governance, rights, ownership and accountability. Communities, both during and after conflict, face additional challenges that may make positive engagement in education difficult, but at the same time education can contribute greatly to reconstruction efforts and conflict resolution. During conflict the retreat of the state from the provision of public services creates a gap that is often filled by non-state actors to help ensure continuity of learning. Communities, recognising the intrinsic worth of education. Community provision of education can be highly successful and can provide a foundation for partnerships with the state after the conflict has subsided. But participation is not invariably positive. The research set out to explore the type of roles communities play in the provision of education and the conditions or factors that can tend towards either dissembling community involvement or encouraging positive engagement, in both emergency and reconstruction settings. The research draws from the experience of communities in a variety of contexts; this includes prolonged instability with fluid settings ebbing between conflict and post-conflict situations, significant refugee and internally displaced communities, and reconstruction, sometimes with periodic flare-ups of fighting.