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Education in fragile situations: a review of political economy and conflict analysis literature and tools

Erika Boak

This literature review outlines key developments, methodological tools and analytical frameworks in governance, political economy and conflict analysis, particularly in relation to the education sector in fragile situations.

The review of the literature and tools revealed that frameworks which incorporate political economy and conflict analysis approaches into assessments of the education sector, or into assessments of particular issues within the education sector, are lacking. It is clear that donor approaches to political economy and conflict analysis respectively are better developed at macro-levels. There are fewer tools and frameworks available on political economy analysis at the sector-level and of those which do exist, none is specifically adapted for the social sectors. Having said this, the past decade has seen a substantial generation of literature and frameworks related to education and fragility. Due to the difficulty of measuring fragility, these tools have generally focused on indicators related to conflict, security and governance. They have given greater prominence to the impact of the conflict on education provision or accessibility and to the sources of grievances related to education which may have stoked the conflict, rather than also infused with political economy approaches, identifying the key drivers of positive and negative change. The tools have also tended to revert to more traditional approaches to governance assessments.