Humanitarian and Development Approaches to Education and Implications for Conflict Prevention: Acholiland, Northern Uganda
Abstract: This dissertation studied the relationship between education and
conflict in northern Uganda. The hypothesis driving this study was that examination of
different approaches to education will shed light on the challenges and opportunities to
promote peace and development. The author developed a framework of three different
approaches to education in conflict or post-conflict societies... read more: the humanitarian approach
which prioritizes the imperative to protect the right to education, the development
approach which either prioritizes economic development or human-centered development, and
the conflict prevention approach. This study defines the conflict prevention approach to
education as one that recognizes the dual nature of education and seeks to harness the
content and distribution of education to redress the impact of conflict and prevent future
conflict. This approach is based on the notion that risk factors, examined through the
analysis of conflict dynamics and local perceptions and priorities, should be integrated
into education interventions. The author conducted research between March of 2008 and July
of 2009 in two districts in Acholiland, the area most affected by the war between the
Lord's Resistance Army and the Government of Uganda. In order to inform an understanding
of the potential goals of a conflict prevention approach, the author conducted a local
perceptions study with 222 Acholi people who had either left displacement camps and
returned to their rural homes or were still in camps. The author used semi-structured
questionnaires designed to first learn about people's perspectives on the situation for
children and youth in Acholiland and then to learn about values and benefits associated
with education. The author then studied other approaches to education by conducting
interviews with selected samples from each of the following groups of stakeholders in the
education field: donors, local and national government officials, teachers, and NGO
representatives. This study found that although donors and the Government of Uganda state
their commitment to promote peace and stability, education actors driven by humanitarian
and development approaches in some cases fail to address grievances related to education
and may thereby exacerbate conflict dynamics.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Diplomacy, History, and Politics.
Advisor: Peter Uvin.
Committee: Richard Shultz, and Marc Sommers.
Keywords: International Relations, and Education Policy.read less