Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has awarded a total of AED 7,986,920 (USD 2,174,199) to four research proposals, under its Evidence for Education in Emergencies (E-Cubed) research envelope. E-Cubed was launched in September 2016 on the sidelines of the 71st UN General Assembly in New York, and is carried out in partnership with the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), an open, global network of members working to ensure that all individuals have the right to a quality, safe, relevant, and equitable education. Following a rigorous review process with feedback from an advisory panel of experts, out of the 63 submissions which were received in 4 languages (Arabic, English, French and Spanish), 11 proposals were shortlisted with four proposals subsequently selected to receive funds. The funds were awarded to four academic and development organizations including Plan International Canada & McGill University, University of Michigan, World Education Inc., and the Teachers College at Columbia University.
Commenting on the importance of research to improving approaches to education within emergency settings, Annina Mattsson, Programs Director at Dubai Cares said: “In emergencies and crises, education is usually the first sector that is heavily affected. In such situations, low enrollment in schools, high dropout rates, poor educational standards, as well as gender inequality are among the most pressing issues that countries face. To tackle these issues, research is instrumental in finding effective and sustainable solutions to respond to these challenges. Research also drills down into the challenges that education faces in situations of emergencies, and consequently help us to generate evidence for effective preparedness and timely response strategies. Disseminating evidence-based research provides crucial guidance to governments, policymakers, practitioners, and civil society to design programs that can have a positive impact on the lives of children and youth in crisis settings.”
The first proposal, titled “Participatory Research on Education and Agency in Mali (PREAM)”, was submitted by Plan International Canada (Plan Canada) and McGill University. The research will investigate the intersections of gender, agency, and education in conflict-affected contexts, with input from adolescent participants in Mali. The research will inform the work of education, development, and humanitarian stakeholders, as well as enhance the capacity of adolescent girls and boys to inform community dialogue around issues of education, agency, and gender equality.
The second proposal, titled “Educational Decision-Making in the Aftermath of a Disaster: Evidence from Cyclone Idai in Mozambique” was submitted by the University of Michigan. This study intends to explore how exposure to Cyclone Idai affected educational decisions around school enrollment and attendance, and if and how community-based education and health interventions played a protective role.
The third proposal, titled “Out-of-School Refugee Youth in Ethiopia: An Analysis of the Barriers and Drivers of Primary School Participation among Vulnerable Populations”, was submitted by World Education Inc. This study aims to investigate the drivers and barriers to school participation and enrollment in refugee hosting communities in Ethiopia, with a focus on gender and disability status. The study’s findings aim to provide relevant policy guidance related to the safe integration of refugees in national education systems.
The fourth proposal, titled “Education for Transitional Justice, Reconciliation, and Peacebuilding: The Case of Colombia”, was submitted by Teachers College at Columbia University. This research will investigate how peacebuilding processes are incorporated into the education sector and classrooms in the post-conflict context of Colombia. Specifically, it aims to encapsulate how students and teachers engage with, and construct global and national dialogue around peacebuilding.
Dean Brooks, Director at INEE said: "INEE is particularly excited to see the geographical spread and contextual diversity of proposals in this round. With the proliferation of funding opportunities for research in EiE, it is imperative that, as a community, we collectively reflect on knowledge production in EiE and work to ensure that research design, implementation, and dissemination is inclusive of and led by the voices of people and institutions most affected by crisis. Additionally, the resulting evidence should be usable and accessible through open access journals, databases, and online resource publications - a true global public good. INEE will continue to curate and disseminate these outputs to its members and to serve as a global hub for EiE knowledge and evidence."
The fourth call for proposals for the E-Cubed research envelope will be made in late March 2020. Submission of proposals will be open to academic institutions, research institutions, private and nonprofit organizations, UN agencies, governmental agencies and private companies in English, French, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese.
The (E-Cubed) research envelope aims to strengthen the evidence base for education in emergencies by funding rigorous research geared towards informing the policies and practices of international, regional, national, and community actors involved in education in emergencies. The convening of partnerships between academia and implementing agencies is a practice Dubai Cares hopes to encourage in order to foster effective cooperation amongst different actors within the education and emergencies field, thereby ensuring that research is contextually relevant, actionable and freely available with no restriction in access.