Launching the 2015/2016 Seminar Series

We are looking forward to beginning our annual seminar series for 2015/2016 this week with Rob Williams OBE, CEO of War Child UK speaking on ‘Why education in emergencies goes unfunded. And how to fix it.’ Rob’s going to be using the Syrian context to explain the far-reaching repercussions underfunding education in emergency situations has.

Rob Williams, Thursday 29th October 2015, 5:30pm – 7pm, Room 802 at the UCL Institute of Education in London.  Register for a free place here.

We’ve also confirmed our speaker for the second session on the 3rd December: ‘Engaging young people with conflict through the narratives of former combatants in Northern Ireland.’ Lesley Emerson from Queen’s University Belfast is coming along to present her findings from a piece of research on a curricular programme in Northern Ireland designed to engage young people directly with ‘conflict’ through the narratives of the former ‘paramilitary’ combatants.

Lesley Emerson, Thursday 3rd December 2015, 5:30 – 7pm, Room 802 at the UCL Institute of Education. Register for a free place here.

There will be five more sessions in 2016, we well as a workshop on early years in emergencies. More details to follow!

Looking back at 2014/2015… 

As we are about to begin our third annual seminar series, we’ll just take a minute to look at the busy and productive year we’ve just had here at the Network.  We had a great response to the seminars, with nearly 700 people registering for eight sessions with a great range of topics and speakers.

We had academics, including our very own Dr Tejendra Pherali and Dr Chris Williams in May, Tejendra speaking on the humanitarian response in Nepal and Chris on how to research emergencies following the launch of his new book, “Doing International Research, Global and Local Methods.” Professor Frank Hardman from the University of York in January, presented on the role of education in building peaceful societies using Somalia as a case study. We also heard from Dr Kelsey Shanks, fresh from finishing her PhD speaking on education and ethno-politics and the role of identity in the Iraqi school system in October, her research is now published – find it here.

We heard from both researchers and practitioners – Susan Nicolai and Sebastien Hine from the Overseas Development Institute presented their review of the literature on investment for education in emergencies in April, and the education team from Save the Children, Emily Echessa, Charlotte Balfour-Poole and Hannah Snowden presented on some of their programmes and lessons learned in education response in conflict contexts in March.

We heard from DfiD’s Dr Chris Berry last November, a session on how to improve learning outcomes in humanitarian and protracted crises and Dr Lyndsay Bird from the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) in February. And from a different angle all together, Francis Rolt from Radio for Peace Building in December on the principles of using media as a peacebuilding tool.

We also participated in the International Network for Education in Emergencies’ (INEE) pilot training for their early childhood development module in December last year, (the final training package is now available from their website), and were able to submit our feedback as part of the consultation.

Tejendra’s fundraising for Nepal following the earthquakes of late April raised over £5,000 for the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Our online presence grew hugely, our Facebook group having now not far off 2,000 members and a growing twitter following (@NRECE_IOE) and we do encourage everyone not only to join or follow, but to join in the conversation. These are spaces to prompt thoughts, share research, news, promote events in the field, research notes or opportunities, publications and explore the areas of education and conflict and education in emergencies more broadly.

That’s it – a great year behind us, a great year ahead – please come and join in!