The query for this helpdesk report:
- To summarise the available evidence on how far support to education has strengthened governance at the local, regional and institutional level during a conflict
The main points made by the literature on education delivery during conflict and strengthened legitimacy for those delivering it includes:
- Service delivery and state legitimacy: expectations for services vary and this has an impact on the relative importance that service delivery plays in contributing to citizens’ perceptions of state legitimacy.
- National governments: support to education during conflict may provide the state with legitimacy. National leadership and domestic ownership of the education sector is important for promoting this state legitimacy.
- Local and provincial authorities: local and provincial authorities may have the capacity to deliver education when national governments cannot. In some cases this has strengthened trust in authorities and improved engagement in local governance. However there are issues with local authorities’ long-term capacity. As a result those supporting education have tried to build capacity and local structures which can integrate with state structures when they regain the capacity to deliver education.
- NGOs and non-state providers: education provision by non-state providers may negatively affect state legitimacy, although it may also improve local governance. As a result some non-state providers have tried provide education which can integrate into state structures.
- Rebel groups: in areas not under state control, support has occasionally been provided to rebel groups to help them deliver education. Their provision of education helps them gain legitimacy as pseudo-governments.
- Rebel groups and service provision: by providing social services more generally, rebel groups can deprive the state of the legitimacy that stems from the social contract. It is important though that attempts to prevent rebels delivering services ensure that there is alternative provision available in order to prevent a humanitarian crisis or radicalise populations.
Rohwerder, B. Education and building legitimacy during conflict (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1213). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2015) 8 pp.