Following on research commissioned in 2014 by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to look at the impact of education inequality on violent conflict, FHI 360’s Education Policy and Data Center (EPDC) studied the reverse relationship in a new analysis to examine the research question: Does violent conflict affect education inequality? This study uses the Education Inequality and Conflict (EIC) Dataset, which was constructed to support FHI 360’s ongoing research efforts on education inequality and contains measures of horizontal inequality in education across ethnic, religious and subnational divisions for more than 100 countries from 1960 to 2013. This new study employs a quasi-experimental design to isolate for the causal impact of conflict on education inequality and uses multiple measures of inequality across genders, wealth groups and ethnic or religious groups.
While more research is needed to untangle the linkages behind these relationships, the findings are an impetus for greater attention to equity in education, particularly in conflict-affected and fragile settings. The results of the study suggest that investment in equitable education opportunity across ethnic, religious, wealth and gender groups, as well as among individuals, may be a key factor in reducing a country’s risk of moving toward or relapsing into conflict.
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See related research project.