How can improved primary education contribute to peace and security in the troubled Somali Region of Ethiopia? The BRIDGES project is implemented by Save the Children UK, Mercy Corps and Islamic Relief with funding from DFID, and aims to strengthen the capacity of state and non-state actors in the region to promote peace and stability through the delivery of quality education. BRIDGES is a pilot project and an important aspect of the project is learning lessons to influence future strategies and programming.
This report is an analysis of the links between conflict and education in Somali Region, and examines if and how improved education might contribute to peace and security objectives. While recognizing the critical role of education in the development of the region, the analysis questions a causal framework in which improved education alone will lead to short-term or long-term conflict transformation. This finding is related to the deep-rooted and complex causes of conflict in the region, and the reality that current education services do not engage directly with the main conflict actors. The report makes recommendations for reshaping education strategies to enhance possible impact on conflict.