The British Academy today announces nearly £4 million in funding is being made available through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for an initiative designed to strengthen knowledge systems for education research in conflict and crisis.
Despite the displacement of record numbers of people due to conflict and protracted crises, policymakers struggle to respond to such challenges due to a shortage of evidence and research capacity in this area. This is a particular problem in institutions in the Global South where there are financial, organisational and managerial barriers to education research.
The £3.88m knowledge systems strengthening programme, funded with UK aid from the UK government, aims to address these deficiencies by developing both Global South research and institutional capacity, and by supporting the creation of research environments and cultures in education research that will outlast the life of the programme.
The programme will deliver a targeted institutional strengthening programme with three selected institutions in the Global South and fund a series of research chairs and fellowships at these institutions to meet the following three main objectives:
- Building Global South institutional capacity.
To develop a coordinated and strategic institutional approach to education research through tailored activities including building capacity for policy dialogue supported by research chairs
- Investing in people.
To strengthen the capacity of early career researchers in the Global South to undertake and build their careers in education research through fellowship awards, research training, mentoring, and networking opportunities
- Building communities of practice.
To develop selected Global South institutions into institutional hubs, in order to promote new research partnerships, share best practice, and support research training.
Professor Simon Goldhill, Foreign Secretary of the British Academy, said:
“This timely funding from the FCDO will help the Academy to deliver a programme that strengthens vital knowledge systems in the Global South just when it is needed most. With a record number of people being displaced from their homes due to conflicts and crises, more and more children are missing out on education and the benefits this brings. However, in education research there is a comparative lack of evidence and research capacity on education in conflict and crises, especially in the Global South.
“The research chairs, fellowships and alumni support this funding provides will improve critical research capacity, collaboration and networking and enhance academics’ ability to analyse, research and evaluate education practice in areas of conflict and crisis. In time, this research will yield invaluable insights and lead to tangible improvements in learning outcomes for those enduring displacement and crises.”