Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Education

Graduate School of Education

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Major international funding for multi-country project supporting better education provision in conflict-affected countries

NU researchers, Professor Naureen Durrani (Graduate School of Education) and Dr Helene Thibault (School of Sciences and Humanities) have won a prestigious and highly competitive grant in collaboration with three international universities. This project is funded by the Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) and awarded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). 

Titled ‘The PEER Network’, the project is a three-year initiative led by four universities (Ulster, Cape Town, Nazarbayev and Sussex) aimed at improving the quality of political analysis of education in conflict-affected countries. The core objective of the PEER Network is to develop a critically and locally grounded approach to Political Economy Analysis (PEA) of Education that will help national, regional and global level policymakers and practitioners to make socially just decisions about education that benefit children in contexts of conflict and crisis. The project builds on the previous research of Professor Durrani on the relationship between education, conflict and social cohesion.

In collaboration with Dr Thibault, Professor Durrani will direct the development of a regional hub of political economy analysis (PEA) of education expertise across Central Asia. Professor Durrani and Dr Thibault will review commissioned PEA research studies in Central Asia and mentor successful PEA research teams. Both will produce a synthesis report based on the commissioned PEA research in Central Asia and disseminate findings across Central Asian countries and at the global level to influence change in global practice in PEA for the benefit of children and young people in conflict-affected countries.

Professor Durrani said, “This project will provide a hub for education researchers, activists, policy-makers and civil society organisations to develop and share their expertise and knowledge for developing innovative and locally grounded ways that ensure education systems in Central Asian countries contribute towards social justice and peacebuilding”.