Thwarting violent extremism: a new approach

Countering or preventing violent extremism (CVE or PVE) is a risk averse field buffeted by cautious politics and frightening violent extremist organizations (VEOs). Many donors and practitioners skirt danger by employing development approaches to thwart extremism, addressing issues like youth unemployment, poverty and unequal access to education – even as research makes plain that they are not the main reasons why a young person joins a VEO.

Such imprecise efforts make impact assessment difficult. But a second evaluation challenge is even more formidable: it is virtually impossible to prove that any initiative prevented a young person from joining a VEO.

Several members of local organizations in East Africa shared with me the best indicator of effectiveness that I have come across. They told me that they know their initiatives are interfering with VEO activities when VEO officials secure their mobile phone numbers and start texting them, remarking on where they live and, sometimes, where their children go to school. Authentic CVE/PVE work is as dangerous as it is difficult.

How can states and agencies counter violent extremism, much less prevent it? Before sharing some ideas for next steps, it’s important to get the basics right. Learn more...


Source : Alliance for Peacebuilding

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: A Simple Guide to Schools in Africa

Climate change education provides an important window into individual and societal responsibility. As educators, schools not only have an interest in teaching subjects that will prepare students for careers and earn them good test scores, but to teach them to be mindful and responsible citizens. Teaching on climate change means teaching on topics like environmental stewardship and collective responsibility — teaching students that they and those around them have a responsibility to something larger than themselves. Real climate change education confers onto students an appreciation of the role they play in their environment — both their physical, changing environment, and their civic environments. Incorporating the topic into school curriculum only stands to bring students closer to their communities. Civic engagement, one of the most important lessons schools impart on their students, can be taught through student engagement with local institutions.

With the curricula as hectic as they are, and such a breadth of material to cover, UNESCO has compiled a small volume giving reference to Africa: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Simple Guide to Schools in Africa which will be used in the STEM mentorship Camps for secondary schools to support efforts by educational institutions to impart knowledge on climate change to students in secondary level education.

To read more: Click here 

Flipping Lesson Design: Moving The Learning Objective To The End

There would be few teachers haven’t been advised to publish lesson objectives at the beginning of every lesson.

After all, this is a signal for students where the learning is going, and can help keep teachers and students on the same page. But for many teachers, this has largely been an ineffective strategy, with students just mindlessly writing them down and rarely independently checking their learning against them as the lesson unfolds.

John Dabell succinctly articulates a possible reason: It could be argued, that we need to accomplish the learning first before we can understand what the learning objective is and what the knowledge and understanding relates to. Many teachers concur, and after years of adhering to the expectation of writing down learning objectives (Los) at the start of lessons, at the beginning of the year, maybe this is a chance to try something different.


To read more, click here 

UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development

UNESCO is kicking off its new framework: ‘Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’ – ESD for 2030 and its roadmap for implementation during the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in Berlin, Germany.

800 participants from around the world will gather for the occasion: policy-makers working in education and sustainable development, education practitioners, civil society, development community and private sector experts. 

For further information:

Application site:

A pilot training program for Young Volunteers on Peace and Global Citizenship

From December 6-8, 2019, a training on "Education for Peace and Global Citizenship of Adolescents, Youth in Senegal and the sub-region" took place in Guédiawaye, a suburb of Dakar. 

The initiative for this activity came from BanlieueUP, an association of young male and female volunteers, committed to contributing to the socio-economic development of the suburbs of Dakar.

"The vision of BanlieueUP is to contribute to ensuring that suburbs become spaces of well-being and prosperity for their populations by 2030." El Hadji Abou Gueye, President of BanlieueUP. 

Within the framework of Target 4.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UNESCO Dakar and IFEF (Institut de la francophonie pour l’education) joined with BanlieueUP to organize a pilot training event with the aims of increasing understanding of the local and global environmental and social challenges facing youth and providing them with the information and tools they will need for becoming agents of peace and global citizenship and leaders in their own communities. 

Out of 200 candidates, between the ages of 18 and 35, 32 were selected to the pilot training event, based upon their motivation towards deepening their knowledge of the pressing issues facing youth and their commitment towards building networks in order to take action in their communities and in Senegal. The selection also sought gender-equality and resulted in a final group composed of 16 women and 16 men.

The event’s program included skills training, discussion, a slam competition and planning of further action.

Self-awareness, knowledge and skills for sustainable development

Throughout the training, the participants were encouraged to speak-up and share their knowledge and ideas. 

“Only by listening to the concerns of these young people can we develop global citizenship and sustainable development education contents and methodologies that are contextualised and respond to their needs and to the specific forms of exclusion that many of them experience.” Mathilde Stoleroff, UNESCO Dakar

 On the first day, participants were given training in competencies on how to:

  • Speak in public;
  • Work effectively with diverse groups;
  • Build networks;
  • Provide and receive constructive criticism;
  • ​Adhere to rules of coexistence and mutual respect; 

Activity “turn the blanket” pushed the groups to identify a leader and to work collaboratively and efficiently in a group as quickly as possible to reach a common goal. 

“This activity touched me a lot because it reminded me that what one can do alone, one can do it even better together.” Awa Diatta, 24 years, Guédiaweye

The importance of harmony between humans and nature in West Africa

Throughout the second day, participants engaged in discussions of the cultural, historic and scientific relationships between humans and nature in West Africa. They highlighted how the interaction between humans and their natural environment is expressed in local languages, cultural and spiritual practices and the discussion was enhanced by the participants’ special ability to relate issues to their social backgrounds.

Hearing the voice of the youth through Slam

Poetry slam, an art form combining traditional poetry with story-telling, songwriting and rhythm, is a powerful awareness-raising tool that enables urban youth to express themselves.

As part of the training, participants held a slam competition that resulted in beautiful and powerful performances. The creators of the 15 most-voted slams will take part in a workshop to create a slam that will come to represent the vision of peace and global citizenship of the 32 participants.

Action now

The third day was dedicated to triggering action. Each one of the participants spoke about existing environmental challenges in their own neighbourhoods and, together, they found possible solutions to promote change in their communities.

Following this training, participants have already formed a group, “Servir ensemble” and drafted an action plan, to be implemented by February 2020, to create a small public green space where young people can gather near a school in the Dakar suburb area of Pikine.

The ultimate objective of the initiative is to create a movement of young volunteers for peace and global citizenship in the West African region. Various other training sessions on rule of law and global citizenship are envisaged for 2020.


‘Growth mindset’ in education: Great new tool or overrated fad?

‘Growth mindset’ in education: Great new tool or overrated fad?

“Growth mindset” theory in education proposes that minds are malleable: teachers can improve students’ "intelligence, ability and performance" by encouraging them to believe their learning abilities aren’t fixed, but are capable of growth. The theory is popular in education circles.

Firsthand teacher accounts show dramatic learning improvements attributed to growth mindset. It also has its detractors. At least one well-designed study found little evidence the theory really does work in practice. Who’s right? Learn more...

Source : Multi Briefs

Educating for the Social, the Emotional and the Sustainable

 Global Education Monitoring Report

Earlier this year, the UN Secretary-General reported that “the shift in development pathways to generate the transformation required to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030 is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required.” He noted with regret that “…the most vulnerable countries are bearing the brunt of the current obstacles to SDG implementation…. The bleak situation of countries in situations of conflict or fragility is all the more troubling given that, by 2030, more than half the world’s poor are projected to live in countries affected by conflict.” 

This blog looks at a new publication by NISSEM on the challenges facing poorly resourced or conflict-affected countries in addressing SDG Target 4.7. It argues that addressing this target can help change long-term behaviour to help achieve the SDGs. Learn more...


Source: World Education Blog

Schools could teach children how to be happy – but they foster competition instead

Diagnoses of mental disorders and drug prescriptions among school-age children have skyrocketed over the last two decades. The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that 20% of children experience mental disorders – such as depression, anxiety and ADHD – at any given time. Learn more...


Source: theconversation

Educating for the social, the emotional and the sustainable ; Diverse perspectives from over 60 contributors addressing global and national challenges

Title: Educating for the social, the emotional and the sustainable ; Diverse perspectives from over 60 contributors addressing global and national challenges


NISSAM global briefs examines ways in which policymakers, researchers and practitioners can help address current global and national issues and thus contribute to realizing SDG Target 4.7. Many of the contributors work in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and in conflict or post-conflict situations. These briefs explore the potential for embedding SDG 4.7 themes, as well as social and emotional learning (SEL), into textbooks and education materials. 

The vital themes of SDG Target 4.7, as well as the social and emotional learning (SEL) they entail, constitute a potent blueprint for transforming education to address many contemporary challenges. While the timeframe for progress is tight, significant steps to embed Target 4.7 themes and integrate SEL into policy, programs, materials and practice are feasible and clearly demonstrated in the briefs in this volume. 

Issue Date: 2019

Author: NISSEM 



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