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Methodology

The geographic focus of the study was areas of high internal displacement in the northwestern Syria governorates of Idleb, Aleppo, and Hama. The cohort of interest was students in “basic” education, characterized in Syria as grades 1-10. Basic education was chosen given its acceptance by key stakeholders—and, importantly, by parents, and children—as the most important level of education. The following research questions framed the effort:

  • 1. What are potential threats to uncertified learning?
  • 2. Which certification pathways serve children who have been forcibly displaced?
  • 3. Which pathways are recommended by key stakeholders as a durable solution for the Syrian context?

Data was collected between March 14, 2015 and April 7, 2016 through: (1) a literature review; and (2) telephone, Skype, and email interviews.

The literature reviewed was accessed online through searches using key terms (e.g., “certification” and “emergency”). Survey respondents and key informants were purposively selected, and the snowball method was utilized in a few cases. The institutional affiliations of the 29 informants and/or survey respondents are summarized in Table 1. Because of security concerns, no direct mention of informants or institutions is made, with two exceptions. The chapter’s recommendations are based on a survey, semistructured key informant interviews, the collection of anecdotes from key informants (e.g., beneficiaries and practitioners), and the author’s own experience as an “education in emergency implementer” and an advisor in this and other conflicts.

Table 1 Number of Different Institution/Informant Types Represented

Institution/informant type

Number of institutions/ informant types represented

International NGO working inside northern Syria on Education in Emergencies (EiE)

4

Syrian NGO working inside northern Syria on EiE

3

Independent EiE expert

4

UN agency with education-related mandate or activities, active in the Syria response

4

Think tank with expert in the Syria response and EiE

1

EiE association

1

University with expert(s) in the EiE response

3

Foundation with EiE expertise

1

Unknown/confidential affiliation

7

 
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