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The Challenge of Certifying IDC Learning

An Introduction to Certification

The following definitions of key terms will be helpful in exploring the

topic in greater depth; they are adapted from Talbot (2015a):

  • Accreditation: a process by which a recognized authority reviews and evaluates the validity of an educational institution or program using a set of clearly defined criteria and procedures.
  • Certification: the process of providing documentary proof of a learner’s successful completion of an accredited education program.
  • Validity: the process by which the authenticity of a learner’s certificate is ascertained.
  • Recognition: the acceptance by an outside party of a certificate’s worth and validity.
  • Equivalence: how a course offered by one entity relates to a course or set of courses offered by another.

A few points should be considered with regard to the unique importance

of certification schemes as durable solutions during forced migration.

First, providing certification of learning during crises can help protect and sustain children’s well-being and learning by serving as a motivating factor to keep them in school, which people know can serve a protective function (Segerstrom 1995; Tolfree 1996; Kirk and Winthrop 2007; Winthrop and Kirk 2005). As Fransen and Siegel explored in chapter “Reintegration of First- and Second-Generation Children Returned to Burundi: A Multidimensional Approach” on first- and second-generation youth returnees to Burundi, certification of learning is also increasingly critical in enabling children affected by conflict to have a durable solution to their displacement, creating a generation able to contribute to future socioeconomic stability. Talbot (2013, 12) further notes that certification “...increase(s) the economic and social contribution of IDPs, refugees and returnees to their respective communities” and “.is a powerful tool for successful social and economic integration.” Loschman, in his study on the long-term consequences of displacement in chapter “Taking the Long View: The Consequences of Displacement for Children in Afghanistan”, touches on this latter point regarding the measurement of differences in human capital formation of children in Afghanistan.

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