A destroyed school in Syria (Photo: Various agencies/Failing Syria report)

A destroyed school in Syria (Photo: Various agencies/Failing Syria report)

Worldwide, attacks on education continue to have serious consequences for the futures of children and communities living through conflict. These incidents range from threats and the recruitment of children into armed groups, to the deliberate targeting of educational buildings and educators themselves, as well as the military use of schools.

The 82 states that currently endorse the Safe Schools Declaration (SSD) have resolved to take action towards the “protection and continuation of education in armed conflict”. One component of the SSD is a commitment by states affected by such violence to collecting data on attacks on education. Endorsing states have also committed, where in a position to do so, to “provide and facilitate international cooperation and assistance” to other endorsers: this could include assisting affected states with data collection activities.

In a new discussion paper, Article 36 gives a broad introduction to current data collection efforts to monitor attacks on education, highlighting some of the actors involved and the methodologies used. This review is not exhaustive, but seeks to demonstrate the different types of data collection frameworks, their purposes and contributions, as well as the differences between them. The paper also briefly explores some developments in the field of data collection, and potentially useful examples of state involvement in current data collection practices.

The purpose of this paper is to give a basic overview of the current state of the field, and to identify how practice could be supported and strengthened. Recommendations are offered on how states endorsing the SSD, as well as supportive civil society, can contribute to enhancing current monitoring and reporting efforts. With states set to review progress on the SSD at a third international conference on safe schools hosted by Spain in May 2019, an opportunity is available to look at developments in the commitment area of data collection.

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Data collection and the Safe Schools Declaration: building upon current practice

Discussion paper
December 2018



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