What factors explain educational success in the rebel-held town of Ndélé in the Central African Republic?
Contribution to International Research
The research project addresses both an empirical and a theoretical gap. Empirically, the CAR – particularly the rebel-held eastern areas – remains under-researched. Theoretically, there is a lack of knowledge on service provision in rebel-held areas. Other studies investigate broad matters of security, justice, and statebuilding in rebel-held areas. In this project we go one step further by looking at what such frame conditions mean for the provision of public goods, exemplified by education.
Research Design and Methods
Studying education in such a context is no simple endeavour; its feasibility depends on prior experience. The main applicant has conducted extensive fieldwork in the CAR over the past three years and has built a large network of local academics and policymakers who will facilitate access. The project will include three months of fieldwork and three months of desk work. In the field the project team will conduct interviews, focus group discussions, and participatory observations in Ndélé.
We aim to decipher why teachers do their job well on the local level despite the state’s absence and which actors provide the justice and security that enables schools to stay open during conflict. Our hypothesis is that educational success, measured by school enrolment and graduation rates, is improved through a transparent, locally adapted justice system in which teachers are held accountable and parents can seek redress for corrupt practices.