Refugee Status, Gender and Learning

Authored by: Kendra Dupuy, Martin Flatø, Haakon Gjerløw et al.

Categories: Human Rights, Humanitarian Emergencies
Sub-Categories: Economic Participation, Human Development, Migration, Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2021
Citation: Dupuy, Kendra et al. "Refugee Status, Gender and Learning." Norwegian Refugee Council. March 2021.

Access the Resource:

Executive Summary

This report provides details from a survey of 1,822 individuals aged 7–31 who had applied to enroll in NRC’s Accelerated Education Program (AEP) in the West Nile sub-region in January 2020, as well as 1,349 household adults. The surveys covered a range of topics, such as demographic and socioeconomic background, school attendance, academic skills, social control, feelings and perceptions on various topics, and future aspirations. In addition, an English literacy and numeracy test was conducted on all 1,822 applicants.

A convenience sampling method was used to reach the participants in the survey. Specifically, contingent on that they had applied to enroll in AEP for 2020, individuals were contacted with the help of local individuals with knowledge on the respective settlement. The data cannot be used to generalize to the West Nile district population in general. Due to the nature of the sampling, the statistics in this report cannot be used to investigate how different educational services affect educational outcomes. We have no evidence to shed light on whether the AEP is beneficial to the educational outcomes of its learners. We encourage future research to engage randomized control trials of the different services in order to answer this pressing and highly important question.

The NRC’s AEP is able to reach both the South Sudanese refugees in the area, and the Ugandan nationals. In general, we find very few differences between these two groups in terms of academic skills, and both groups seem to be in demand for quality education.

We find several differences between males and females. Males are overrepresented among the AEP applicants, they generally perform slightly better than females on the literacy and numeracy tests, and they report that they have more time available to study than the girls. Regression analyses show a persistent gender gap on academic skills even after accounting for such systematic differences, indicating that there are several factors at play that hinder female educational attainment.

The report shows several discrepancies between the intended target population of AEP in general, and the actual population that NRC’s implementation of AEP in the West Nile district attracts. Most notably, a majority of applicants were not out-of-school and already attended some form of education program.