This study examines the impact of armed conflict on the population of 25 countries, finding substantial negative effects of exposure to conflict on educational attainment and literacy. Using household survey data from Demographic and Health Surveys, as well as Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, conducted between 2000 and 2008, analysis at the national and sub-national levels reveals that conflict often leaves an unfortunate legacy for the affected generations: smaller shares of the population with formal schooling, fewer average years of education, and decreased literacy rates, which persist over time. Furthermore, in many countries existing gaps between marginalized groups, such as women, and the rest of the population worsen during conflict. The study contributes to the growing literature in this field by demonstrating the lasting impact of conflict on education for a large and diverse set of countries.
Background paper prepared for UNESCO for the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2011 ; Technical Paper no. 7