A photo from the Airbel Impact Lab archive
A photo from the Airbel Impact Lab archive
Multiple countries

A Conceptual Framework for Education Research in Conflict and Protracted Crisis (ERICC)

The ERICC Research Programme Consortium is a global research and learning consortium that strives to transform education policy and practice in conflict and protracted crisis around the world, through building a global hub for a rigorous, context-relevant and actionable evidence base. ERICC seeks to identify the most effective approaches to sustainably support education systems and holistic learning and development of children in conflict and crisis around the world. ERICC aims to bridge research, practice, and policy with accessible and actionable knowledge — at local, national, regional and global levels — through co-construction of research and collaborative partnerships. ERICC is supported by UK Aid.

Children living in contexts of conflict and/or protracted crisis are among the most developmentally and educationally disadvantaged in the world. An estimated 222 million crisis-affected children and adolescents are in need of urgent education support, and as many as 78.2 million of those children are out of school. 

In recent years, there has been growing momentum and commitment from global and national stakeholders to reduce these disadvantages along Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education. Civil society organizations, governments, local communities, and funders are mobilizing their actions in conflict and protracted crisis settings around the globe, implementing a wide variety of approaches. 

Evidence from rigorous research is beginning to emerge in conflict and protracted crisis settings, however, as these contexts face challenges in conducting research there continues to be an “overwhelming lack of evidence” about how children learn and develop and about how to effectively support them. A systematic conceptual framework is needed to translate existing individual studies into an interconnected and comprehensive body of knowledge, on what drives meaningful change ineducation systems and child outcomes in conflict and protracted crisis contexts. 

To help address these challenges, the Education Research In Conflict And Protracted Crisis (ERICC) Research Programme Consortium developed a conceptual framework with an aim to:

  • Provide overarching organization that allows us to locate areas of gaps in existing research, from a variety of disciplinary traditions on education in crisis and conflict to date
  • Help locate targets of research and intervention (for policy and programming) based on evidence, as well as evidence gaps in existing research
  • Provide a unified vision that allows practitioners, policy makers and stakeholders to make effective decisions for programming, policy and investment to improve children’s learning and development in crisis and conflict-affected contexts

The ERICC conceptual framework is built around identifying, examining, and supporting four drivers of learning and development in contexts of conflict and protracted crisis: access, quality, and coherence for access, quality, and continuity. These drivers are defined as necessary for precipitating improvements in equity and achievement in holistic learning and developmental outcomes that are vital for children in conflict and protracted crisis settings, to fully engage in economic, political, and social activities in modern society such as foundational literacy and numeracy, as well as, social and emotional learning outcomes and physical and mental health.

This working paper was co-authored by Ha Yeon Kim, Carly Tubbs Dolan and J. Lawrence Aber of NYU Global TIES for Children and of the ERICC Research Programme Consortium, and the conceptual framework is intended to evolve and be revised and refined through engagement with various experts, stakeholders, and research partners, as well as application and use in ongoing research.

View the ERICC conceptual framework here and interact with the the self-guided graph below: 


  • ERICC Conceptual Framework