“What I Believe Can Rescue That Nation”: Diaspora Working to Transform Educationin Fragility and Conflict

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This study examines diasporas engagement in education development work in their fragile and conflict-affected countries of origin. Through analysis of 28 in-depth interviewswith diaspora from four countries, we discuss diasporasmotivations to engage, activities ofengagement, and factors that enable or constrain it. Our research highlights that diasporaseducation development work seeks to transform conflict dynamics by attending tohistorical drivers of conflict. We found that diaspora were motivated to engage in education development by a sense of responsibility for communities, known and imagined, in-cluding a responsibility to act on the belief that education could transform fragility and conflict. Diaspora enacted their sense of responsibility through resources and rights they accessed through their insider/outsider status in two settings. In focusing on relationships with communities and authorities, diaspora reimagined where power lies in education development work, with implications for governments, development organizations, and diaspora working to transform conflict dynamics through education.

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Sarah Dryden-Peterson

Sarah Dryden-Peterson leads a research program that focuses on the connections between education and community development, specifically the role that education plays in building peaceful and participatory societies. Her work is situated in conflict and post-conflict settings in sub-Saharan Africa and with African Diaspora communities in the United States and Canada. She is concerned with the interplay between local experiences of children, families, and teachers and the development and implementation of national and international policy. Her research reflects connections between practice, policy, and scholarship and is strengthened through long-term collaborations with UN agencies, NGOs, and communities.

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