Before applying any resource to a particular operating environment, it is essential to perform a context assessment that identifies the characteristics, opportunities, and risks present in that environment. It is equally important to perform periodic follow-up context assessments because crisis and conflict-affected environments are complex, and critical operating assumptions, conditions, and elements are subject to sudden change. Ongoing context analysis is essential for ensuring that education programming is appropriate, effective and conflict sensitive.
Through its Education Strategy, USAID is committed to working with partners to increase equitable access to education for learners living in countries affected by conflict and crisis. Achieving results in these challenging environments calls for innovative approaches to the design, management, and evaluation of education programs. The critical first step for education programs within these environments is to holistically analyze and factor in contextual risks. Additionally, partners should prioritize conflict sensitivity and 'do no harm' procedures to avoid worsening contextual risks. Understanding these risks can also be considered a due diligence measure taken by USAID and implementing partners to safeguard investments in education programs and improve results in conflict- and crisis-affected contexts.