Safer Learning Environments: Indicators
ECCN's 2016 “Analysis of Indicators Used in USAID Education Projects in Crisis and Conflict Environments” highlighted the need for improved indicators to increase consistency of conceptualization and measurement across USAID’s Education in Crisis and Conflict (EiCC) activities. This paper defines five recommended outcome indicators measuring threats to safety in common domains in EiCC learning environments (school related genderbased violence (SRGBV), in-school gang activity, attack from criminal and armed groups, natural hazards, and health emergencies). These indicators measure institutionalization of protective or palliative procedures around these threats. These indicators were evaluated and selected based on relevance, precision, measurability, consistency, and validity by the ECCN SLE Working group, USAID Education officers, and numerous monitoring and evaluation and education experts.
It is important to note that the SLE indicators recommended here are intended for general use by a broad range of education programs, both those that include a specific school safety related focus and those that do not. For this reason, recommended indicators highlight the minimum necessary SLE-related outcome that should be measured—that is, an outcome that both pre-supposes the existence of established school level response procedures vis a vis a given safety threat and measures the degree of student knowledge of these procedures—but does not extend beyond knowledge of existing procedures to explicitly track school safety-related outcomes. A knowledge-level outcome is considered acceptable for programs without an explicit school-safety focus, because such programs should not be held accountable for safety outcomes that they are not designed, nor resourced, to influence.
However, any education program that includes an explicit school safety focus should be expected to track additional outcome indicators that probe students’ willingness to use reporting procedures; the extent to which these procedures are used; and the extent to which students experience school-related threats to safety. In addition, any general education program that wishes to include additional school safety-related outcome measures should be free to do so, with the understanding that the program may influence, but not be held accountable for, school safety-related changes.