Safe to Learn releases new learnings from country diagnostics on violence in and around schools

Girls smile.


  • In 2020, Safe to Learn partners published a diagnostic tool that provides guidance to measure national efforts to prevent and respond to violence in and around schools. Five countries have used that tool to conduct national diagnostics on the issue.
  • Today, Safe to Learn released a new publication synthesizing lessons learned from conducting country diagnostics on violence in schools, building on the experience of South Sudan and Uganda. 
  • The publication showcases the benefits and shortcomings of doing such diagnostics, lessons learned, and challenges faced.

Safe to Learn releases new learnings from country diagnostics on violence in and around schools

Though schools should be a place of hope and opportunity – where children are safe to learn, develop and thrive – for far too many, schools feel anything but safe. Across the world, two in three young people worry about violence in and around school, and many children drop out of school to avoid violence, bullying, sexual exploitation, armed attacks, and other forms of abuse.

In 2019, the Safe to Learn initiative was born to ensure all children have access to safe learning environments. Fourteen partners from the education, violence prevention, child protection and health sectors joined forces to end the violence that undermines education, and make sure every child — especially the most marginalized — is Safe to Learn. An essential part of the initiative is the Safe to Learn Call to Action, which sets out what needs to happen to end violence in and through schools in high-level terms.

In 2020, a diagnostic tool was developed by Safe to Learn partners to track countries’ progress toward achieving the objectives of the Call to Action at the national, district and school-level and establish a baseline from which to measure progress. Five countries have taken the lead to pilot the diagnostics, and their experiences aimed to refine the diagnostic tool. The lessons learned throughout that process is a contribution toward this goal.

Today, Safe to Learn has published a report that analysed that process in two of those countries: South Sudan and Uganda, both of which have endorsed the Safe to Learn Call to Action. The publication showcases the benefits and limitations of doing such diagnostics. Main findings of the report also include recommendations of what to retain – and what to discard – in future diagnostic exercises.

This exercise also aimed to identify to what extent the recommendations and findings from the diagnostics have been useful at the country level to date, and through what existing country mechanisms they have been taken forward or could be taken forward in the future. Based on its main findings, the report also provides recommendations to further refine the diagnostic exercises, as well as concrete orientations to efficiently guide its process.

“We hope this report will inspire other countries to apply this diagnostic as a tool to enhance national momentum to prevent and respond to violence in and through schools,” said Chloë Fevre, Safe to Learn Director.

Explore the report in full and learn more about Safe to Learn.