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Peace-building and education: decolonising peace education in Africa


This project will bring together academics, NGOs and disadvantaged communities in Africa to develop new meaningful knowledges, pedagogies and teaching materials for a decolonised peace education, using Arts and Humanities methodologies. It will produce a peace education framework which will be utilised by local communities, educational institutions training teachers, NGOs and peace-building practitioners in Africa, and education policymakers in Africa.


Parvati Raghuram, Open University (Principal Investigator)  
Melis Cin, Lancaster University (Co-Investigator)    
Hakeem Ibikunle Tijani, National Open University of Nigeria (Co-Investigator)    
Tendayi Marovah, Midlands State University (Co-Investigator)    
Kalyango Ronald Sebba, Makerere University (Co-Investigator)    
Stefanie Kappler, Durham University (Co-Investigator)    
Stephen McLoughlin, Liverpool Hope University (Co-Investigator)    
Ashley William Gunter, University of South Africa (Co-Investigator)
Craig Walker, Open University (Co-Investigator)    


This project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 


Several African countries have been marred by decades of war, violence and conflict. Despite concerted peacebuilding efforts they have struggled to find stable, durable pathways to peaceful societies. Peace education can play a critical role in engendering the knowledge, values, skills and attitudes required to prevent and reduce conflict but so far it has had limited effects. Part of the problem lies in the pedagogies and curricula that underpin peace education which, much like the wider peacebuilding project, are grounded in Eurocentric and liberal values, principles and methods.

The project will, for the first time, provide new data based on Arts and Humanities methodologies on how peace is understood within displaced and marginalised communities. Teaching materials will be developed and delivered through 14 weeks of teaching to young people who have had interrupted study due to conflict and are aged 16-35. The peace materials will be embedded in locally desired teaching materials ensuring that the teaching is meaningful. It will be evaluated by the teachers and students. These activities will be done in in Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe as part of phase one of the project.

In phase two, further projects will be undertaken to enhance and expand these initial findings and they will be made available as part of a peace education framework, three Open Educational Resources and embedded in Higher Education Institute’s teacher training with an initial reach of a minimum of 12,000 trainees per year in phase one and a further 8,000 thereafter. Training will also be offered to community-based organisations providing informal learning to ensure that we offer the benefits of the project to those who are vulnerable but hard to reach. The project also seeks to embed these learnings in education policy (as in Zimbabwe) where it will ensure long-term legacy of the key findings. 

More information

Gateway to research Portal

The project emerges from Learning Pedagogies and Peace Education: an exploratory study of decolonisation in South Africa and Uganda.


Parvati Raghuram


Contact us

To find out more about our work, or to discuss a potential project, please contact:

International Development Research Office
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)1908 858502