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On the Front Line of Violence Reduction: Generating Evidence for School-based Strategies to Promote Children's Development in Conflict-affected Contexts

Schools are the front line of strategies to reduce violence by 50 percent in the next 30 years, given both the increasing number of children around the world attending school and the potential for education to promote the skills necessary for children's – and nations' – prosperity and peace. Nowhere is the need for school-based strategies to reduce violence more urgent than in conflict-affected contexts (CACs), where over 32 million children lack access to the quality education that can mitigate the severe consequences of conflict for children – and potentially help break the intergenerational transmission of violence– through the effective provision of safe and supportive spaces that promote children's academic and socioemotional development. While organizations are increasingly implementing programs to improve access to and quality of education in CACs, there remains a  "stunning lack of evidence" as to what works. To address this, we report evidence from collaborative efforts with the International Rescue Committee to implement programs with a socioemotional learning focus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Lebanon. Attention is given to understanding process and impacts in context, while identifying common elements of programs across contexts that can be used to guide the development of effective and scalable programs.