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Carolyn Johnstone Federation University Australia. Based on case studies in Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iraq as they recovered from earlier conflicts, the article proposes key design features for effective adult education provision, including a quality checklist and an impact spectrum, which could be used by policymakers to measure the impact of adult education.
When a society is fragile, possibly recovering from conflict or trauma, the first priority for assistance is not usually adult education. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, a number of adult education programmes were designed to give learners skills in conflict resolution.
The Neighbourhood Facilitators Project in Republika Srpska trained 20 local people from the three major ethnic groups as well as five specialist international facilitators. Mixed teams of international staff, plus trainers from at least two of the groups with whom many residents identified, went on to deliver neighbourhood education where the focus was on helping communities to solve local problems.
A mixed-delivery team was also a feature of a United Methodist Committee on Relief initiative in Sarajevo, which had conflict resolution at its core and used adult education as a lever for change. Mixing international with local staff is not always positive, however, as problems can arise when the external intervention is unaware of the strengths and successes of local provision. There were democracy-building programmes during the international intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe supported local elections there as early as , and they included adult education in the process. The three main ethnic groups and the six republics of the former Yugoslavia fought for territory, influence and recognition from — The conflict consisted of independence struggles and civil war, including the Siege of Sarajevo lasting from to The inter-ethnic fighting was brutal, and was characterised by ethnic cleansing where minority populations were forced out of an area or killed.