The armed conflict in Côte d'Ivoire had serious consequences on the country’s education sector. The destruction of thousands of school infrastructure and classroom materials considerably compromised access to quality education. As part of peace-building efforts, the USAID-funded and AIR-implemented Appui de Developpement Assistance Internationale de Developpement de l’Education de Cote d’Ivoire (AIDE-CI) was implemented from 2012 to 2015. The overarching goal of this project was increased equitable access to education, especially for girls, in a recently post-conflict environment. There were three key reconstruction and community mobilization activities implemented:
- Systems strengthening, which included upgrading management information systems at the district education level and developing public private partnerships to support district financial concerns around management and sustainability of new schools.
- School construction of middle schools, which provided safe learning environments for children entering lower secondary school, especially for girls who would not be able to continue their education with schools being at far distances from their homes.
- Community engagement, which mobilized communities to support education in a post-crisis context and gave women’s associations a critical role in partnering with schools .
Within these objectives, AIDE-CI was implemented in two communities destroyed by the conflict: Languibonou, in the central north of the country, and Kotogwanda, in the northeast of the country. A middle school was built and furnished in each community, as well as supplied with key scientific materials. Each school opened for the 2015-2016 school year. A basic education management system for data collection was created at each district education office. Public private partnerships that were established under the program continued to drive income-generating activities to help support school fees, feeding programs, and the upkeep and maintenance of school infrastructure. Furthermore, the team worked with all education stakeholders, especially communities, local government institutions, and the private sector to create a culture of ownership, accountability, pro-active participation, and inclusiveness around safe learning environments, child protection practices, and behavior change with regard to gender awareness.