GCRF Development Award: Education, Justice and Memory Network

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Education


The proposed Education, Justice and Memory Network (EdJAM) comes together in order to contribute towards Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. A crucial part of SDG4 is its target 4.7, which specifies the kinds of skills, knowledge and attitudes that education should develop in all learners and includes knowledge and skills to promote a culture of peace and non-violence.

Current approaches to teaching about conflict and peace often fall short of meeting this challenge. Peace education often relies on generalised and universal approaches that fall flat for learners since they do not enable connections to past and present injustice or violence that affect daily lives. Formal history education is often a space where violence is perpetuated, for instance when it promotes exclusive group identities; silences cultures and experiences; or legitimises conflict and injustice. Curricula often limit opportunity for students to develop knowledge and understanding of the specific historical, cultural, political and economic roots of the conflicts and violence that affect them, much less the skills to transform these conflicts. Where spaces do exist, teachers often lack training, resources and skills to support dialogue and difficult conversations. Existing research tends to concentrate on textbooks and curricula, meaning there is limited evidence of effective teaching and learning processes in schools and other spaces where learners apprehend the past.

However, alternatives exist. Creative and innovative practices, pioneered by teachers, artists, community educators, museum curators, and young people themselves offer engaging ways to connect learning about difficult pasts with skills and commitment to realising better futures. EdJAM works to amplify, connect and share these approaches, drawing on the disciplines and practices of transitional justice, memory studies, history, heritage studies and feminism and working with leading civil society partners in Cambodia, Colombia, Pakistan and Uganda who are doing this pioneering work. This focus enables EdJAM to connect to other SDG challenges, particularly SDG 16 (just, peaceful and inclusive societies) and SDG 17 (global partnerships) and to ensure that learners in our focus countries have a chance to develop the skills and knowledge to build a culture of peace.

Our rationale for applying for a Development Award is to support the preparation of the strongest possible Stage 2 proposal for EdJAM. The Development Award : 1) responds to feedback from the Stage 1 application; 2) supports the development of sustainable and equitable partnerships and piloting innovative approaches in Pakistan, where our existing relationships are less developed than in Cambodia, Colombia and Uganda; and 3) enables opportunities for learning and the development processes for safeguarding and risk mitigation and management within EdJAM.

Planned Impact

The Development Award for EdJAM will have impact for a range of stakeholders:

1) Impact for learners and teachers in Pakistan
Working with a leading civil society partners in Pakistan, EdJAM will identify, amplify and research an innovative approach to teaching and learning about the violent past. Beneficiaries of the project (who will be identified in the early stages of Development Award funding by the partner the award helps us to build a relationship with) will develop knowledge and skills for building a culture of peace and non-violence thanks to their participation in proof of concepts projects.

2) Impact for our partner in Pakistan
Our civil society partner in Pakistan will benefit from building their research capacity and their approaches to teaching and learning about the violent past thanks to the pilot work the project will support and the opportunity to meet and share approaches with EdJAM partners from Cambodia, Colombia and Uganda at the Pakistan event.

3) Impact for policymakers in Pakistan
The Pakistan event will showcase pilot work and will support partners, teachers and policymakers to identify curriculum linkages between creative practices outside of schools and to explore other policy synergies to expand upon, resource and share the creative approaches to SDG target 4.7 that the pilot work identifies.

4) Impact for the SDGs and education in emergencies international policy communities
We will share the pilot work in Pakistan widely, including online and in print materials. If EdJAM is successful, the work in Pakistan will be integrated into wider plans for impact, which include the translation of project materials into languages according to demand.


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Description This award has enabled us to:
1) Establish a partnership with a leading civil society organisation in Pakistan, Engage Pakistan, who will now pilot a novel approach to teaching and learning about the violent past, specifically using animated short films and social media to reach a wide audience and spark dialogue about violent, contentious issues in Pakistan's past (colonial, partition, more recent violence). In the coming months, we will follow and evaluate this pilot work, generating a data set and publishing an EDJAM working paper and academic articles.
2) Strengthened the EDJAM team and our collaborative and supportive ethos, including by meeting in person.

This project in Pakistan supports work around Sustainable Development Goal 4 (quality and equitable education for all) and 16 (peace and justice). In particular, it works towards achieving SDG target 4.7 (skills and knowledge for a culture of peace and non-violence) by supporting creative approaches to teach and learn about past violence in order to challenge present day violence and build a just peace.
Exploitation Route The outcomes of the devleopment award will feed direclty into our wider EDJAM project, which will produce outcomes that will be able to be taken forward by a wide consituency.
In particular, the development award has directly supported the development of EDJAM in Pakistan, which has strenghtened our interdisciplinary team and introduced a new expertise and experience thanks to our partnership wtih Engage Pakistan, who are leaders in public and nonformal education, animation and social media.
Immediate outcomes from the development grant will be shared once Engage Pakistan's pilot work is complete.
Sectors Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Security and Diplomacy

Description We will be able to report in more detail on these when the project is complete. Because the pilot project will make use of facebook, we expect a significant non-academic impact and can share this in due course.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

Description Education, Justice and Memory Network (EDJAM)
Amount £1,999,980 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/T007842/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2020 
End 03/2024
Description Engage Pakistan 
Organisation Engage Pakistan
Country Pakistan 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Tania Saeed developed this partnership as one of the key activities of the EDJAM Development Grant. Engage Pakistan will now undertake a pilot project, exploring how film and social media interacts with formal education in learning about contentious, violent moments in Pakistan's past, including colonialism, partition and more recent violence.
Collaborator Contribution Engage Pakistan will undertake the pilot work as part of the EDJAM development grant, highlighting an innovative approach to teaching and learning about the violent past and will join civil society partners in Cambodia, Colombia and Uganda to participate in EDJAM project activities.
Impact Pilot project (to be launched when funds arrive from UOB - in process, but taking a long time!)
Start Year 2019
Description LUMS 
Organisation Lahore University of Management Sciences
Country Pakistan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Tania Saeed is a CoInvestigator for EDJAM (both development grant and full project) and leads on the 'teaching history about the violent past' theme. She is an Assistant Professor at LUMS and thanks to her and her role with EDJAM, we have developed a wider, collaborative partnership with LUMS, who will support EDJAM's activities in Pakistan.
Collaborator Contribution LUMS will support EDJAM's work in Pakistan, including leading on the academic related work, including raising awareness about commissioned research opportunities. They have facilitated all of the development award activities in Pakistan and will continue to do so, including coordinating the event that will take place in Pakistan at the end of the award.
Impact Successful EDJAM Network Plus award. Development of collaboration with Engage Pakistan. Disciplines involved: management, education, feminism, history
Start Year 2019
Description EDJAM team meeting and interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This event in December 2019 brought together the EDJAM team, including CoInvestigators and civil society partners, to plan share ideas, develop common interests and begin initial project planning if the EDJAM N+ were to be successful. It was a key meeting for introducing Pakistani collaborators (CoInvestigator from LUMS, Tania Saeed, and civil society partner, Engage Pakistan) to the wider EDJAM team. Unfortunately, Arafat Mazhar from Engage Pakistan's visa was refused and he was not able to attend this event - this decision has now been reversed and Arafat did travel to Bristol in January 2020 and met with Julia Paulson.
As part of the December 2019 EDJAM team meeting, a team of 4 (Julia Paulson, Nono Francis, Abiti Nelson and Tania Saeed) attended the AHRC N+ interviews in Swindon. We received the wonderful news that EDJAM was funded in December 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019