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Theme 9: How civil society/non-state actors are responding to the pandemic

Thematic lead:  Deborah Kimathi
Peer Reviewer: Emele Duituturaga and John Mugo
Lead Organisation: Dignitas


According to UNESCO, school closures have impacted 63 million teachers and 1.3 billion students globally, including 700 million in developing countries.  With many countries facing prolonged school closures, and uncertainty surrounding public health guidelines once schools reopen, many non-state actors in education (civil society and non-profits) have been forced to make considerable adjustments to their priorities, programming, and future plans.  The organisations that have done this for positive results have adopted principles and practices of adaptive leadership.

“Adaptive Leadership is a practical leadership framework that helps individuals and organizations adapt and thrive in challenging environments. It is being able, both individually and collectively, to take on the gradual but meaningful process of change.” (https://cambridge-leadership.com/adaptive-leadership/)

What are the emerging insights and opportunities from this period?  How can non-state actors in education leverage adaptive leadership principles and practices to position themselves to brace for the mid to long term impact of the pandemic?

Objectives/Key Research Questions

How have the following shifted for non-state actors in education?

  • Organisational priorities
  • Program delivery
  • Program evaluation
  • Funding/Resource models

How has the leadership of non-state actors influenced these shifts and organisations?

What is the place of adaptive leadership, and how should adaptive leadership for the non-state education sector be best defined?

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