Education for refugee children through play

  • 2020

The refugee crisis in East Africa is over three decades old and has left millions displaced. For children, this means lost opportunities, frequently affecting their basic education.


Play has a very important role in encouraging learning in children, and it builds on the behavioural insight that making something attractive increases its appeal. There may be advantages to embedding opportunities for refugee children to learn through play in their day-to-day lives.


We are unpacking the motivations, social norms and constraints that affect the ability of  teachers, caregivers and adults to engage in playful interaction with children. We will draw on behavioural science to design solutions that respond to the specific needs of local communities.

Result & Impact

We are currently in the early stages of initial small-scale randomised controlled trials with our partners. There is scope for bringing about broad impact in the future by sharing findings from this work to inspire other initiatives in humanitarian contexts, where evidence of what works is scarce.