Crisis-sensitive planning and the inclusion of displaced populations in national education systems

19 March 2018


UNESCO, in partnership with UNHCR, UNICEF, and the Global Education Cluster (GEC), is holding a regional workshop to strengthen the coherence between humanitarian and development aid (the humanitarian–development nexus) for education service delivery in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR), co-funded by the European Union’s (EU) Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI).   

Displaced children and youth remain among the most marginalized groups worldwide in terms of education access. An estimated 60% of all refugee children and youth attend primary school, compared to 90% of children globally. At the secondary level, the rate drops to 23%, compared to 84% of youth globally, according to the UN Refugee Agency. 

While governments in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) have made progress enrolling refugee children in school, countries hosting high numbers of displaced persons often struggle to provide quality services for all children and youth. Though displacement situations are often protracted, education for displaced populations has traditionally been financed by short-term emergency/humanitarian funds, with little room for long-term planning to address inequalities and ensure sustainable access to quality education.

Today, education partners increasingly recognize the need to include displacement-related strategies and protocols in sector planning processes. Planning and managing education for displaced populations is an integral part of crisis-sensitive educational planning that requires individual, organizational, and institutional capacities within government agencies, as well as among humanitarian and development partners. Effective coordination between these actors can help ensure efficient use of resources, avoid duplication of activities, and encourage collaboration.

In this context, UNESCO, in partnership with UNHCR, UNICEF, and the Global Education Cluster (GEC), is holding a regional workshop from 20 to 23 March 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya, to help improve joint planning for education service delivery across development and humanitarian processes in ESAR. Teams from Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda will participate in the three and a half-day workshop.

The workshop builds on recent international agreements such as the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants and the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), and regional initiatives such as the Djibouti Declaration on Regional Refugee Education and its Plan of Action. It is the first of a series of EU-funded capacity development activities for crisis-sensitive education sector planning in displacement contexts in Eastern and Western Africa.

Definition: Crisis-sensitive planning in education involves identifying and analysing existing risks of conflict and natural hazards and understanding the two-way interaction between these risks and education to develop strategies that respond appropriately. It aims to contribute to minimizing the negative impacts of risk on education service delivery and to maximize the positive impacts of education policies and programming on preventing conflict and disaster or mitigating their effects. It also requires identifying and overcoming patterns of inequity and exclusion in education, as well as harmful cultural practices.

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