Planning for refugee and host community education in Ethiopia

25 January 2018

Planning education for refugees and host communities is a priority issue in Ethiopia today. The country hosts the second largest refugee population in Africa, with over 840,000 refugees from some 19 countries.

In this context, IIEP recently led two workshops in Adama and Addis Ababa to help empower partners and education stakeholders to better understand and apply crisis-sensitive education sector planning and broaden access to quality education to refugee communities.

The workshops were organized with the UNICEF Ethiopia Country Office, the Federal Ministry of Education, and the Administration of Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), and took place from November 28-December 1, 2017 in Adama and from 4-7 December, 2017 in Addis Ababa.

They were also part of the ongoing UNICEF Ethiopia programme ‘Building self-reliance for refugees and vulnerable host communities by improved sustainable basic social service delivery (BSRP)’, with support from The Department for International Development (DFID).

Over 75 participants, including ten women, from the Ministry of Education, Regional Education Bureaus, federal and zonal ARRA offices, UNHCR, and UNICEF joined the workshops from Gambella, Beneshangul-Gumuz, Tigray, Afar and Somali regions.

The overall objective was to support the development of joint planning capacities of the Ministry and ARRA to integrate refugees into national systems, as reflected in the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework embraced by Ethiopia since February 2017.

Topics included planning for the inclusion of displaced populations in national education systems, Education Sector Diagnosis as the first step of the planning cycle, and using geographic information systems (GIS) for school mapping.

Through group work and interactive presentations, the MoE and ARRA also worked collaboratively to develop actionable work plans to improve access and quality of education across host and refugee communities in the different regions.

Planning education for refugees is an area of great importance for IIEP. These workshops are the beginning of a longstanding collaboration with UNICEF, the Federal MoE and ARRA to support joint planning in the country’s refugee-hosting regions. The next workshop is scheduled to take place in early February 2018.