Protecting education during crises: Discover the new Education4Resilience platform

21 September 2021


Jeff Holt

The detrimental effects of crises on education systems – in terms of access, quality, equity, and management – and on learning cannot be underestimated. Children and young people growing up in fragile and conflict-affected places are more than twice as likely to be out of school as their peers who live in safe and stable environments. Learners affected by displacement are particularly vulnerable: only 63% of refugees are enrolled in primary school and only 24% attend secondary school.

Faced with these challenges, educational planners and policy-makers can now access IIEP-UNESCO’s new Education4Reslience online platform – launched in partnership with Education Above All Foundation – to accompany and guide them through the development and implementation of crisis-sensitive educational plans and policies.

Discover the website

More specifically, Education4Reslience features:

  • Key resources on supporting education during COVID-19,
  • Guidance and tools for crisis-sensitive planning and curriculum,
  • An updated library with research and resources on education in emergencies, country response and risk management plans and policies, searchable by theme, resource type, region and country, language, and date of publication,
  • News section with curated articles on resilience in education, IIEP updates and publications, and guest articles
  • Ability to provide feedback, contact the IIEP team, and use an optimized search function.

A platform to accompany planners in building back better

Education4Resilience comes amid unprecedented disruption in the world’s education systems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which at its peak affected around 1.6 billion learners globally. Many education systems did not have a contingency plan already in place.

“The time for resilience is now. COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of all education systems to various hazards and risks. To support educational planners and managers, the new Education4Resilience platform offers a wealth of guidance and some 700 resources on how to prepare the sector to respond to emergencies, protect learning for all, and ultimately unleash the power of education to help prevent further crises from arising.” 

- Karen Mundy, IIEP-UNESCO Director

Education4Resilience can help ministries of education, development, and humanitarian partners understand crisis-sensitive educational planning and identify the range of risks facing education today. The website can also help users mitigate the impact of crises on education service delivery while at the same time foster the development of education policies and programmes that will help prevent future crises from arising in the first place.

What is crisis-sensitive educational planning?

Crisis-sensitive educational planning (CSP) involves identifying and analyzing the risks to education posed by conflict and natural hazards. This means understanding (i) how these risks impact education systems and (ii) how education systems can reduce their impact and occurrence. The aim is to lessen the negative impact of crises on education service delivery while at the same time fostering the development of education policies and programmes that will help prevent future crises arising in the first place. A key part of CSP is overcoming inequity and exclusion in education, which can exacerbate the risk of conflict when left unchecked. It is also important to develop strategies to respond adequately to crises, and to preserve education even in the most difficult circumstances.

At IIEP-UNESCO, CSP includes planning for:

  • conflict and disaster prevention, preparedness, and mitigation in and through education;
  • education for displaced populations;
  • climate change impacts on education;
  • teachers in crisis and displacement contexts.

"Resources such as the Education4Resilience platform are essential to provide comprehensive online tools and guidance that can overhaul the way we approach education in crisis. To bring the world’s students back into schools, and safely keep them there, we must jointly mitigate risks and ensure the continuation of education despite conflict and prevent future learning losses,”

- Maleiha Malik, Executive Director of EAA’s Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) Programme.

By providing education planners and managers with the latest information on how to maintain educational services, address equity and quality issues, and collect and use data and information, education systems will be in a better position to maintain educational services and learning opportunities for all. The provision of information and best practices – such as those shared on Education4Resilience – are key to making this happen.