Promoting access to quality, safe, and relevant education for all persons affected by crisis

Supporting Education in Fragile and Conflicted-Affected Situations

2 June 2017

by Teresa Wolverton, INEE

Echoing the Education Cluster’s recent report “Education Cannot Wait for the War to End”, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) convened a webinar on 27 April 2017 to share learnings and advance discussion about how policymakers and practitioners can best support education in fragile and conflict-affected situations.

The webinar featured case studies from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo and highlighted the role of the INEE Minimum Standards and GPE country model in education systems strengthening in situations of conflict and fragility. Presentations underscored the complementarity between GPE’s role in financing education interventions and INEE’s role in coordinating actors and setting and advocating for adherence to minimum standards in education responses.

GPE continues to be a leader in supporting education in conflict-and fragility situations (CAFS). In 2016, GPE’s financing structure devoted over 60% of its total disbursements to CAFS, and its latest strategic plan prioritizes financing in these contexts over the next five years. Webinar presenters emphasized, though, that the delivery of education initiatives requires more than reliable funding: financial support must be coupled with a firm commitment to quality through adherence to minimum standards. GPE has demonstrated this commitment to quality through its support of the INEE Minimum Standards in fragile and conflict-affected situations around the world.

Of course, ensuring quality is not as simple as following the global guidelines. So how do we make it possible for education in emergencies actors to implement initiatives that are in line with the INEE Minimum Standards?

In the case of South Sudan, the 2012 contextualization of the INEE Minimum Standards played a key role. In a process driven by INEE and the country’s Education Cluster, EiE actors came together from the Ministry of Education, UN agencies, and a range of national and international NGOs to agree on standards that are in line with local practices and to set forth a realistic approach to achieving compliance. The contextualized South Sudan Standards for Education in Emergencies contributed to sector preparedness by promoting awareness of EiE as a sector response, providing clarity on coordination mechanisms and key stakeholders, and developing a common vocabulary for all EiE partners. This process supported faster and more coordinated education response among stakeholders when crisis hit in 2013.

Similarly, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the constant engagement of the Education Cluster and targeted support to the most affected provinces coordinated by UNICEF and the Ministry of Education allowed for a response tailored to supporting education in protracted emergencies. After the INEE Minimum Standards were contextualized for North Kivu Province in 2015, though, insufficient resources prevented their immediate rollout, emphasizing again the important synergies between financing and standard-setting in driving effective education response.

As the number of children affected by conflict and fragility continues to grow, leveraging the lessons learned from these cases becomes even more urgent. INEE and GPE look forward to continuing the conversation on strengthening support to education in fragile and conflict-affected situations and advancing the right to education for every person.


For more information on INEE Minimum Standards Contextualization:

To access the INEE Minimum Standards Handbook and Contextualized versions, visit the INEE Toolkit:

Watch the full recording of the webinar below:


Please find links to the webinar recordings: 

English - +Apr+27,+2017/1_fga4nbx8 

French - +Apr+27,+2017/1_mbttpxtw 

The webinar presentations and summary note are available here

See here a link to the GPE blog post about the webinar.

INEE and GPE would like to extend a special thank you to those who participated or presented in the webinar, including Ian Macpherson (GPE), Jesper Andersen (GPE), Dean Brooks (INEE), Tizie Maphalala (UNICEF), Paola Grazia Retaggi (UNICEF), Hollyn Romeyn (formerly NRC), and Valere Munsya (GPE).


Teresa Wolverton is a Master in Public Affairs candidate at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and currently serves as Standards and Practice Intern at the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies. Her research focuses on education in emergencies, particularly the implementation of education initiatives in ongoing and post-conflict settings.