INEE facilitated a global consultation on education in emergencies and protracted crises between 14-26 May in order to ensure broad input into an issues paper on education in emergencies that identifies key challenges and potential solutions for the field of education in emergencies. The issues paper was developed by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and will influence the Oslo Summit on Education for Development discussions on 6-7 July and other upcoming discussions and conferences pertaining to education in emergencies and sustainable development.
Global consultation participants overwhelmingly voiced consensus around the following challenges that require high-level political attention, many of which are directly related to the current response architecture, and made recommendations to overcome these challenges: lack of funding, complex aid architecture, and a number of issues related to the humanitarian/development divide, including the rationale for investing in education in emergencies, capacity and support for capacity building, coordination and collaboration, and preparedness, risk reduction and resilience. The majority of consultation participants also recommended both improving the existing architecture and establishing a new platform/fund for education in emergencies that is embedded into the existing system. There was also overwhelming consensus that funding for such a new platform/fund should be accessible for the acute phase through the critical and oft unfunded transition phase between the humanitarian and development phases and support preparedness and prevention activities. Moreover, there was strong consensus that a platform/fund should deliver not only more funding but additional, timely, predictable, flexible, and multi-year funding. More detail for this and other recommendations can be found in the global consultation report (available in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, and Portuguese).
The INEE Global Consultation report was shared with ODI at the beginning of June for inclusion into the Oslo Summit education in emergencies background paper (available in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, and Portuguese) and other documents. It has also been shared with policy makers and practitioners who will be attending the July 2015 Oslo Summit and other upcoming conferences on education, humanitarian response and sustainable development. INEE is grateful to the more than 130 contributors to this global consultation, representing multiple languages, perspectives and geographical contexts, who have brought greater depth and insight to the discussions. INEE will continue to build upon these important voices and experiences in the months and years to come while striving to ensure the right to education for all regardless of crisis or conflict, along a spectrum of preparedness, prevention, response and recovery.
The Global Consultation process aimed to engage all stakeholders in a vibrant consultation in order to:
Inputs from both the virtual and face-to-face consultations were analyzed and used to revise the ODI paper on education in emergencies. A summary of consultation findings was published on the INEE website in mid-June, and the revised ODI paper will made widely available and will influence the discussions at the Oslo Summit in early July.
The Challenge - There are a large number of ‘challenges’, involving different issues depending on type, phase and scale of a crisis, as well as impacts ranging from children out of school long-term, shorter-term but extended disruption, poor quality of teaching-learning, harm to the teaching force, and damage to school infrastructure. Moreover, there are significant gaps in funding available and economic impacts of failing to support education in crisis contexts.
Question 1: What challenge, or aspect thereof, needs the most attention by high level political actors at the Oslo Summit and beyond?
Architecture - The aid and response architecture for education in emergencies is not fit for purpose. There are issues surround the humanitarian and development divide, unclear implementation of mandates in cross-border crises, at times a lack of capable partners for delivery, gaps in terms of assessment and planning, limited data collection and analysis, and often, a shortage of funds to fully address education needs.
Question 2: What are the top 2-3 issues in terms of response architecture that should be addressed in order to better ensure quality education is available to all children and youth in crises?
Solutions - A number of solutions are being discussed to bridge some of the gaps in terms of humanitarian and development architecture.
Question 3: Would a set of principles agreed at a high political level make a difference? How could they be used to hold governments, UN agencies and other partners to account?
Question 4: What will it take to guarantee that additional funds are in place to support education and crisis? Is a global fund or financing mechanism for education and crises a good idea? If so, how should it be organized and used?
Question 5: How might we better improve the functioning and capacity of current architecture, as described above, in other ways? What key changes could: