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


A competent and skilled teacher is one of the most important inputs in any education system. But in crisis and post-conflict settings, teachers are often in short supply and many are new recruits with minimal experience or education to prepare them for teaching in tough conditions. Those who do have a teaching background or qualification may have to teach content outside of their knowledge area, and may be unprepared to respond to the additional complexities of teaching in a crisis context.

As teachers play a critical role in shaping the future of their students and communities, their role should not be an afterthought, but an integral part of the preparedness and planning phases for education in emergencies and in chronic crises. Teachers, like all professionals, must be carefully recruited and prepared to be teachers, with access to well-planned and well-executed professional development in order to be the best that they can be, especially in times of crisis. In particular, teachers require relevant knowledge and skills, as well as strong school-based support and opportunities for collaboration to respond effectively to the complex needs of learners in crisis contexts.

Key Stats

  • By 2030, countries must recruit 69 million teachers to provide every child with primary and secondary education: 24.4 million primary school teachers and 44.4 million secondary school teachers. And the countries most in need of education personnel are those affected by conflict and disasters.
    Source: UIS factsheet #39, October 2016, p. 1
  • Of the 24.4 million teachers needed for universal primary education, 21 million will replace teachers who leave the workforce. The remaining 3.4 million, however, are additional teachers who are needed to expand access to school and support education quality by reducing the numbers of children in each class to a maximum of 40.
    Source: UIS factsheet #39, October 2016, p. 1
  • In one-third of all countries, less than 75% of teachers were trained according to national standards
    Source: UIS


Key Activities

Online Discussion: Teachers in Crisis Contexts Training Pack Implementation

The Teachers in Crisis Contexts Training Pack - Implementation Discussion Series (Oct-Dec 2016) is an online special discussion series hosted that seeks to demonstrate how the recently published Teachers in Crisis Contexts Training Pack is being and can be used and adapted in education in emergencies contexts.

The discussion series presents use cases from different organizations on how they are adapting, implementing, and learning from use of the pack, engaging with the EiE community to indicate how the teacher training pack can contribute to improving the quality of teacher professional development in crisis contexts.


Webinar: Teacher Professional Development in Crisis Contexts

INEE hosted a free webinar on 29 September 2016 addressing the critical issue of teacher professional development in crisis-affected contexts. The webinar brought together colleagues from across the world to discuss, question, and consider much needed improvements to teacher support and teacher training. It will explore the recently launched inter-agency Teachers in Crisis Contexts Training Pack and the findings from INEE’s report Where It’s Needed Most: Quality Professional Development for All Teachers. This webinar provided a collaborative opportunity for those working to raise teachers’ professional standing, to improve classroom teaching, and to achieve better outcomes for children and young people.

Webinar recording:
(File size: 189.5MB; Duration: 1 hour 25 minutes)

Teachers in Crisis Contexts Training Pack

This inter-agency, open source training pack is available for anyone to use. The Training Pack for Primary School Teachers in Crisis Contexts, published in March 2016, is intended to build basic teaching competencies for unqualified or under-qualified teachers often recruited to teach in refugee/IDP camps and in a range of other emergency settings. The materials can also be used with qualified teachers who require refresher training or additional support in critical areas like child protection. The materials can also be used by teachers who either find themselves teaching in crisis-affected environments or in host community schools that are integrating children/youth from displaced populations.  

What’s in this training pack?
The pack is comprised of an Introductory Training Pack and four core modules, developed around a set of 28 teacher competencies. The Introductory Training Pack (12 sessions; 23 hours) was created to provide a fast-track introduction to key teacher competencies, especially for use with new teachers or when time is constrained. The four modules covering Teacher’s Role and Well-being; Child Protection, Well-being and Inclusion; Pedagogy; and Curriculum and Planning, are made up of 18 sessions or 60 hours of instruction on a range of topics. Click here to see the training content at a glance.

Each module is made up of 4-5 sessions and includes detailed guidance for facilitators. Each module is designed to introduce teachers to key concepts and skills by modeling participatory, interactive, learner-centered pedagogies that teachers can experience and then try in their classrooms.

The training pack was commissioned by the Teachers in Crisis Contexts Working Group (TICCWG; originally the Refugee Teacher Working Group), and was developed in stages by members of the TICCWG, consultants and a team of graduate students at Teachers College, Columbia University, with peer review and field testing in Kenya and Iraq.

The TICCWG is comprised of seven partner agencies: Finn Church Aid, International Rescue Committee, Norwegian Refugee Council, Save the Children, Teachers College-Columbia University, UNHCR and UNICEF, working in close association with the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE).

Online Forum: Teacher Professional Development in Crisis

In 2013, INEE hosted a 19-week online forum to address the following question: “How can we improve teacher professional development in the world’s poorest and most fragile places?” The forum was facilitated by Mary Burns and James Lawrie, and brought together nineteen professional development experts to exchange ideas. The resulting findings were compiled in the 2015 report Where It’s Needed Most: Quality Professional Development for All Teachers, which highlights seven key recommendations to improve training for teachers in fragile environments. The recommendations are:

  • Focus on teachers in fragile contexts - as professionals, learners and individuals
  • Develop, apply, measure and institutionalize standards for teacher professional development
  • Create professional development opportunities that promote teacher collaboration
  • Provide teachers with ongoing support
  • Invest in high-quality teacher educators
  • Build instructional leadership at all levels of the educational system
  • Use ICT to provide access to content, professional development and professional learning communities

Teacher Compensation Initiative

In fragile contexts, situations of displacement, and post-crisis recovery, teachers are often underpaid or not paid at all. Building on recommendations from a 2006 roundtable on the topic, between 2008-2009, the Teacher Compensation Initiative mapped the challenges and provided guidance to policymakers and practitioners grappling with the issues of teacher remuneration and support in these contexts.

Developed in a widely consultative manner that involved dozens of contributors in workshops around the world (read full background in Appendix 1), the INEE Guidance Notes on Teacher Compensation provide a framework for determining appropriate compensation for teachers in crisis contexts. The Guidance Notes are based on lessons learned from practice around the world and are organised around the following three themes:

  • Policy and coordination of teacher compensation
  • Management and financial aspects of teacher compensation
  • Teachers’ motivation, support and supervision as forms of non-monetary teacher compensation

The Guidance Notes and related materials (available in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic) can be used to:

  • Guide inter-agency discussion and inform collaborative advocacy on issues related to teacher compensation and support;
  • Assess and analyse current challenges to and strategies for improving teacher compensation and support policies and programmes;
  • Inform the design of and monitor and evaluate teacher compensation and support policies and programmes, including through their use in training and capacity building workshops.

The Teacher Compensation Initiative was managed by an inter-agency advisory group that included the INEE, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children Alliance, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNICEF, and the Women’s Refugee Commission. Pearson Foundation (French and Spanish) and Reach Out To Asia (Arabic) provide translation support to this initiative.


Teaching and Learning Initiative

The INEE Guidance Notes on Teaching and Learning and accompanying Resource Pack build on the INEE Minimum Standards and articulate good practice on critical issues related to curricula adaptation and development; teacher training, professional development and support; instruction and learning processes; and the assessment of learning outcomes.

In developing the Guidance Notes and Resource Pack, INEE organized a Global Consultation Working Session in April 2009 followed by  consultative workshops around the world. The Guidance Notes were then refined through a series of peer reviews by more than 60 technical experts ho also suggested relevant resources to be vetted by a select group of technical experts in January 2010. In 2010, the Guidance Notes and Resource Pack underwent field testing in Colombia and Iraq, along with pilot implementations by Education Clusters in Harare, Zimbabwe and Ramallah, oPT.

The INEE Guidance Notes and accompanying Resource Pack identify realistic mechanisms, approaches, and tools to help relief agencies, teacher colleges, and education ministries address the complex issues surrounding curriculum assessment, development, monitoring and evaluation in contexts affected by crisis. Building on the INEE Minimum Standards for Education, the Guidance Notes and Resource Pack provide:

  • Key principles of quality, relevant and inclusive teaching and learning practice
  • Suggested issues to consider when planning and implementing quality education programs
  • A collation of resources including sample tools, teaching materials and case studies.

INEE Guidance Notes on Teaching and Learning

INEE Resource Pack on Teaching and Learning

INEE Teaching and Learning Training Modules

  • This zip file includes four folders: (1) 30-minute training module, (2) 90-minute training module, (3) 120-minute training module and (4) supplementary exercises.
  • Each folder contains a PowerPoint presentation, facilitator's guide, and handout in English (90-minute training module also available in Arabic).

Case Studies on Teaching and Learning


Key Resources



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