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Education in EmergenciesPolicy

Education in Emergencies

By 29th November 2017December 4th, 2017No Comments3 min read


Conflicts, natural disasters and pandemics keep millions of children out of school and the numbers are rising. In crisis-affected countries, school-age children are more than twice as likely to be out of school as their peers in other countries (UNESCO, 2017). There are several policy documents and frameworks aimed at developing education systems that are more resilient and responsive in the face of conflict, social unrest and natural hazards – and to ensure that education is maintained during emergency, conflict and post-conflict situations. One such document is the Education 2030 Framework for Action.

There are also practical tools with the potential to support systems for education in emergencies. One such example is Aputs, which is provided by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL). Aptus is an off-grid, off-line virtual classroom that allows teachers and students in regions with no internet connectivity to benefit from digital resources and learning networks. This can be particularly effective when combined with the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) as well as Open, Distance and Flexible Learning (ODL) practices.

A low tech, but non-the-less effective and practical solution is School-in-a-Box, developed by UNICEF. The School-in-a-Box has become part of the UNICEF standard response in emergencies, used in many back-to-school operations around the world. The kit contains supplies and materials for a teacher and up to 40 students. The purpose of the kit is to ensure the continuation of children’s education by the first 72 hours of an emergency. School-in-a-box was recently deployed in Dominica, in the aftermath of hurricane Maria in 2017.

We have compiled a set of resources below to help teachers and education ministries to build their capacity and become more resilient and responsive in emergency situations.


Recommended Resources

1Education Cannot Wait: a fund for education in emergencies

Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)


2 Minimum Standards for Education: Preparedness, Response, Recovery

Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)


3 INEE Toolkit!

Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)


4 Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies: A community of practice, a catalyst for change

Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)


5 Hurricane Irma

Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)


6 Education in Emergencies: Best Practices and Lessons Learned (Recorded webinar)

Education in Emergencies: Best Practices and Lessons Learned


7 Education in Emergencies – A Resource Tool Kit



8 EU-UNICEF Education in Emergencies: #EmergencyLessons Campaign Toolkit



9 Guidebook for planning education in emergencies and reconstruction



10 Guide To Education In Natural Disasters: How Usaid Supports Education In Crises

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)


11 ECHO Factsheet – Education in Emergencies November 2017

European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO)


12 Education in Emergencies Certificate of Advanced Studies

Save the Children


13 Left Behind: Refugee Education In Crisis – Chapter 1 Education in emergencies

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)


14 Education in Emergencies: Resources and Publications

Plan International


15 (Spanish) – Learning and recovering in emergency situations: Launch of support guides for the educational sector | (English) – Coming soon




Cover photo: Derived from ‘Education Cannot Wait – The Need‘ infographic. Credit: ODI

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