Ever wondered what happens to children and young people in the face of human and natural disasters?

How can you educate in such an emergency?
How can you educate in such an emergency?

When teachers have been killed and volunteers are asked to step in and teach 100 children in a refugee camp – who guides them?

Where is the school?
Where is the school?

When teachers, during war, are trying to support students who are traumatised from seeing their parents murdered or have have been raped by soldiers – who helps the teachers provide psycho-social help to them?

Water first then learning!
Water first then learning!

Many organisations such as UNICEFSave the Children Alliance and Red Cross/Red Cescent may all be involved in one way or another,  by ensuring basic food and water are available, providing writing and drawing materials for makeshift schools etc.

One network that provides an  umbrella organisation for all things dealing with providing education in emergencies is INEE

Inter Agency Network for Education in Emergencies

Emergency?All children need education
Emergency?All children need education

INEE is an open, global network of practitioners and policy makers working together to ensure all people the right to quality education and a safe learning environment in emergencies and post-crisis recovery.

INEE’s core document is the Minimum Standards.

The INEE Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies, Chronic Crises and Early Reconstruction are both a handbook and an expression of commitment that all individuals – children, youth, and adults – have a right to education during emergencies. They echo the core beliefs of the Sphere Project: that all possible steps should be taken to alleviate human suffering arising out of calamity and conflict, and that people affected by disaster have a right to life with dignity.


Minimum standards in emergencies
Minimum standards in emergencies




INEE’s Minimum Standards are founded on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Dakar 2000 Education for All goals and the Sphere Project’s Humanitarian Charter. The Handbook is meant to be used as a capacity-building and training tool for humanitarian agencies, governments and local populations to enhance the effectiveness and quality of their educational assistance, and thus to make a significant difference  in the lives of people affected by disaster. They will also help to enhance accountability and predictability among humanitarian actors,improve coordination among partners,including education authorities. The core document includes the following: 

                Implementation Case Studies

                INEE Minimum Standards Overview

               INEE Minimum Standards Handbook

Teaching and Learning Initiative

Developing INEE Guidance Notes on Teaching and Learning in Situations of Emergency, Chronic Crisis and Early Recovery

Teaching and Learning: The Issues

Since the Dakar World Education Forum in 2000, there has been increased attention to the educational needs of populations affected by conflict and disaster. However, while progress has been made in recent years to ensure that all children and youth affected by crisis have access to educational opportunities, the content of what is taught, the teaching methodologies and the evaluation of learning outcomes is often not adequately addressed. Quality and relevant education in times of crisis can be life saving and life sustaining, providing protection, psychosocial support, and a basis for social and economic development and peace building. Helping communities, education authorities, and aid agencies collectively determine what quality and relevant education entails and how to monitor and evaluate key learning outcomes, is a huge challenge still facing many working in the field of education in emergencies.

Teaching and Learning: The Vision


It is essential that quality teaching and learning is at the core of emergency response education programming. The Guidance Notes and accompanying Resource Pack will 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, in order to enable learners to develop core competencies in literacy, numeracy and life skills. The Guidance Notes will not be designed as a prescriptive solution or a blueprint response to the challenges of teaching and learning, but will instead provide a framework for planning an appropriate strategy for specific local contexts in ways that help to establish and institutionalise good practice and avoid negative consequences.

Building on the INEE Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies, Chronic Crisis and Early Reconstruction the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) is working with a wide range of partners to develop Guidance Notes and Resource Pack that will provide:


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


Guidance Notes for Teaching and Learning: The Process

The Guidance Notes and Research Pack will be developed through a consultative process involving input from an expert resource group, as well as virtual and face-to-face consultations and peer review. Education stakeholders including representatives from UN agencies, international and national NGOs, teacher organizations, and Ministries of Education will be engaged to ensure not only sound technical input, but also that the tool is practical and user-friendly. Research into current good practice and innovative curriculum development and assessment approaches will be undertaken and existing tools and resources will be edited and collated. Once finalized, an advocacy campaign will be launched to raise awareness and encourage use of the Guidance Notes and Resource Pack among governments, operational agencies and donors. This broad-based and collaborative development and implementation process will contribute to improved accountability and coordination, providing guidance on issues of teaching and learning in times of crisis and supporting the strengthening of capacity to ensure that the right to quality education is upheld for those affected by crisis.

For more information please email teachinglearning@ineesite.org


One Reply to “EMERGENCY!”

  1. This is great information to share around! Many thanks Ray & Co. I work in an education research centre now in Spain, and the problems here are so different from East Timor…I hope that you and everyone still working there is enjoying such a challenge!!!

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