Save the Children and UNICEF
Geneva, Switzerland 
Global Education Cluster Newsletter

Issue N° 30

Dear EiE colleagues,

We are pleased to share the 30th issue of the Global Education Cluster newsletter. Our newsletter is issued every month and is primarily produced by and for Education Cluster members and partners at global and country level. It provides an update on country clusters, RRT deployments, global events and the latest resources related to education in emergencies. Please share this newsletter with colleagues, partners, country-level Education cluster members and other colleagues who might find the information and contacts useful.

Welcome message by Maria Agnese Giordano and Tyler Arnot, new Global Education Cluster coordinators:
Dear Education Cluster colleagues around the world,

It is with much optimism and gratefulness that we thank you for your welcoming us into the global Education Cluster team. We are thankful to step into a collective built on the leadership of our predecessors, James Sparkes and Ellen Van Kalmthout, and excited to work with you all in advancing the work of the Global Education Cluster (GEC).

As we start our tenures as Global Coordinators, we wanted to take the chance to provide a glimpse of where we see the Cluster headed in the next year and beyond. We will prioritize those areas that will have the most positive impact for our field-level Education Clusters while further strengthening our relationships with partners globally. Among these priorities, three themes have emerged:

Strategy: The GEC has recognized that a more robust planning approach is needed for partners and coordination teams in the field; something that is more comprehensive than what is provided for in the relatively short format of Humanitarian Response Plans. The development of Cluster strategies will be one important step along the way towards filling this gap. The GEC will work towards this goal through capacity building efforts such as the Core Skills Training, direct deployments from our Rapid Response Team and remote support from the Education Cluster Unit. 

Partnerships: In recognition that the Cluster is only as strong as its partners, a major emphasis will be working to identify where strengths can be drawn upon from within our collective. We will also work to find the technical expertise we need from outside current Cluster partners to establish relationships that most benefit our teams in the field.

Knowledge Management and Communications: Through the leadership of our Communications Specialist, Lisa Sabot-Schmid, and our newly returned Knowledge Management Advisor, Lauren Burns, the GEC is eager to press forward in establishing robust knowledge management (KM) systems built to capture the work being done by Cluster teams in the field. Through the development and refinement of structures at the global level, these tools and our improved communications will help to distil this great work into guidance, tools and advocacy to benefit even more Clusters and Cluster partners around the world.

Please be in touch when the GEC can be of support. We are eager to hear from you.

With best wishes,
Maria-Agnese and Tyler

PS: Maria Agnese can be reached at and Tyler at

NEW! Education Cluster Toolkit: The Global Education Cluster has recently launched the Education Cluster Toolkit (hereafter “the Toolkit”). The Toolkit provides key templates, tools and guidance for Education Cluster coordination staff in the field. The tools and documents in the Toolkit are adaptable, but they represent a way to standardize the work of the Education Cluster and solve common issues.

The Toolkit is a living set of resources:
  • managed by the Global Education Cluster (GEC) team (Education Cluster Unit and Rapid Response Team members);
  • regularly updated in line with best practices and newly developed tools.
  • The GEC depends on country coordination teams’ feedback to further develop and improve the Toolkit. Feedback and need for new tools/templates should be provided through the Helpdesk.
  • As the next step, the Toolkit will be translated into French and Arabic.
The Toolkit includes:
  • Templates for contact list, Education Cluster Monitoring Tool (ECMT), minutes, handovers, etc.
  • Terms of Reference for national and subnational Education Clusters, Cluster Coordinators (CCs), Information Management Officers (IMOs), and Strategic Advisory Group (SAG)
  • Technical guidance on advocacy, working with governments, etc.
  • Core coordination guidance such as the Cluster Coordination Reference Module (CCRM), Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC), etc.
  • Vetted examples of response plans, cluster strategies, etc.
The Toolkit tools, guidance and resources are focused specifically on cluster work and coordination issues, rather than more general education in emergencies documents. The Toolkit is available online on Dropbox. Many of the tools and documents are self-explanatory. However, if you need explanation or support, please contact the Education Cluster on Skype (help.edcluster).
For more information on the Toolkit, visit our webpage.

ICRC event "Education in Situations of Armed Violence; Responsibilities and Humanitarian Priorities": On 30 June, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) held an event on “Education in Situations of Armed Violence: Responsibilities & Humanitarian Priorities” in Geneva. The Global Education Cluster was invited to present on a panel that considered the architecture of education in emergency response to the disruption of education.

The GEC was represented by the Global Coordinators from both UNICEF and Save the Children, Maria-Agnese Giordano and Tyler Arnot, in a panel that also featured Caroline Pontefract, Director of Education at UNRWA, Dean Brooks, Director of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) and Brenda Haiplik, Senior Education Adviser at UNICEF. Maria-Agnese discussed the history, structure and mandate of the GEC and where it falls in the global humanitarian architecture. Tyler then explained the strategy-based approach that Clusters take at the national level. The panel went on to analyse humanitarian priorities in relation to children, teachers and learning spaces with important consideration towards access, quality and protection. Of particularly importance to the Cluster, the panel also focused on inter-agency coordination including with states and armed groups.

The event successfully identified entry points for collaboration with the ICRC in the field. The GEC hopes that it will represent another step forward in establishing a partnership with the ICRC that will build a strong operational understanding in the field.

Somalia: The Somalia Education Cluster coordination team, supported by Michael Wilkins, RRT Needs Assessment Specialist, have begun piloting mobile data collection tools using UNICEF’s open source software, Rapid Pro. The team aims to use mobile data collection to conduct preliminary assessments following a crisis, targeting school principals as respondents. This will better inform the purposive sampling of more robust needs assessments in affected areas. This will allow for the most efficient use of resources in a context where security concerns place major constraints.

Surveys have been created for the following purposes; to verify a given contact's position and location, to record key details of as yet uncontacted school principals, to collect information on key indicators, and sub-surveys using indicators specific for flooding, drought, disease outbreak and conflict. These surveys are currently being translated into Somali and a sensitization strategy is being developed with partners to boost the response rate.

Ukraine: As the Ukraine Education Cluster is in the midst of transition planning and the new cluster coordinator will arrive in July, RRT Coordinator Kaisa-Leena Juvonen was deployed to Ukraine for a second time on 12 June. The final Cluster Coordination Performance Monitoring (CCPM) results were presented to Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) on 23 June together with draft transition activities. The HCT appreciated the progress the Education Cluster is doing in transition planning and acknowledged the need for higher level meetings with the line ministry (Ministry of Education and Science) to complete the transition plan in time for the HCT retreat where decisions on the transition process will be taken on 22 July.
The Ukraine Education Cluster coordinates the response in five oblasts in Eastern Ukraine, with monthly meetings at national level in Kiev and at sub-national level. With continued support from previously deployed RRT IM Dominik Koeppl and tireless work by the Cluster Information Management Officer Dmytro Sharaievskyi, the Education Cluster Monitoring Tool (ECMT) was further developed to capture school level data. The latest Ukraine dashboards are available at The Cluster Team is currently working on an interactive dashboard which will allow to get even more details.


  Effective information management (IM) aims to make accurate, relevant information available to decision-makers in an accessible format. As such, IM is a key function of the humanitarian coordination architecture (clusters, ICC and HCTs). But with so many organisations involved in humanitarian response, and with such varied quality and availability of information, humanitarian IM is an extremely challenging activity.

The ALNAP webinar How to make the most of information management in coordination? is the third of four webinars in a series focusing on humanitarian coordination. It specifically addresses the role of information management in humanitarian coordination mechanisms.

  INEE, in collaboration with DFID and NYU, conducted a rigorous literature review to assess What Works to Promote Children's Educational Access, Quality of Learning, and Well-Being in Crisis-Affected Contexts. Read more on the objectives of the review, methodology, main findings and implications, and priority recommendations here.

  The Save the Children report Education Disrupted reveals that children’s education is still not prioritized during disaster responses. and shows how schools and children’s education were interrupted by profiling five specific events that struck the Asia-Pacific region in 2015: Nepal Earthquake, Indonesia Floods, Typhoon Koppu (Philippines), Cyclone Pam (Vanuatu), and Myanmar Floods.

  An unprecedented US$21.6 billion is needed to help 95.4 million people across 40 countries in 2016, according to the mid-year review of the 2016 Global Humanitarian Overview 2016. While donor contributions have reached record highs this year, there is still a 75% global funding gap which puts millions of lives at immediate risk. 

The World Bank Group’s brief The Rise of Results-Based Financing in Education outlines the WG's increasing support to RBF in education, following the successful adoption of a related approach in the health sector. This trend has strategic implications in the post-2015 period. RBF could have a substantial impact in terms of achieving results that matter in education, and in helping countries leverage the financial resources needed to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals agenda.

Early June, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released his 15th annual report on children and armed conflict. The report covers grave violations perpetrated against children in 2015, including attacks on education.
Some recent videos and articles you should not miss:

Reducing vulnerability and risk through educational planning, Global Partnership for Education (7 July)

Working together, we have a real chance to make global education a reality, by Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, the Guardian (4 July)

16 stories from Africa on the importance of education during conflict and crisis, Global Partnership for Education (16 June)

No group illustrates the potential impact of long term refugee status like Palestinians, UN Dispatch (8 June)

With kind regards,

Education Cluster Unit

Education Cluster Unit  | Save the Children | 1, rue Varembé, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland | Phone +41 22 919 2004 | United Nations Children’s Fund | 5-7 Avenue-de-la-Paix, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland | Phone: +41 22 909 5345 | E-mail: | Website:

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Education Cluster Goal:
A predictable, well coordinated response that addresses the education concerns of populations affected by humanitarian crises