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

Issue N° 28

Dear EiE colleagues,

We are pleased to share the 28th 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 updates on country clusters, RRT deployments, global events, and includes the latest resources related to education in emergencies. Please share this newsletter with colleagues, partners, country cluster members and other colleagues who might find the information and contacts useful.

Message from James Sparkes, former Global Education Cluster Coordinator (Save the Children)
Dear global partners, field-based cluster coordination colleagues, friends of the Education Cluster,
My four and half years in the Cluster role flew by. I can't believe how different the Cluster is now and the expectations of the Cluster at country level. Whilst challenging this is also a tremendous opportunity and I feel the coming years will be very exciting ones with the launch of the new Education Cannot Wait Fund. I have been very lucky to work with both a group of committed and supportive partners as well as a great team. I know the Education in Emergencies community will provide the new incoming cluster coordinators with the support and patience I was afforded and I look forward to hearing great things of both the Education Cluster and finally progress for Education in Emergencies.
Thank you again for the collaboration!
With kind regards,

Global Education Cluster 2015 Report: The Global Education Cluster 2015 report seeks to illustrate how the work of the Global Education Cluster and its new strategic direction have been particularly significant in achieving results despite the challenging environment faced by humanitarian agencies in 2015. The report presents examples of our work that demonstrate how our aim to be as field-focused (and field-informed) as possible has enabled education responses to be more effective, through better coordination. Continued partner engagement (highlighted in the report) has also been critical to this success. Finally, the report looks at the changing humanitarian landscape and the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Iraq: The Global Education Cluster deployed Information Management (IM) Specialist and Senior Rapid Response Team member Landon Newby on a support mission to the Iraq Education Cluster from 18 April – 6 May. The deployment focused on supporting the development and prioritization of the Iraq Education Cluster 2016 Work Plan as well as improving the Cluster’s IM system, particularly through increased partner reporting. To this end, a monitoring and reporting framework and schedule was established and multiple field-level trainings were conducted for Cluster partners on this framework and accompanying reporting tools. 

In addition to reporting on partner response, Education Cluster tools were developed for reporting on attacks on education. These tools were aligned with the existing Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) on grave violations of children’s rights in situations of armed conflict. In collaboration with the UNICEF MRM focal point, the Education Cluster then held a one-day workshop for Cluster partners in order to increase understanding of the reporting tools and processes, MRM, and the work of the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA).
Ukraine: The humanitarian situation in Eastern Ukraine remains volatile and continues to deteriorate. The number of people displaced within Ukraine has increased from 190,000 in late August 2014 to over 1.75 million in April 2016 (see the April 2016 OCHA Ukraine Humanitarian Bulletin for the latest figures). The Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) for 2016 estimates that 3.1 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The conflict has taken a severe toll on the education infrastructure and impedes childrens’ right to safe access to education. The Education Cluster estimates that one million children are currently not able to access education safely due to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The burden on host communities is increasing and humanitarian access to certain areas remains limited, particularly in zones where armed hostilities are taking place, and hampering the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable.
Following a joint OCHA/Global Clusters mission which looked at the humanitarian architecture and coordination structure in Ukraine, two Cluster Coordinators Rapid Response Team (RRT) members, Tyler Arnot and Kaisa-Leena Juvonen, were deployed mid-April, for two and five weeks respectively, to support the Education Cluster in the Cluster Coordination Performance Monitoring (CCPM) process and the development of a transition strategy with a deadline in June. Information Manager RRT Dominik Koeppl was deployed in late April to fill the Information Management (IM) gap during the CCPM and transition planning process and to train the new Education Cluster IM once that person is on board.

When the RRTs arrived in Kiev on 10 April, the CCPM survey questions were already translated into Russian and the survey itself was about to be launched for a period of two weeks. The Ukraine Education Cluster is based in Kiev, but coordination is being decentralized in areas of operational importance in Eastern Ukraine. The initial survey results are very positive overall, but also indicate some areas of improvement. The CCPM survey results will be validated through workshops organised in four locations (Kiev, Kharkiv, Kramatorsk and Sievredonetsk) in May. The final Education Cluster Performance Monitoring report will be presented to the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) and Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) later in May. The role of the Education Cluster will also be discussed in the CCPM validation workshops with the perspective of the transition.

Additional resources:
  • UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom travelled to conflict-hit Eastern Ukraine to raise awareness of the global education crisis facing children in humanitarian emergencies. Watch the video here.
Fiji: The Ministry of Education in Fiji is leading the Education Cluster, while UNICEF and Save the Children are co-leading. The education response is centralised and coordinated through district education offices in affected districts with the support of key education partners. The Save the Children Education Cluster Coordinator and the Information Management Officer are based in the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at the MoE supporting the overall coordination, reporting and information management (IM), while the UNICEF Education Cluster Coordinator is based at UNICEF country office supporting the coordination of the response.

Cyclone Winston had a devastating impact on the education system with more than 85,000 students from early childhood, primary and secondary education affected. Many children lost their education materials. 494 schools and ECD centres have been damaged or destroyed. 128 schools have been used as evacuation centres. The psycho-social well-being of many students and teachers has been faacted by the the cyclone. Agriculture was also severely affected with a direct impact on food provision for school children from the affected areas. The Education Cluster response is concentrating on providing temporary classrooms, teaching and learning materials, psycho-social support to students and teachers and administering school feeding to help keep children in school. The Education Cluster has also recently developed a 4W (Who does What, Where and When) tool based on the Fiji Education Management Information System (FEMIS).

So far, the MoE and Cluster partners have distributed learning and teaching materials to over 26,000 children, and set up temporary classrooms benefiting 39,000 children. Over 3,400 children and 260 teachers received psycho-social support, including counselling. More than 9,000 children have benefitted from school feeding programmes and 250 teachers have received food rations. The Education Cluster and its partners have reached over 50% of their target so far, and more activities are underway. The response has now reached a crucial turning point, from emergency response to a recovery phase. All Cluster partners aim to complete their EiE activities by the end of May. The MoE is in the process of identifying partners to support the reconstruction and rehabilitation of damaged schools.

Malaravan Sivalingam, Education Cluster coordinator, shared his impression on the education response in Fiji: "When I arrived in Suva, I felt that the normal cluster approach we follow in most emergency contexts wouldn’t work in Fiji. I realised that we needed to have a different strategy as the government leads the emergency response with the support of humanitarian agencies. Working in a context where the government is super strong and where there are already considerably well-functioning systems and mechanisms in place is a different experience and the Education Cluster needed to look for ways to effectively support the government to build on what they already have."

For more detailed information on the Education Cluster in Fiji, please visit its webpage on

Pakistan: The latest Pakistan Education Cluster Bulletin highlights the Education Cluster response plan and progress made in the first three months of 2016. The Cluster is developing a monsoon contingency plan for an effective and efficient humanitarian preparedness and response.

Education Cannot Wait Fund:  Building on extensive consultation and dialogue among a range of stakeholders, including the Education Cluster, the "Education Cannot Wait - a Fund for Education in Emergencies" (formerly known as the Education Crisis Platform) is designed to help transform the global education sector and bridge the humanitarian/development divide. The Fund will be launched during a special session on education in emergencies at the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) on 23 May. The Fund aims to deliver a more collaborative, agile, and rapid response to education in emergencies in order to fulfil the right to education for children and young people affected by crises. It is about both restoring hope to millions of children and demonstrating that the governments who signed the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals pledge intend to keep their promises. This Fund aims to raise nearly $4 billion to reach 13.6 million children in need of education in crisis-affected contexts within five years, with the goal to reach 75 million children by 2030.

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) paper Education Cannot Wait: proposing a fund for education in emergencies outlines the potential operation of the Education Cannot Wait Fund, while A common platform for education in emergencies and protracted crises provides the background evidence that informed the process. The report was commissioned by UNICEF, Norway, the UK Department for International Development, and the United States Agency for International Development, following the Oslo Summit on Education for Development held in July 2015. The report benefitted from technical support and consultation from a wide range of organizations and practitioners, including the Education Cluster, with oversight from a champions group formed by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education Julia Gillard, and United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown.

Additional resources: INEE Spring Meeting, 26-28 April, Amman: The Global Education Cluster team took part in the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Working Groups meeting in Amman, represented by RRT member Luca Fraschini in the Standards and Practice Working Group (formerly called Minimum Standards Working Group) and ECU Communications and Programme Officer Lisa Sabot-Schmid in the Advocacy Working Group.

During the first two days, each working group (WG) developed and reviewed its work plan and identified key objectives and activities for the next 6 months. In the Standards and Practice WG Luca attended the capacity development and INEE Minimum Standards contextualization sub-groups. The capacity development sub-group is working on improving harmonization and coordination on global EiE capacity development. In particular, in the next 6 months, the sub-group will focus on mapping and analysis of the existing global EiE capacity development landscape, identifying gaps and overlaps, and report on current EiE sector needs. The INEE MS contextualization sub-group will support ongoing contextualization processes (e.g. Iraq and Sudan) and planned ones (e.g. Whole of Syria). The Advocacy Working Group (AWG) will work around four thematic areas: financing for EiE, protection, forced displacement and promotion of the INEE Minimum Standards. The group will focus its advocacy efforts around two key events: the World Humanitarian Summit and the launch of the Education Cannot Wait Fund in May and the UN General Assembly in September. The AWG will work closely with the other INEE WGs, supporting them to develop and deliver key messages.

EiE practitioners based in Amman joined the meeting on the third day. The morning discussion focused on the potential role INEE could play in the Education Cannot Wait Fund. There is considerable excitement about the potential offered by the future Fund, however the discussion also revealed that there is still little understanding on how the Fund will work and how organisations can engage with it. Field colleagues then shared their own experience and presented ongoing initiatives in small group discussions.

• The UNICEF Learning for Peace programme aims to strengthen social cohesion, resilience, and human security through improved education policies and practices. Some of the most significant outcomes of this project are a number of evidence-based knowledge products highlighting the links between education and peacebuilding: 1) Delivering Quality Education in Protracted Crisis: A Discussion Paper; 2) Peacebuilding knowledge, Attitudes, and Skills Desk Review and Recommendations; 3) Learning for Peace Advocacy Brief; 4) Youth, Education and Peacebuilding Policy Forum paper; 5) Early Childhood Development and Peacebuilding; 6) The Crossroads of Children Protection and Education in Peacebuilding; and 7) Community Mechanisms Linking Child Protection and Social Cohesion. For additional resources or more information on this initiative, click here.

In humanitarian crises, making decisions is a challenge. The situation is constantly changing, information is scarce, and choices have to be made fast.  The new ACAPS website makes it easier to access even more timely and comprehensive data analysis to plan and implement humanitarian response. Watch this video to find out more about the news platform.

•  According to a new report by Human Rights Watch Nigeria: Northeast Children Robbed of Education, from 2009 to 2015 Boko Haram attacked thousands of schools among which more than 910 were destroyed and about 1500 were forced to close. Assaults such as targeted killings, widespread abduction, burning and looting were also reported. By early 2016, more than 950,000 school-age children fled violence in the states of Borno, Yobe, and Kano. Boko Haram’s attacks on education and the government’s military use of schools have a devastating impact on the right to education of thousands of children.

   NRC Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) has just released its 2016 Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID 2016) which covers internal displacement caused by conflict and sudden-onset disasters, but it also explores displacement "off the grid" such as that caused by criminal and gang violence, slow-onset disasters like drought, and development projects. The report finds that 27.8 million people were displaced in 2015 within their own country. Some 8.6 million new displacements associated with conflict and violence were recorded in 2015. The Middle East and North Africa bore the brunt of new conflict-related displacement in 2015, with 4.8 million people internally displaced, with Syria, Yemen and Iraq accounting for over half of all new conflict-induced internal displacement worldwide. Of the ten countries with the highest number of IDPs by conflict, five - Colombia, DRC, Iraq, South Sudan and Sudan - have been on the list every year since 2003. "This is further evidence that in the absence of the help IDPs need, displacement tends to drag for years and even decades," said IDMC Director Alexandra Bilak.
• This University of Stavanger thesis Mobile technology in complex emergencies presents a study of digital data collection amongst the five largest humanitarian relief organisations in Norway, with data from each actor. More specifically, it examines the potentials and challenges in the implementation and diffusion of mobile technologies for the Norwegian NGO relief sector. The thesis concludes that mobile technology is improving the efficiency of collecting information but is not a solution that is effective in all situations and in all places. 

Some recent videos and articles you should not miss:

How to track education financial flows, blog by the Global Partnership for Education

Aid flow map on who gives the most to education and where aid goes, data by the UNESCO Institute of Statistics

Forgotten Conflicts, in-depth analysis by IRIN

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