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Strengthening coordinated education planning and response in crises: Bangladesh case study

Research reports

Written by Vidya Diwakar, Susan Nicolai

The humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh escalated in August 2017, when targeted violence against Rohingya communities from Rakhine State in Myanmar forced over 745,000 Rohingya people, including over 400,000 children, to flee their homes into neighbouring Cox’s Bazar, resulting in one of the fastest-growing refugee crises in the world.

This case study examines how, in Bangladesh, humanitarian and development actors can more effectively coordinate planning and response to strengthen education outcomes for children and young people affected by crises. The research looks at the ‘who’, the ‘how’ and the ‘so what’ of coordination of education in emergencies and protracted crises related to the Rohingya response in Bangladesh, resulting in recommendations for action that can be taken by different types of stakeholder, including Education Cannot Wait and key partners.

To strengthen coordinated education planning and response in Bangladesh, this study recommends that the government and donors:

  • Invest more in support, training and the coordination systems in Bangladesh. Despite funding already being available for two full-time dedicated sector coordinators and two full-time dedicated Information Management Officers, greater investment is needed to correlate with the focus on coordination.
  • Create a Bangladeshi sector coordinator role to help reduce impacts of high staff turnover, improve understanding of local partner capacities, help facilitate communication with local government actors, provide cultural insight and more equal leadership representation, and further align the response with the Grand Bargain.
  • Use Bangladesh as an opportunity to explore alternative coordination structures.
Arran Magee, Vidya Diwakar and Susan Nicolai