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

Research reports

Written by Amina Khan, Susan Nicolai

Hero image description: Students attend class in Ethiopia Image credit:©UNICEF/UN0251912/Tadesse

Ethiopia confronts multi-faceted challenges in ensuring that education is provided to all children affected by crises. The country is host to the second largest refugee population in Africa, with almost a million registered refugees and asylum seekers, while close to three million Ethiopian citizens are internally displaced due to conflict and protracted drought.

This case study examines how, in Ethiopia, 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 for internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and other communities affected by crises, resulting in recommendations for action that can be taken by different types of stakeholder, including the Government of Ethiopia and key donors.

To strengthen education outcomes for children and young people in Ethiopia affected by crises, humanitarian and development actors should more effectively coordinate planning and response. This study recommends that the Ethiopian Government and donors commit to:

  • Support efforts to clarify mandates and roles across Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), the Ministry of Education (MoE) and REBs (Regional Education Bureaus).
  • Make greater use of the potential of international funding to encourage collaboration between REBs and ARRA to improve the quality of refugee education.
  • Support the establishment of dedicated coordination units and personnel for emergency response within the MoE and REBs in consistently crisis-affected regions.
  • Improve the presence of permanent and dedicated coordination staff for the Ethiopia Education Cluster and regional clusters.
  • Prioritise investing in data as a key part of the education response.
  • Encourage high-profile goals on learning outcomes for refugee and IDP education.
  • Consider education as a pathfinder for inclusion and integration of refugees and IDPs.
Students attend class in Ethiopia
Joseph Wales, Amina Khan and Susan Nicolai