Providing quality education during crisis

By Lori Heninger

Director INEE

In 2000, a small group of people at the Education for All meeting came together knowing that unless people in crisis, conflict and/or fragile situations were specifically lifted up and supported, that the Education for All goals would not be met.

Thirteen years later, the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies, INEE, has grown to 9000 members in over 170 countries, each with the commitment to ensuring safe, quality, relevant education for all persons in emergencies or fragile contexts.  During that time, INEE members have created the INEE Minimum Standards for Education: Preparedness, Response, Recovery and other tools which are used broadly by donors, practitioners and others to ensure quality education is provided from the start of a crisis. 

More recently, INEE members have been working on advocating and creating tools to help with the development of conflict sensitive education, these tools will be released on 8 April at a launch event at UNESCO in Paris.

INEE Secretariat staff write and disseminate informational messages on the status of education in situations such as the crisis in the Sahel and Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. INEE hopes that messages such as these contribute to the provision of education.

On 26 September 2012, the UN Secretary-General launched the Global Education First Initiative, a five-year education strategy. The second “Key Action” of the Global Education First Initiative is “Sustain education in humanitarian crises, especially conflict.” In response, the education in emergencies community came together to develop Education Cannot Wait: Call to Action. Its goal is to ensure adequate funding in humanitarian emergencies, protection of education from attack, and emergency-sighted education sector plans. Education Cannot Wait: Call to Action was launched on 24 September during the 2012 UN General Assembly, and lines up directly with the Global Education First Initiative.  To ensure Education Cannot Wait moves forward, an Advocacy Working Group has been formed by INEE members; this working group will focus on working to ensure that humanitarian aid levels for education are increased (0.9 percent in 2012), that education is safe from attack, and that emergency preparedness is included in sector plans.

To find out more about INEE, or to become a member please visit