Falling Through the Cracks: Young Children in Emergencies

Falling Through the Cracks: Young Children in Emergencies

Blog post by Sweta ShahSenior Early Childhood Development and Education professional, Bernard van Leer Foundation

It was a bright morning in Ayillo 2 camp in Uganda.  South Sudanese refugee children between 3-5 years were standing in a circle starting their daily routines in a Plan International supported space.  The day started with the morning circle where children came for a half day of play based learning activities. Halima and two other South Sudanese refugee caregivers led the children in songs and games about health, hygiene and topics that promoted literacy and numeracy.  Next came the game “news news”.  A little boy went to the centre of the circle to announce the day’s news.  Everyone clapped to applaud his efforts.

Three Child Friendly Spaces used as ECD centres in the morning and as spaces for adolescent and youth in the afternoon.

Three Child Friendly Spaces used as ECD centres in the morning and as spaces for adolescent and youth in the afternoon.

The children then went to one of three child friendly space tents - for 3, 4 and 5 year olds.  These tents were used in the morning for Early Childhood Development (ECD) activities and in the afternoon for adolescents and youth.  In each tent children were working in small groups led by a caregiver.  Some were using chalk and a slate to practice writing.  Others were playing a letter-sound game and others were sorting leaves, sticks and rocks into different piles.  Through research I conducted comparing children in Ayillo 2 (programme group) and Ayillo 1 (control group) refugee camps in Uganda, I found significant differences in children’s development.   

Parents participated in weekly peer to peer parent support group where they learned about child development, the nutritional value of local foods, good hygiene practices and how to support their children’s learning through every day play activities.  Some parents stayed for the whole half day to volunteer their time because they enjoyed learning about ways to support their children’s development.

This scene, which simultaneously supports children and families, stands in stark contrast to most humanitarian situations where there are not safe spaces such as these.  In many refugee situations across the globe, I have seen children that were idle, not being engaged, played or talked with.  This is not uncommon. I have seen young children from birth to 5 years regularly left out of humanitarian services.   

Why is this a problem?

1.    Children globally not reaching their developmental potential

The number of humanitarian crises is increasing, they are lasting longer and more children are being displaced[i].  The Lancet’s new ECD series estimated that 250 million children (43%) younger than 5 years in low and middle-income countries are at risk not reaching their developmental potential.[ii]  Emergencies add to children’s existing adversities, making it even more difficult to flourish.  Prior to the war, Syria’s literacy rate was high and now after six years of war and displacement, that rate has significantly decreased.  Doing nothing to solve humanitarian crises will impact the next generation of workers in the global economy.

2.    Unique Period of Brain Development

Humanitarians talk about survival, but not of the brain.  The brain survives and grows with stimulation.  If you looked inside the brain of an average small child, you would see more than 1,000,000 neurons firing away as the child explores, talks and plays.[iii]  This is because early childhood, the period between conception and 8 years, is the most critical time for developing neural connections in the brain and establishing the foundation for one’s life.  Approximately 90% of the brain’s growth occurs within the first 5 years of life and about 80% of the brain’s growth occurs within the first 2 years of life.[iv]  Research indicates that children who are not talked to or interacted with have smaller brains and fewer neural connections. 

Neural connections in the brain from birth to 14 years Source: Conel, JL. The postnatal development of the human cerebral cortex. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1959

Neural connections in the brain from birth to 14 years

Source: Conel, JL. The postnatal development of the human cerebral cortex. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1959

Emergency situations, where parents and caregivers may not be able to provide the same type of care and stimulation to their children as before, puts young children in a more precarious situation.  Research also shows that food alone, which is often a humanitarian priority, is also not enough for a brain – it craves stimulation and interaction.  Longitudinal research of stunted children in Jamaica showed more additive benefits of the early stimulation than it did for nutritional supplementation.[v] 

My research for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda clearly showed significant differences in child development scores and parental interaction among those enrolled in Plan International supported ECD activities in comparison to newly arrived refugees not receiving any services.  The programme participants had a mean child development score that was 15 points higher than the control group.  While I used rigorous research methods, the difference between the two groups was easily observable.

3.    Higher Risk of Toxic Stress and Permanent Damage

Everyone experiences stress and it is not always bad.  However, when it is prolonged and severe and there are few protective factors such as relationship with a caregiver, it can become toxic.[vi]  Children in emergencies are at a higher risk of experiencing toxic stress as they may be facing the loss of a parent, friends, may be injured, may have lost their homes and daily routines.  The destabilising effect of emergencies can greatly increase a child’s ability to fight against the accumulating effects of stress.  Harvard University found that a significant increase in toxic stress, even when temporary, can negatively influence brain development that can lead to permanent damage for multiple generations.[vii]

But theres hope: Children are Resilient

Children are resilient and science tells us that a child’s experience can shift the scale from negative outcomes to positive ones.[viii] ECD in emergency programmes can support children’s resilience and tip that balance when they include nurturing care.[ix]  Nurturing care includes health, nutrition, safety and security, which are prioritised in humanitarian settings, and responsive caregiving and early learning, which are not prioritised. 

Momentum, but challenges remain

Halima playing a literacy game with 5 year old children.

Halima playing a literacy game with 5 year old children.

The Syria Regional Response Plan mentions early learning and parenting support, one of the few emergency plans to explicitly do so.  The Lancet ECD series includes new evidence and data. Language around ECD is now a part of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Education Cannot Wait, a new funding mechanism for Education in emergencies, recognises the importance of early learning.  Momentum has started to build for aspects of ECD in emergencies.

While these are all positive trends, challenges in the humanitarian sector remain.  What has yet to follow is the financing and programming to support young children through various types of humanitarian services whether they are through education, child protection, nutrition, health, cash transfer, or economic support.  Education in emergencies is the worst funded sector in humanitarian response along with child protection.  In 2016, 1.4% of all humanitarian funds went toward education (which often includes early learning and parenting support).[x]   There is currently no data collected on what percentage of the 1.4% of education funding or other sectors’ funding goes toward the various aspects of nurturing care.

ECD is cross-sectoral and should be integrated into all major sectors.  However, the humanitarian system works in silos, created by the IASC clusters.  Agencies that lead multiple sectors in the same country often do not collaborate.  Coordination for ECD is also a challenge – which sector should host it?  Can it be a stand-alone sector? There is no IASC group for ECD so it could sit under education, which it often does, under child protection or health. However, rarely are all aspects of nurturing care supported by one sector.  Additionally, needs assessments often do not include all key questions related to young children and if some questions are included, it is often through one sector.  A multi-sectoral needs assessment for young children could ensure key data is collected.

Lastly, even when health and nutrition receive more funding than education many projects on the ground do not focus on the youngest children.  There is no mechanism with which implementing agencies and donors are forced to consider the needs of the youngest children.  Just as the Gender Marker has increased funding for programming focused on gender, an Age Marker that forces inclusion of support to young children is needed.

Promising Practices and Solutions

While there are many challenges, there are many promising practices and inexpensive solutions.  Here are some ways that young children are already being supported in humanitarian situations.

1.    Integrating parent support with education, nutrition, health and child protection activities.  Research says that if parents have the knowledge, skills and tools, they will be the best and most important teachers in a child’s life. 

2.    Bundling services together such as parenting and early stimulation with existing health care support.  Evidence suggests that bundling services into existing structures where additional staff are not needed is cost effective and scalable.

3.    Starting community-based, mobile or centre based early learning through play activities. Engage parents and children to make toys out of existing materials in their environment.

4.    Using the power of media combined with support for parents and children to spread key messages more widely.  Using puppets and videos as Sesame Workshop is doing in Jordan makes this fun.  Applications such as Vroom provide regular child development updates to parents on phones.

With a little bit of investment and re-framing of programmes, we can collectively make a huge impact.  We can ensure the youngest refugee and IDP children do not fall through the cracks.  Our investment today can result in success in school, better health outcomes and greater GDP for a country. It all starts in early childhood.

 

[i] UN OCHA, 2014

[ii] Lancet, 2016

[iii] Harvard University, Centre on the Developing Child, http://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/five-numbers-to-remember-about-early-childhood-development/

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Gertler et al., 2014

[vi] Shonkoff et al, 2012

[vii] National Scientific Council on the Developing Children, 2007; Shonkoff et al., 2012

[viii] Harvard University, Center on the Developing Child, 2015

[ix] Lancet, 2016

[x] UNOCHA FTS 2016

Refugee teachers - don’t just train, retain.

Refugee teachers - don’t just train, retain.

Blog post by Ruth Naylor, Senior International Consultant, Education Development Trust

Sonita, a 25-year-old graphic designer and an Afghan refugee, explains that country's culture to other young Afghans at their school in Iran in 2015. 

Sonita, a 25-year-old graphic designer and an Afghan refugee, explains that country's culture to other young Afghans at their school in Iran in 2015. 

The global population of those displaced by war and persecution is the biggest it has ever been, and similar in size to the population of the UK. For millions of refugee children, education can provide safety and hope for a better future, but the chronic shortage of trained teachers prevents many of them from getting the quality education they deserve. In many of the contexts where UNHCR works, including situations in Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, Uganda, Chad, the situation is getting worse, with teacher training and recruitment unable to keep up with the influx of new refugees. These situations saw a decrease in the percentage of qualified teachers in 2015 (see here).

Ethiopia. Teacher Lim Bol from South Sudan wants to become a medical doctor.

Ethiopia. Teacher Lim Bol from South Sudan wants to become a medical doctor.

There is a paradox around this shortage: if refugee populations are roughly representative of civilian populations, one might assume that there would be proportionate numbers of trained teachers among them.  For refugees from places like South Sudan and Somalia, the assumption does not hold so well since there were very few trained teachers among the populations before they were forced to flee. But one might still expect that the multiple teacher training programmes provided by UN agencies, NGOs and other organisations would have gone some way to addressing the shortage. So where have all the teachers gone?

A temporary elementary in Bidibidi refugee settlement in Yumbe district in Northern Uganda

A temporary elementary in Bidibidi refugee settlement in Yumbe district in Northern Uganda

Barry Sesnan asked this question in five years ago (see here). And it remains just as pertinent today. From his years of experience in refugee and IDP settlements, Sesnan saw through the “sticking plaster” logic of: “there’s a shortage of trained teachers, therefore we need more teacher training”.  Whilst it’s true that teacher training is urgently needed, it’s also the case that there are many capable, trained and some qualified refugee teachers who are not teaching. Why not? Because refugee teachers are rarely paid a salary: laws around employment of refugees, issues around teacher certification and, most significantly, lack of funds mean that refugee teachers, however well qualified by their own national standards, are often unable to get salaried employment as a teacher in a refugee settlement. The lucky ones might get paid “incentives”, but these are minimal, and contracts short, often limited to six month humanitarian aid funding cycles or less.  In an IDP camp I visited in South Sudan last year, even the lorry unloaders earned more than teachers. So, it’s understandable that qualified teachers will seek better paid, more reliable employment elsewhere …the humanitarian aid sector is always looking for capable employees. And thus the conveyor belt of refugee teacher training continues… providing short term teacher training for short term, poorly paid teaching positions, for teachers forced to look for work elsewhere when the project funding runs out.

Nour teaches homework support lessons to a group of Young Syrians inside a makeshift school in Saida, Lebanon.

Nour teaches homework support lessons to a group of Young Syrians inside a makeshift school in Saida, Lebanon.

Until we better understand and address issues around employment and retention of refugee teachers, the shortage of trained teachers, able to teach refugees in their own language, will remain a barrier to education for millions of refugee children. That’s why Education Development Trust is joining IIEP-UNESCO in a research project to gain a deeper understanding of teacher management policies, programmes and practices in refugee contexts [see here].

Aiming Higher: Prioritizing Higher Education within the Global Movement for Refugee Education

Aiming Higher: Prioritizing Higher Education within the Global Movement for Refugee Education

Blog post by Allison Anderson, SIPA Columbia University, USA and Maia Bix, The Malala Fund

The global movement for refugee education is gaining momentum. Spurred in part by the Syrian crisis, prominent actors from Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai to United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown are centering refugee education within the broader movements for universal primary and secondary education and comprehensive emergency response. Almost entirely missing from the conversation, however, is a call and associated actions to support higher education in crisis contexts.

As highlighted in the first blog in this series from Aaron Benavot, Director of the UNESCO Gem Report, refugees need assistance to enter higher education. Thus, this blog examines the scope of the problem as well as the powerful reasons behind supporting higher education for refugees. In an effort to contribute to the valuable Promising Practices in Refugee Education initiative launched by Save the Children, UNHCR and Pearson, this blog concludes by shining a light on promising practices and recommendations for making higher education more accessible to refugees.

Higher Education for Refugees: The Problem

Although access to education – especially higher education – is extremely uneven across the globe, displaced populations are and historically have been particularly underserved. According to UNHCR, less than one percent of the 16.1 million refugees under its mandate are currently enrolled in higher education programs. By contrast, over one third of university-age young people are enrolled worldwide.[1] Of the many barriers to access that displaced students face, some of the most significant include “the cost of studies or living, the need to work to support oneself or one’s family, language barriers, lack of access to visa, or lack of residency status.”[2]

Source: UNHCR (2016), 31.

Source: UNHCR (2016), 31.

It should also be noted that displaced girls and women are at a significant disadvantage in terms of accessing education.[3] Girls are far less likely to be enrolled in school at any level than boys, and they are also more likely to drop out once they are enrolled. Moreover, boys and men have a far greater chance of resuming their education once it has been interrupted by forced displacement than girls and women do, especially at the tertiary level. For example, in the case of Syrian university students, displaced men are three times more likely to resume their studies than their female counterparts.[4]

The visibility of the Syrian crisis has managed to focus the world’s attention on refugee education in a way that other recent crises have not – hence the global refugee education movement that is currently underway.[5] In practice, this movement is concentrated on primary education and, to a lesser extent, secondary education, mirroring the broader global educational priorities set forth in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).[6] Higher education is firmly relegated to the periphery of this movement, and support for the few higher education initiatives that do exist is woefully insufficient.[7] Thus far, leaders and initiatives in both the refugee and education in emergencies fields have shown little nominal support for higher education and even less in practice. Although prioritizing primary and secondary education may appear to be the self-evident course in refugee and emergency contexts[8], the humanitarian aid community would do well to carefully assess the value of higher education for displaced students and consider what is lost on the road to sustainable development when it is deprioritized. After all, the single-minded focus on primary education seen in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is now considered to be one of their most significant shortcomings.[9]

Powerful benefits of higher education

There is ample evidence that higher education is of substantial social and economic value to displaced students, their host countries, their countries of origin and, ultimately, to global sustainable development. Higher education improves the viability of the three durable solutions for refugees pursued by UNHCR: repatriation, integration into host countries or resettlement to third countries. As outlined by INEE members, among other benefits, “tertiary education serves a protective function while also increasing refugees’ aptitude and capacity, opportunities to be assets to host countries, and to develop skill sets necessary to rebuild their countries.”[10]

Refugee students in classroom at university in Kakuma camp

Refugee students in classroom at university in Kakuma camp

The positive impacts of higher education can be loosely grouped into three categories: helping displaced students rebuild their lives, supporting conflict prevention efforts, and in the long-term, contributing to reconstruction processes in post-conflict societies. The role that higher education plays in preparing refugees to contribute positively to future reconstruction processes in their countries of origin cannot be overstated.[11] Many individuals who do choose this path are active and valuable contributors to statebuilding, peacebuilding, and economic development: in fact, refugees who have accessed higher education tend to move back to their countries of origin more quickly post-conflict, and a majority of them are employed as civil servants or NGO managers.[12] A 15-year review of UNHCR’s DAFI scholarship program found that nearly 70% of DAFI graduates were “successfully employed in sectors relevant to the reconstruction and the development of countries” as of 2007.[13]

Formerly displaced individuals who have accessed higher education can make an additional contribution to reconstruction efforts that is particularly notable in the context of the broader movement for refugee education: training new teachers. There is a high and growing demand for teachers among refugee communities in particular, and this need is reflected in post-conflict societies.[14] A relatively high number of displaced students focus on education-related degrees; for example, in 2014 eight percent of DAFI scholarship recipients were enrolled in “teacher training or related pedagogical studies.”[15] When teacher training is taken into account, it becomes apparent that support for higher education is a necessary part of (re)building robust primary and secondary education systems in post-conflict societies, refugee camps, and other such settings.[16]

Higher education is valued by refugee students

Education, including higher education, is a top priority for the majority of displaced students and their families.[17] As humanitarian practitioners and policy makers, we must listen to and respect the voices of affected populations. Such genuine accountability is not only empowering, but also results in more appropriate and effective aid. One of the central recommendations from refugee youth to come out of the Global Refugee Youth Consultations is for humanitarian actors to “recognise, utilise, and develop refugee youth capacities and skills,” including “enhancing financing to enable more youth to access secondary and tertiary education, vocational training, skills building, and other learning opportunities.” [18]

Refugee youth view higher education as vital to their own security and livelihoods and to the eventual reconstruction of their countries of origin.[19] As Hashem Hatahet, who was forced to flee Syria and now attends the University of Evansville on a scholarship, put it, “Education is the best investment one can make and it is a key for any prosperous society. I am forever blessed that I was able to come to the United States and get the right education to build my future and hopefully rebuild my beloved Syria. […] I believe the only key now to stop the Syrian conflict is to educate its youth and make sure Syrian children are learning. We have already lost a lot and we cannot afford to lose a new generation. We are a society that places a high value on education because we believe it is the most powerful weapon we can use to overcome this catastrophe.”[20] 

Promising Practices and Recommendations

Building upon promising practices and the recommendation from the Global Refugee Youth Consultations to expand initiatives that make education accessible to refugee youth, including “financial assistance to support access to tertiary education,”[21] the following recommendations are intended for humanitarian and education actors as well as non-traditional actors like the private sector and foundations:

Syrian refugee student on University of Jordan campus in Amman

Syrian refugee student on University of Jordan campus in Amman

  1. Build higher education capacity in host countries and increase displaced students’ access to these institutions
  2. Invest in higher education-focused technology solutions, including online learning and blended learning
  3. Create and fund sustainable scholarship programs for displaced students at third-country universities
  4. (Re)build robust higher education sectors in post-conflict countries

 Before diving into these recommendations, it is important to acknowledge that a number of smaller organizations are already working to expand higher education access for displaced students. At a collaborative workshop held by the Institute of International Education (IIE), the Dutch NGO SPARK, and Al-Fanar Media in October 2015, “international agencies, governmental aid organizations, university presidents, and regional and international NGOs focused on education and entrepreneurship” gathered to discuss best practices for supporting higher education for Syrian refugees specifically.[22] Participants identified the following priorities that must be integrated into each of this blog’s four recommendations: working efficiently and cost-effectively; coordination of action and advocacy; gathering and sharing data; and critically evaluating what approaches are effective.[23]

 1) Build higher education capacity in host countries and increase displaced students’ access to these institutions

First and foremost, donors can support higher education institutions in key host countries – like Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, and Iraq – thereby building their capacity and making it possible for them to offer higher quality education to more displaced students.[24] Education advocates can amplify the impact of donor support by advocating for more inclusive education policies in these same countries. Even if donors choose to support host country universities, many of these institutions will remain inaccessible to displaced students unless admissions requirements – especially concerning documentation – are revised; thus it is essential that financial support and advocacy occur simultaneously.

2) Invest in higher education-focused technology tools, including online learning and blended learning

Kenya. Studying at InZone's MOOC Learning Center in Kakuma

Kenya. Studying at InZone's MOOC Learning Center in Kakuma

Second, donors and investors alike can support existing education technology tools and invest in further innovation in this sector as a supplement to (rather than a replacement for) traditional education. A survey of participants in a 2015 workshop focused on youth and the Syrian crisis[25] indicated that “online and blended learning with refugees was believed to be the most important topic for future discussion” in terms of making higher education widely accessible to displaced students.[26] Other forms of digital support – including online social networks supported by mobile technology – can also support bridge programs to post-secondary and higher education access and learning.[27] Multiple NGOs are already doing valuable work in the education technology field, including Kiron (a Germany-based NGO that offers online degrees), InZone (a blended learning program implemented in refugee camps), and University of the People (the first online, tuition-free American university).

Moreover, education technology is a particularly promising gateway to increased private sector support for refugee education, including higher education. The British education company Pearson, for example, has partnered with NGO Save the Children to create new, technology-based education centers for refugees in Jordan.[28] To ensure that these technology innovations reach their full potential, it is imperative that programs incorporate lessons learned and insights from previous work on digital learning, such as the need to increase access to internet and technological devices; increase coordination and monitoring and evaluation of programs; offer offline meet-ups and opportunities for interaction through live discussions rather than online learning alone; ensure credibility of programs through accreditation; and work within the policy and economic constraints of the host labor market.[29] It is also important for education advocates to push for wider recognition of online degrees by education ministries and widely promote positive perceptions of online learning.[30]

3) Create and fund sustainable scholarship programs for displaced students at third-country universities

Third, higher education institutions in third countries – like the United States, the United Kingdom, or Canada – can independently establish sustainable scholarships specifically for displaced students. IIE’s Syria Consortium is currently at the forefront of this work: to date, over 60 higher education institutions (primarily in the United States) have committed to offering at least one scholarship for displaced Syrian students through this consortium. The Books Not Bombs campaign, which was created to support the Syria Consortium, is comprised of over 185 campus chapters that petition their respective universities or colleges to create scholarships. Although the Syria Consortium is an admirable and necessary response to the Syria crisis, in the long-term, this model should be broadened to include scholarships that support all displaced students, regardless of nationality.

Syrian refugee studying at Al-Albayt University on a DAFI scholarship

Syrian refugee studying at Al-Albayt University on a DAFI scholarship

As the co-author of this blog has learned from her experience spearheading the establishment of the Ann and Andrew Tisch Scholarship for Refugee Women at Barnard College[31], the grassroots movement to establish scholarships at third country higher education institutions is particularly promising. First, scholarships are appealing to school administrators and donors because they provide a direct, specific way for higher education institutions to respond meaningfully to global crises. Alongside this impact, the promise of positive press can also be a powerful incentive for institutions and donors alike. Moreover, as xenophobic attitudes and actions continue to escalate across the United States and around the world, creating scholarships is a tangible way for colleges and universities reaffirm their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Finally, thanks to efforts like the Books Not Bombs campaign, it is relatively easy for any student, administrator, or faculty or staff member to begin a scholarship initiative on their own campus. It should be noted that scholarships of this nature should be comprehensive by design[32], and are therefore likely to be very expensive. So although they may be of enormous benefit to the students who receive them, they are far from being the most efficient solution. That said, there are over 20,000 higher education institutions worldwide; thus, if this scholarship movement can be expanded to even half of these institutions, there is potential to create impact at scale.[33]

As an alternative to supporting scholarships offered by individual institutions, and mirroring the recommendations from the Global Refugee Youth Consultations, donors, and UNHCR in particular, should expand financial assistance to support youth access to tertiary education. This could include expanded support to NGO and foundation-operated scholarship programs such as the Higher and Further Education Opportunities and Perspectives for Syrians (HOPES) program, the Al Fakhoora scholarship program, various programs run by SPARK, the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), the Windle Trust, and the DAFI scholarship program operated by UNHCR.[34]

4) (Re)build robust higher education sectors in post-conflict countries

Refugee students at Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) learning center in Dadaab

Refugee students at Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) learning center in Dadaab

Fourth, in the long-term, humanitarian stakeholders, including donors, must help to rebuild higher education capacity in post-conflict countries. Supporting robust higher education institutions in these contexts can contribute significantly to stabilization and securitization, peacebuilding, statebuilding and other reconstruction efforts.[35] Refugees, especially those who have benefited from higher education, should be empowered and valued as assets in the rebuilding process.

Humanitarian organizations and partnerships like UNHCR and INEE should support all of the aforementioned efforts by drawing attention to the many benefits of higher education and advocating for stronger support of higher education for displaced students on the part of donors and within their own organizations. 

                There are undoubtedly other valuable contributions to be made in terms of increasing displaced students’ access to higher education, including the essential step of recognizing refugees’ existing credentials.[36] The recommendations laid out above are merely a starting point to this discussion; rigorous monitoring and evaluation of existing efforts and thoughtful innovation are both essential going forward. Ultimately, however, the first step forward is for the global education movement to aim higher and prioritize higher education for refugees. 

 

[1] UNHCR (2016), 30.

[2] UNHCR (2014), 9.

[3] UNHCR (2016), 21–23, 42–45.

[4] “Jusoor, IIE Launch Scholarships for Syrian University Women.” 

[5] Dickenson (2016).

[6] “Sustainable Development Goal 4.”

[7] Milton and Barakat (2016), 403; AlAhmad (2016), 3.

[8] Dobbinset al. (2007), 152.

[9] Mekonen (2010), 46; Tarabini (2010).

[10] Virtually Educated: The Case for and Conundrum of Online Higher Education for Refugees,  World Education Blog. Martha K. Ferede, Consultant GEM Report, Lecturer in International and Comparative Higher Education, Sciences-Po. May 24, 2016.

[11] Dryden-Peterson (2011), 15.

[12] Dryden-Peterson (2011), 15.

[13] Morlang and Watson (2007), 6.

[14] UNHCR (2016), 21; Lindsey (2016), 12.

[15] UNHCR (2016), 21.

[16] Dryden-Peterson (2011), 15.

[17] Dryden-Peterson (2011), 14-15.

[18] We Believe in Youth, Global Refugee Youth Consultation Final Report, UN High Commissioner for RefugeesWomen's Refugee Commission, September 2016. The Global Refugee Youth Consultations included 1,267 young people who participated in 56 national or sub-national consultations held in 22 countries between October 2015 and June 2016 (youth is defined as young people aged 15-24 years old).

[19] Dryden-Peterson (2011), 12-13.

[20] Hatahet (2017).

[21] We Believe in Youth, Global Refugee Youth Consultation Final Report, UN High Commissioner for RefugeesWomen's Refugee Commission, September 2016.

[22] Lindsey (2016), 2.

[23] Lindsey (2016), 3-4.

[24] Lindsey (2016), 1.

[25] See page six for a brief discussion of key findings derived from this workshop, held by IIE, SPARK, and Al-Fanar Media. 

[26] Lindsey (2016), 1.

[27] Dahya and Dryden-Peterson (2016).  See also: Exploring the Potential of Technology to Deliver Education & Skills to Syrian Refugee Youth, Global Business Coalition for Education, February 2016.

[28] Dickinson (2016).

[29] Exploring the Potential of Technology to Deliver Education & Skills to Syrian Refugee Youth, Global Business Coalition for Education, February 2016. See also:  Insights from using Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in Refugee Camps. Dina Bokai. OpenIdeo. Feb 08, 2016.

[30] Lindsey (2016), 10.

[31] “Barnard Responds to Syrian Crisis Through Creation of the Ann and Andrew Tisch Scholarship for Refugee Women.” (2017)

[32] Feldmann and Lind (2016).

[33] Goodman (2016).

[34] Dryden-Peterson (2011), 13; Lindsey (2016), 5.

[35] Milton and Barakat (2016), 406-415; Barakat and Sansom (2015).

[36] Virtually Educated: The Case for and Conundrum of Online Higher Education for Refugees,  World Education Blog. Martha K. Ferede, Consultant GEM Report, Lecturer in International and Comparative Higher Education, Sciences-Po. May 24, 2016.

Notification of project selection for case study development

Notification of project selection for case study development

We are hugely grateful for all the submissions we have received over the past two months for the Promising Practices in Refugee Education initiative.

We have had so many submissions that it taking us longer than planned to review them all and therefore projects will now be informed about the outcome and next steps by Friday 19th May. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Webinars for organisations whose submissions are being taken forward for case study development will take place at varying times the week after.   

If you need any further information please contact the Promising Practices team

Watch: Supporting Refugee Children in Education - RSA

Watch: Supporting Refugee Children in Education - RSA

Last week Save the Children co-hosted an excellent event at the RSA, London on supporting refugee children in education. The speakers covered the educational challenges faced by refugees, as well as the varied and innovative solutions which are being used by local communities, NGOS and governments to ensure greater access to quality education for refugee children in different contexts. 

Educating refugees: Old ways of working aren’t good enough.

Educating refugees: Old ways of working aren’t good enough.

The plight of refugees is in the news every day, and not a moment too soon. Refugee children and adolescents suffer from having almost all of their rights taken from them at one point or another, if not all at the same time. Addressing their needs requires new thinking, and fast.

Latest coverage of the Promising Practices initiative

Latest coverage of the Promising Practices initiative

The Promising Practices in Refugee Education initiative aims to shine a light on great work that often goes unnoticed by those working to give every refugee child an education. We have been promoting the initiative widely and it has been covered by a number of online outlets. 

UNHCR, Save the Children and Pearson join forces to tackle refugee education crisis

UNHCR, Save the Children and Pearson join forces to tackle refugee education crisis

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, Save the Children, the global children’s charity, and Pearson, the world’s largest education company, have joined forces to identify innovative projects that are helping refugee children to learn. The ‘Promising Practices’ initiative will not only raise awareness of existing efforts, but is also calling for organisations working in the field, businesses, government and individuals to submit ideas that are providing education solutions for improving access to, and the quality of, refugee education.