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Despite a call by UNHCR Ethiopia in its Education Strategy of 2015-2018 for more integrated planning of refugee education with local/national education systems, educational planning for refugees has historically been very limited outside of the refugee camps, and the different agencies involved in refugee education and in the provision of education for the host communities limited rarely participated in joint planning. Because refugee education was not seen as the MoE’s responsibility, it was not planned for, regardless of the risks that such a large population of refugees potentially poses to the host communities.
However, this presentation will describe a capacity development initiative undertaken in Ethiopia with the MoE, ARRA and UNHCR, with technical support from UNESCO – IIEP and UNICEF, to enhance joint planning and the effective coordination of educational planning and management between all partners. There are many different education coordination groups at federal, regional and Woreda levels that cover both refugees and national education implementation. All of these coordination groups operate (in theory) at the Federal, regional and Woreda levels. However, the Refugee Education Working Group has no MoE representation. Each of these groups have their own ToRs and responsibilities. This has led to many agencies not actively participating in the various working groups, as there are so many and there is a lack of coordination and communication between them.
Planning by organisations working with the refugees appeared to be focused around annual budget planning and related work planning. There was limited strategic or crisis-sensitive educational planning that looked at all aspects of access, quality, equity, and management, which would result in more effective implementation. It also appears that planned activities are not monitored against a systematic results-based framework. The programme described in this presentation has been an opportunity for all partners to work together to analyse needs and develop programmes and budgets in a more strategic manner.
An aspect of educational planning and management that was identified as an opportunity to greater link the ‘in camp’ and ‘out of camp’ education services, is school mapping. A school mapping process has been used to examine to what extent schools are crisis sensitive. This has been useful to bring partners together around a common planning agenda.
The overall purpose of this work is to build on existing initiatives to strengthen the coordination, planning and management of education provision in refugee and host communities. Through this work, capacities of both government and refugee coordinating bodies in five refugee affected regions (Gambella, Tigray, Benishangul, Somali and Afar) have been strengthened in educational assessment and analysis and in crisis-sensitive planning. In addition, bringing together the plethora of education stakeholders through joint planning processes is meant to enhance coordination and collaboration between the refugee and host education management and coordination structures.