Standardizing Professional Development in the Education in Emergencies Sector

Professional Development
Humanitarian-Development Coherence

Current recruitment and professional development in the education in emergencies (EiE) sector is fragmented, non-standardized, and de-linked from the core principles of EiE - the INEE Minimum Standards. This fragmentation has only deepened as the EiE sector has undergone a large expansion in recent years, with more actors, both national and international, stepping in to respond to both acute and protracted crises globally. 

EiE Competency Framework cover imageTo address this glaring lack of standardization, the INEE Standards and Practice Working Group has invested considerable time and expertise to develop a professional development competency framework for the EiE sector. This new EiE Competency Framework, drawing on the technical inputs of a diverse range of working group members, seeks to: 

Harmonize Standards for EiE Practitioners and Promote Improved Professionalization…

The Framework seeks to harmonize EiE competencies and skills for practitioners in a clear, transparent, and user-friendly format. These skills and competencies can be used in a variety of ways including as benchmarks for the recruitment of staff, to support performance management, and to enhance organizational design.

Create and Promote the Use of the INEE Minimum Standards….

The Minimum Standards form the core foundation of the EiE sector. It’s important that these standards are brought to life in as many ways as possible so as to improve quality, standardization and delivery of critical EiE services. The Framework has been designed to directly overlay and link to all the Minimum Standards; reinforcing them and ensuring their practical use for all staff working in the sector. 

Create a Foundation for Better Harmonization of Professional Development Opportunities…

Harmonized competencies and skills will allow practitioners to self-assess and identify areas in which they wish to improve their knowledge, skills and practice. In support of self-learning and as a next step, the INEE is working on mapping no-cost and available learning resources, directly linked to the Framework, to promote enhanced capacity development for EiE staff. 

The INEE Standards and Practice Working Group members are thrilled to finally launch the Framework after years of conceptualization, planning, inputs, development, and testing. This has been an extended “labor of love” for the group - but, WAIT, we are not finished! We are now working on innovative ways to ensure better uptake and utilization of the Framework for global, regional, and national actors...much more to come!   

Jeffrey Dow is the Regional Education Technical Advisor for Asia for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and co-chair of the Professional Development Workstream of the INEE Standards and Practice Working Group. He started his career as a teacher and teacher trainer and is deeply passionate about improving the quality of teaching and learning for conflict-affected children. 

Susan Hirsch-Ayari is the Director of the Middle East and Asia Portfolio at Creative Associates and co-chair of the Professional Development Workstream of the INEE Standards and Practice Working Group. She spent 30 years as a teacher before working in international education with USAID and UNICEF. Her commitment to education in conflict-affected environments is grounded in her deep knowledge of and experiences in working with children, parents/caretakers, and other teachers.