Advocacy

Topic(s)
Advocacy

In the light of events associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 it is even more essential that we do not forget the additional barriers faced by children and youth affected by crises. If we are to meet SDG4 and the wider 2030 agenda, more must be done to increase funding, remove policy barriers and improve education programmes for crisis-affected children. Governments, donors and their partners need to take targeted collective action to respect, protect and fulfil the right to quality education for children and youth affected by conflict and crisis.

To see meaningful change in the lives and learning of crisis-affected children and youth, we must see a catalytic shift in approach and ambition. 

Key Messages

  • The global COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and consequent closures of early childhood care, schools and universities has affected nearly 65 percent of total enrolled learners as of early June, 2020. This has had an unprecedented effect on children’s learning and well-being. See a broader set of advocacy messages and advocacy brief as part of INEE’s resource collection on COVID-19.

  • New data shows that even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 127 million primary and secondary school-age children and young people living in crisis-affected countries were out of school in 2019, or almost one-half the global out-of-school population (Source). 

  • Girls are more likely than boys to be out of school in crisis contexts. In 2019, the out-of-school rate for children and young people of primary and secondary school age living in countries affected by crisis was 31 percent for girls and 27 percent for boys (Source)
     
  • More children and youth than ever before are now displaced and for longer periods of time. Children who are forcibly displaced, whether within their own countries or across international borders, are also among those most likely to face education challenges. In 2020, only 52 percent of refugee children and young people are in school, with sharp differences in the level of access to education. Around 77 percent of refugee children have access to primary education, but only 31 percent reach secondary school. Refugee girls in particular are being left behind, and they are now at greater risk than ever of never returning to school, due to the COVID-19 school closures. Estimates are that as many as 50 percent of refugee girls who were attending secondary school may never return once schools reopen (Source).
     
  • Although education is formally recognised as part of a humanitarian response, this recognition has not yet translated into sufficient financing. This means that millions of children in crisis contexts continue to be denied their right to quality education (Source). 
     
  • Financing for EiE is skewed toward a few high-profile emergencies leaving many children and young people living in ‘forgotten crises’, with little hope of quality education. Despite increased visibility of education as a core response in an emergency, especially since the establishment of Education Cannot Wait in 2016, the share of humanitarian aid remains at a mere 2.6 percent in 2019 (Source).  
     
  • Despite efforts to build a strong foundation that can demonstrate the positive impact of education in emergencies, practitioners and policy makers continue to lack substantial evidence on what works, how, for whom and at what cost. The evidence that does exist has largely failed to translate into coherent, coordinated policy and practice by governments and their partners in terms of how to deliver quality education in emergencies at scale.

Why Education in Emergencies?

  • Education is a human right and a crucial investment. It holds the key to a better life for children and youth worldwide: a life with less poverty, better health and self-reliance. It holds the key to a better society; education, particularly girls’ education, is one of the most powerful tools for creating economic growth, decreasing the likelihood of conflict, fostering resilience and impacting future generations with wide-reaching economic and social benefits.

  • Yet wars and disasters deny generations the right to education. 1 in 3 of all out-of-school children aged between 5 and 17 years old- or an estimated 104 million young people- live in countries affected by emergencies. More than half of out-of-school primary age students live in emergency countries and many of those who are in school are not safe and not learning (UNICEF). Girls and young people with disabilities are particularly disadvantaged, with girls being 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys in countries affected by conflict [ODI, 2016]. Today’s crises are long and protracted, resulting in extensive periods of displacement and disruption; subsequently, refugees are five times less likely to attend school than other children and youth. Moreover, in the majority of conflicts around the world, schools, universities, students, and teachers are targeted for attack as a tactic of war, and education institutions are used for military purposes putting them at risk of attack by opposing forces.

  • In emergencies, quality education enables children and youth to survive and thrive at times of great uncertainty and vulnerability. Quality education bolsters children and youth’s resilience amidst adversity, supports their socio-emotional and cognitive development, provides a safe space that can act as a platform for other life-saving services, and protects them from the violence, abuse, and exploitation that rise precipitously during emergencies. In the long term, education can break the cycle of violence and conflict and promote peace and reconciliation, helping children and youth contribute to building better futures, opening opportunities, and teaching tolerance and conflict resolution.

  • Education is one of the first services demanded by families and children and young people during crises—and yet it is all too often the first service suspended and one of the last services resumed. According to 16 studies covering 17 different emergencies, 99% of children and youth in crisis situations identified education as a priority [Save the Children, 2015]. However, despite a 126% increase in humanitarian requirements for education needs since 2005, funding has increased by just 4%. There is a clear need to bring actors and resources together to deliver a more ambitious, joined-up response in line with national policies and plans in emergency contexts and beyond.

  • Investing in education is proven to improve the lives of children, even in the poorest countries in the world. According to Save the Children's Global Childhood Report 2019, data reveals that improvements in children's education and increases in enrollment coincided with decreases in child marriages, child labor, adolescent births and child homicides. (Source

Advocacy Statement

Private Engagement in Education in Emergencies: Rights and Regulations

Published by
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

This brief explores some of these tensions and makes recommendations to support the prioritization of safe, equitable, and quality public education for all children and young people affected by crises. 

Arabic
English
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Report

Refugee education during COVID-19 - Crisis and opportunity

Published by
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

This paper presents the synthesised outcome of five INEE refugee round table events, held 20-24 July 2020, highlighting challenges and recommendations, and giving voice to the young refugees themselves.

Arabic
English
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Advocacy Statement

Learning Must Go On: COVID-19 Advocacy Brief

Published by
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)
Save the Children
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Recommendations for keeping children safe and learning, during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

English
Advocacy Statement

Achieving SDG4 for Children and Youth Affected by Crisis

Published by
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

This brief offers recommendations for addressing the disparities in safe, quality, inclusive education for children affected by crisis. It highlights key areas for policy and practice, and looks at ways to use the various tools developed by INEE. 

English
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INEE Webinar

Advocacy for Education in Emergencies

Published by
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

During this webinar, INEE Advocacy Working Group members shared their knowledge and experiences developing advocacy strategies, highlighting successful campaigns they have worked on in a variety of contexts. The second half of the webinar included an open discussion with participants about useful techniques, capacity gaps, and needs that could be addressed by the AWG. 

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Advocacy Statement

A Call to Action for the Horn of Africa

Published by
Relief Web

A Global Commitment to Education in Emergencies. This is a call to action for the Horn of Africa: To fully fund education in humanitarian appeals in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia

English
Report

Global Childhood Report 2019: Changing Lives in our Lifetime

Published by
Save the Children

This year's Global Childhood Report examines the major reasons why childhood comes to an early end, and finds significantly fewer children suffering ill-health, malnutrition, exclusion from education, child labor, child marriage, early pregnancy and violent death.

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Advocacy Statement

Advocacy Guidance: A note for education cluster coordinators

Published by
Global Education Cluster

This document outlines the key strategies, targets, arguments and resources which Coordinators should be familiar with in order to pursue a successful advocacy strategy.

English
Manual/Handbook/Guide

Advocacy Toolkit: A guide to influencing decisions that improve children's lives

Published by
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

UNICEF has an exceptional history of advocating to protect and promote children’s and women’s rights. The Advocacy Toolkit stems from this, systematizing and coordinating both internal and external advocacy expertise, as well developing a few innovative approaches. The Toolkit provides a set of practical tools to help UNICEF staff and partners in the development and management of their advocacy work.

English
Presentation

EiE Advocacy Using Human Rights Approaches

Published by
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

This webinar, hosted by the INEE Advocacy Working Group discussed running successful advocacy campaigns for education in emergencies - using a human rights based approach. AWG members shared their knowledge and experiences developing and using advocacy strategies both on a national and international level and highlighted successful campaigns on several topics.

English
INEE Webinar

Advocating for EiE during COVID-19

Published by
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

The seventh webinar of the INEE COVID-19 webinar series focused on Education in Emergencies advocacy during COVID-19.

English
Manual/Handbook/Guide

A Rights in Crisis Guide to Influencing

Published by
Oxfam

This guide is an essential resource for all those wanting to understand how the humanitarian system works, who to influence and what issues to campaign on in order to ensure respect for the rights of women, men, girls and boys at risk or affected by conflicts and disasters.

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Training Material

EiE Harmonized Training Module 11: Advocacy and Policy

Published by
Global Education Cluster
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

At the end of this session participants will be able to understand and define advocacy, why it is important, and who should be targeted; understand the importance of including education in emergencies as a component of national education policies and planning processes; and develop context specific advocacy messages and action plans for change in education policy.

Arabic
English
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Advocacy Statement

Funding, Policy AND Protection: delivering a quality education to children affected by conflict in Syria and the region

Published by
Save the Children

Responding to the educational dimensions of the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Heads of State and Government arrive in London for ‘Supporting Syria and the Region’ on February 4th, they have an unprecedented opportunity to reverse this situation and to fix the humanitarian crisis for these children, including its educational dimensions.

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Video media

I Ran With the Books

Published by
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

Children's call for education in emergencies. Story of Grace and Anna who fled violence in South Sudan, and now demand education for themselves and others in crisis contexts.

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Policy Document

Leaving no one behind: How far on the way to universal primary and secondary education?

Published by
United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Office (UNESCO)
,
Global Education Monitoring Report

With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), countries have promised to achieve universal completion of primary and secondary education by 2030. This paper, jointly released by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, illustrates the magnitude of this challenge.

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Website

Send My Friend to School

Published by
Send My Friend to School

The Send My Friend to School 'Resources' page. Take a look at their huge range of resources, to help explore the issues with your class and teach about barriers to education.

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Advocacy Statement

The Fierce Urgency of Now – delivering children’s right to education during crises

Published by
Global Campaign For Education UK (GCE)

A campaign for education. In every emergency, whether caused by conflict or natural disaster children tell us that what they want most – alongside medicine, food and shelter – is the opportunity to learn. For the vast majority of children caught up in emergencies their education is at best- interrupted and at worst- never realised.

English
Manual/Handbook/Guide

Youth Advocacy Toolkit

Published by
Plan International

This toolkit contains resources to help children and youth to effectively advocate for their right to an education.

English
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Spanish