Meet the INEE Country Focal Points in the Middle East and North Africa
Members are at the heart of the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE). Since its foundation in 2000, INEE has provided continuous and qualitative support to its members working in the education sector, especially in contexts of crises, emergencies, and wars. The network provides spaces for member engagement in order to exchange knowledge and experiences aimed at supporting teachers and other education actors in emergency contexts. Education practitioners in conflict contexts need regular technical support and to feel that they are a part of a community.
INEE Country Focal Points
In early 2021, INEE launched a new Country Focal Points (CFP) initiative aimed to expand communication and outreach to members at the national level. CFPs are key reference persons at country level, tasked to support networking and communication, particularly through the facilitation of information exchange among INEE members. CFPs help ensure that the voices of education practitioners are heard both locally and globally.
The Middle East and North Africa region experiences many crises and conflicts, which directly affect access to quality education for learners. In order to provide continuous technical support and ensure that the issues and voices of education workers in several countries are raised, INEE has appointed CFPs, in the 2022 cohort, in Yemen, Libya, and Jordan.
INEE CFPs in the Arab region
This blog introduces the CFPs in the MENA region and showcases their experiences and reflections. Each CFP writes about their EiE work, the skills they’ve gained over the years, and how they support INEE members in their respective countries. The blog also outlines how the wider network supports both INEE members and non-members working in the EiE sector.
Sahar Bani Mustafa - Jordan
My journey with the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) began when I became a member in 2019. INEE provides a wealth of free resources, tools, and training materials in multiple languages and accessible to anyone. INEE also facilitates communication between more than 19,000 members in various regions, through social media (Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Telegram and WhatsApp) and interactive platforms such as the newly launched Community of Practice (CoP) on the Slack platform. These channels facilitate participatory work and expand the dissemination of tools on a large scale.
In 2020, I had the opportunity to volunteer with INEE by supporting the Arabic Language Community. In 2021, I applied for and was appointed as the INEE Country Focal Point for Jordan, and I was re-appointed to this role in 2022. My work as a CFP is a very valuable opportunity, through which I have gained skills, knowledge, and experience in the field. Close communication and engaging conversation with INEE members enables me to learn about their experiences and listen to success stories of bringing about positive change in their local educational settings. Working closely with members has helped me to identify the main challenges that members face in the field and the gaps in the sector.
In addition to the above, my work within the larger INEE network helps me to get acquainted with and learn from a distinguished team of experts with great experience in the sector. I’ve been able to form multiple and diverse relationships with people from all over the world. I have also had opportunities to enhance my skills, most notably obtaining a trainer certificate for the INEE Minimum Standards (INEE MS). As the global standards that establish minimum levels of safe and equitable quality education for all learners, the INEE MS are an inspiring resource for all people involved in the education sector. I learned not just about the standards themselves, but also the various related tools and resources, and how to train others on using them.
In Jordan, the educational system receives great attention from all stakeholders and efforts are being made to provide quality education for all children, including refugees and IDPs. However, the sector faces many challenges and educational gaps due to various reasons: waves of refugees over the past years; a lack of resources; and the Covid-19 pandemic. As the INEE CFP in Jordan, I interact and support educational practitioners in their work and interventions in providing quality and appropriate education in an attempt to mitigate these challenges as much as possible.
INEE members and other Jordan-based stakeholders can interact with the network through:
- Participating in initiatives to raise and build capacity, such as training on inclusive education, use of technology and interactive tools in distance education, training on the INEE Minimum Standards, and more;
- Enriching Arabic content and share resources, tools, and guides that can be used as a reference and guide in educational interventions;
- Networking between stakeholders from local and international NGOs, United Nations agencies, formal and informal educational institutions, teachers and researchers;
- Participating in virtual educational seminars and meetings that enable them to amplify their voices on a larger scale;
- Engaging in the INEE Community of Practice (CoP), particularly through the Arabic language channels.
In conclusion, I encourage everyone to join INEE and engage with the diverse channels and spaces of the network. My email is: Sahar.Mustafa@inee.org
Hani Ahmed - Libya
I first joined the field of education as a lecturer in the English Language Department at the University of Tripoli, Libya. In addition to teaching, I have also held education leadership positions, and, in recent years, I have worked in the development and humanitarian sectors to address the emergency situation in Libya.
In 2019, my role in humanitarian work in Libya involved training teachers who worked with local partners to implement non-formal education programs with UNICEF. In this role, I was referred to the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) where I found a wealth of resources to support my work, including:
- Competency Framework for Education in Emergencies,
- INEE Training Unit - Support Psychosocial and socio-emotional learning
- INEE training on conflict-sensitive education
- Training package for teachers in crisis situations,
- A coordinated training kit for Education in Emergencies organizations,
- An original training kit for the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies
These resources supported me to carry out the tasks assigned to me in the field of teacher training, and it was a beginning for me to get to know the network more. The first step was to join INEE, and subsequently join the INEE Community of Practice. In this community, I have met members from around the world and benefited from their expertise and experience in education in emergency contexts. Through this living community, I’ve had the opportunity to organize an INEE Meet-Up event in North Africa and the Middle East. A number of participants from the Arab region attended, and I benefited greatly from networking with them through this meeting, as well as several other Meet-Ups on various topics.
Being a member of the INEE Community of Practice gave me the opportunity to apply for and be selected for the position of Country Focal Point for Libya in early 2022. One of the biggest benefits of being in this voluntary role is the knowledge I’ve gained about all of INEE’s services and resources, in addition to becoming more familiar with various partners working in contexts of education in emergencies.
Finally, I advise and encourage everyone to join INEE and to engage with the network in various ways and through all network channels. If you have any inquiries, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ahmed Al-Qadi - Yemen
I have worked in the education sector for more than 20 years, and specifically in the field of education in emergencies for a lot of that time. Since I joined the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) in 2019, I have found it to be the best place to develop my skills and increase my knowledge in the field of EiE. I found it the right place to exchange and benefit from others working in the education sector in times of emergency, especially in local contexts. INEE has a wealth of references, resources, and tools on EiE in many languages.
I joined INEE with passion, as active member and volunteer with the Arabic Language Community. I started working in a team made up of people from different Arab countries such as Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Somalia. I had the honor to participate in reviewing, proofreading, and translating some INEE resources into Arabic, and I also participated as a trainer for a training program on the INEE Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies in Yemen. During this period, I learned a lot more about inclusive education, teacher wellbeing and safety during emergencies, gender equity, and many other important topics.
INEE has established several interactive and participatory platforms to enable its members to communicate with each other, including WhatsApp, Telegram, Twitter, and Facebook. In 2021, INEE launched the INEE Community of Practice (CoP) on the Slack platform. The CoP is an interactive platform with direct messaging and theme-based channels on many topics in the field of education in emergencies in many languages. Slack works seamlessly on mobile devices and computers.
In early 2022, I was selected as a consultant in Yemen to assist with the global updating of the INEE Minimum Standards. Many members of the network in Yemen who are interested in education issues have been involved in interviews and dialogues to express their views regarding the update of this critical tool.
In March 2022, I was appointed as the INEE Country Focal Point (CFP) in Yemen, to be a link between institutions, organizations, and personalities working in the field of EiE in Yemen. This role has had a huge impact on my professional and personal life. My knowledge of EiE issues in Yemen is becoming clearer, and I have gotten to know better many of the organizations and institutions working in the field of education. And I am eager to continue to work with many more organizations in the days to come. Through the platforms of the INEE network, members in Yemen are able to hold interactive seminars and participate in various local and regional meetings.
In conclusion, for those interested in education and professional development, especially in the field of education in emergencies, I recommend joining INEE and the INEE Community of Practice. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
More information about Country Focal Point initiative and way to engage, please visit the following webpage: inee.org/ar/country-focal-points