Journal on Education in Emergencies

Call for Papers - Special issue on Education in Pandemics

Projected publication: May/June 2022
Abstract Submission deadline: 17 May 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects on wellbeing and educational attainment. At its height, full or partial school closures interrupted the education of around 1.6 billion learners (UNESCO 2020), and will result in a projected 200 billion disrupted school days by the end of 2020 (Insights for Education 2020). These numbers are complicated by differential effects on learners across the globe. Education disruptions are exacerbated in low-income countries and among populations affected by political violence and environmental disasters. School closures leave many children and youth without a space to support their cognitive, social, and emotional development, protection from exploitation and/or violence, and access to critical resources such as school meals and professional mental health or disability support services (Burde et al. 2015; INEE 2010). As contexts and education systems vary in terms of adapting to mass school closures, learning outcomes are likely to become even more disparate, with some children receiving education appropriate for their needs, while many others will be denied their right to education due to inadequate service provision. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and its ripple effects put Sustainable Development Goal 4 in jeopardy, and will impact learners in expected and unexpected ways for years to come (INEE 2020). Evidence from the Ebola epidemic and other humanitarian crises shows that the duration of students’ absence from school and adverse experiences while out of school reduce the likelihood of their return (Levey et al. 2016; UNICEF 2018). The deep economic effects of the current pandemic are likely to hit the world’s most vulnerable children in crisis-affected areas the hardest, making their return to education post-crisis even more difficult. Teachers, parents, and caregivers are also affected by health crises. Parents and caregivers face added stress and responsibility of keeping family members safe and healthy and changes to income or employment. Many parents and caregivers take on new roles as at-home educators, supplementing or replacing the actions that school teachers normally do. Meanwhile, pandemics  present professional challenges for teachers, such as adapting to rapidly change practices and learning new skills, among others.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis and the urgent need for evidence on effective preparedness, mitigation strategies, and post-pandemic recovery, the Journal on Education in Emergencies (JEiE) seeks research articles and field notes submissions for a special issue on education in pandemics and public health crises. JEiE welcomes theoretical and empirical research articles that analyze, assess, measure, critique, or otherwise address any aspect of pandemics or public health crises and education in settings of humanitarian crisis. Additionally, JEiE welcomes field note submissions that present innovative tools or approaches related to pandemics and education in emergencies, or observations, debates, and commentary on research work. JEiE also invites suggestions for books for review on these themes. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: 

  • Effects of health crises on learners affected by political violence or environmental disasters
  • Impact on other categories of vulnerable learners in education in emergencies contexts, such as the unique risks pandemics pose to girls, and to learners with disabilities
  • Lessons learned from past public health crises, including Ebola, H1N1, SARS, HIV/AIDS, and others for education responses to COVID-19, future health crises and/or recovery
  • Pandemic preparedness, mitigation, and response in education systems
  • Experiences developing or implementing public health guidelines and policies for education settings amid conflict, crisis, and/or humanitarian emergency
  • Design and implementation of distance education (online, television, radio, paper-based, and other modalities) in emergency contexts and/or for vulnerable or low-resource populations
  • Teaching materials, curricula, and learning materials about public health, disease mitigation, protection, and prevention
  • Teacher professional development and caretaker training and support during health crises
  • Effects of absence from school due to public health crises on children and young people in conflict and crisis settings, including learning losses, likelihood of returning to school, mental health, and increased threats to child protection, including the risk of exploitation, abuse, or violence.
  • Best practices and innovations for maximizing the return to school of those most at risk of not returning and those students who were already out of school prior to the pandemic.

Recognizing the global scope of these issues, JEiE seeks submissions from all regions of the world. JEiE strongly encourages individuals working in the field, and members of the Global South to submit. 

All authors are required to submit a 200-word abstract describing the content of the proposed paper and demonstrating how it addresses the themes of the special issue for consideration to by May 17, 2021. The JEiE Editorial Team welcomes abstracts of submissions authored in French and English. 

Following an initial review process, selected authors will be invited to submit a full paper. Selected authors will receive an email notifying them that their abstract has been invited for submission as a paper. Only invited manuscripts will be considered. All manuscripts are subject to a double-anonymized peer review process. Research articles should be 9,000 words or fewer, including references and a 200-word abstract, and field notes submissions should be 4,000 words or fewer, including references. Formatting and references should follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition. The deadline for submitting invited manuscripts is August 15, 2021.

JEiE acknowledges that this is an extraordinary time and that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in disrupted daily routines, work, and research projects. Childcare, eldercare, schooling, and other domestic responsibilities disproportionately fall to women. Authors who need extra time or accommodations to submit their work for consideration in the special issue should not hesitate to contact the editorial office at

More information for authors is available at