Standard 3: Coordination

Education coordination mechanisms are in place to support the stakeholders who are working to ensure access to and continuity of quality education.

Key Actions

1. Education authorities’ leadership: Education authorities, where appropriate, assume a leadership role in the education response, which includes convening and participating in inter-agency coordination mechanisms with other education stakeholders.

See Guidance Notes:

2. Inter-agency coordination mechanism: Coordinate needs assessment and analysis, strategic planning, advocacy and resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation, and capacity sharing through the inter-agency coordination mechanism and consider all levels and types of education in its activities.

See Guidance Notes:

3. Wide representation and meaningful participation: Ensure that local and national actors are widely represented, participate meaningfully, and guide decision-making in the inter-agency coordination mechanism.

See Guidance Notes:

4. Collaboration across coordination mechanisms: Collaborate with the various inter-agency coordination mechanisms in the education sector and other sectors, from preparedness to response, and through to recovery.

See Guidance Notes:

5. Resource mobilization and financing: Use coordinated, timely, transparent, and equitable financing structures to support EiE activities.

See Guidance Notes:

6. Transparent information and knowledge management: Establish transparent mechanisms for sharing information about planning and coordinating the EiE response in the education coordination mechanism and across coordination mechanisms in other sectors.

See Guidance Notes:

7. Principled coordination to achieve results: Adhere to principles of equity, transparency, responsibility, and accountability to ensure that the EiE response achieves results.

See Guidance Notes:

Guidance Notes
1
Education authorities' leadership

National or sub-national education authorities, and in some cases non-state actors, are responsible for fulfilling the right to education for all, and they should assume a leadership role in coordinating the education response. Government-led coordination mechanisms, which may exist prior to a crisis, have a mandate to coordinate support to the education sector. However, their preparedness to lead coordinated education planning and response in a crisis can vary. Sometimes a government will lead the coordination and at other times it will co-lead or participate in a coordination mechanism, with support from the international community. Humanitarian actors should engage in capacity sharing with education authorities and other local and national actors, but they should be careful not to infringe on others’ legitimate roles. Sometimes it may not be appropriate for education authorities to coordinate humanitarian assistance, such as in contested areas or if they are party to the conflict (see Guidance Note 2 below).

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2
Inter-agency coordination mechanism

If education authority preparedness is limited or constrained, coordination of the education response may be temporarily assigned, by agreement, to an inter-agency coordination mechanism. In this case, an existing education coordination mechanism should be given the responsibility, or, if the IASC cluster system is activated, the Humanitarian Coordinator and the Humanitarian Country Team will decide whether to activate an education cluster, in consultation with national partners. Decisions around cluster activation are based on an analysis of humanitarian needs, the nature of the crisis, and the size and complexity of the response. In situations concerning refugees, a refugee education working group coordinates the education response in line with UNHCR’s Refugee Coordination Model. In any case, when appropriate, an education authority representative should actively participate in decision-making. Where the government cannot be a member of the coordination mechanism, the leads or co-leads are responsible for communicating and engaging with the government.

Depending on the nature of the crisis, coordination groups at the national and sub-national levels may be needed. Education coordination mechanisms should always respect national and local approaches and structures and make proactive efforts to identify, link with, and work with local coordination and leadership structures, including local and national actors. The terms of reference should establish the committee members’ roles and responsibilities.

All levels and types of formal and non-formal education should be considered in coordination activities, including ECD, primary, secondary, technical and vocational, and higher and adult education.

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3
Wide representation and meaningful participation

If an inter-agency coordination mechanism is established, it is essential to have wide representation and the meaningful participation of local and national actors. This is an important step toward locally led humanitarian action and decoloniality. Their participation and leadership in decision-making and in all aspects of the program cycle is essential to ensure accountability to the people affected and to make sure that the assistance provided is relevant. Local and national actors are the first responders in humanitarian crises. They have firsthand knowledge of local challenges and solutions, and a deeper connection to both the affected people and local networks. Local and national actors are a diverse group that includes the following:

  • Local governments
  • National NGOs
  • CSOs
  • CBOs, including OPDs, refugee-led organizations, youth-led organizations, women-led and women’s rights organizations, and faith-based organizations
  • Private sector actors
  • Teachers unions

Local, national, and international stakeholders should participate equitably in coordination mechanisms and have proportionate and gender-responsive representation. The stakeholders’ relationships should be based on partnership, mutual learning, trust, and respect. It is essential that organizations representing marginalized groups are encouraged to participate and supported when they do so. These groups may face multiple barriers, such as language, discrimination, power imbalances, the political environment, logistical and technological obstacles, security challenges, physical obstacles, and resource and capacity constraints. It is important to take all steps necessary to ensure that coordination mechanisms offer a safe and enabling environment. This includes removing any barriers to the meaningful participation of local and national actors and supporting their lead in decision-making. These steps can include the following:

  • Reflecting on how power imbalances shape the relationships between local, national, and international actors, and how power imbalances may be linked to gender imbalances and gender inequality among local and national actors
  • Identifying steps to shift power to those who are typically excluded
  • Sharing information on education coordination mechanisms and how to work with them, including induction for new members
  • Clarifying expectations about participation, including the technical capacity required and how much time it takes
  • Running meetings in the local or national languages
  • Reducing and explaining jargon or technical language
  • Holding meetings in accessible, appropriate spaces and having the option to attend remotely. This includes accommodations for persons with physical disabilities, including those with hearing, sensory, or visual impairments
  • Sharing information in locally acceptable ways
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4
Collaboration across coordination mechanisms

It is important to create connections and promote collaboration between the coordination mechanisms in the education sector and other sectors. Identifying opportunities for collaboration between coordination mechanisms will help create a more holistic and equitable education response.  

Coordination mechanisms can promote and facilitate collaboration across sectors by setting the priorities and approaches for each sector. For example, inter-cluster coordination provides a platform where clusters can work together on shared strategic objectives. The child protection and education sectors provide services to many of the same learners, have partners in common, and often implement actions in the same spaces. Additionally, the Centrality of Protection outlines the obligations of all humanitarian actors, including coordination mechanisms, to ensure protection from sexual exploitation and abuse and other child safeguarding violations, and to mitigate risks of gender-based violence. This makes it critical for education and protection coordination mechanisms to work together and coordinate their activities to address learners’ interconnected needs, barriers, and risks. This may include these sectors sharing responsibilities for training and capacity sharing to have a wider reach. Education coordination mechanisms should also work with any cash working group present to figure out if and how CVA might be used to support education activities. Coordinated needs assessments are an opportunity to promote inter-sectoral links (for more guidance, see Minimum Standards for Child Protection, Standard 1 and Standard 23; Education in Emergencies - Child Protection Collaboration Framework).

In the education sector, a key priority is to promote dialogue and engagement between humanitarian coordination mechanisms and national coordination mechanisms, such as a local education group. It is important that national and humanitarian plans align so that the national ESP can meet the needs of crisis-affected learners. This will ensure that the humanitarian plans are in line with and supportive of the national priorities and processes. Joint planning is also important for areas such as teacher management, compensation, and professional development. Aligning key processes, such as education data management and budgeting, will also help ensure that crisis-affected learners are visible and accounted for in the national systems (for more guidance, see Humanitarian-Development Coherence in Education: working together in crisis contexts).

In situations where humanitarian concerns include IDPs, refugees, and affected people in the same geographic location, the humanitarian coordination mechanisms—education clusters and refugee education working groups—should work together. In these settings, joint coordination arrangements may follow the guidelines provided in the Joint UNHCR-OCHA Note on Mixed Settings, or be adapted to the specific context in keeping with global mandates. This can improve the efficiency, timeliness, and quality of an education response. The appropriate level of collaboration depends on the situation, the composition of the population affected, and how close different populations are to each other. It is important to make sure there is collaboration between education cluster and refugee coordination mechanisms (for more guidance, see Education in Emergencies coordination: Harnessing humanitarian and development architecture for Education 2030).

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5
Resource mobilization and financing

Significant funds are required to implement quality education programs during emergencies and through to recovery in a successful and timely manner. Education coordination mechanisms play a key role in mobilizing resources and advocating for funding for cross-cutting issues in EiE pooled funds vetting criteria. Education systems affected by crisis are funded in several ways, most importantly by national governments. When there is a funding gap, humanitarian and development assistance can complement national and local resources. Financing should be managed in an inclusive, transparent, and coordinated way, such as through the UN flash appeal and consolidated appeals processes. ECW and the Global Partnership for Education are two global funds dedicated to education response. In acute emergencies, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, UN Country-Based Pooled Funds, ECW First Emergency Response, and other emergency response funds, such as NGO-led funds, can provide education funding. The Refugee Response Plan is the key document used for raising funds in refugee situations. The Humanitarian Response Plan is the main appeal and response document used in situations affecting IDPs and crisis-affected children and young people. Humanitarian actors should prioritize and facilitate local partners’ direct access to resources to reduce transaction costs and ensure successful outcomes for the people affected. This includes advocating with donors to achieve more direct and sustainable funding that will support access to education at all levels.

Emergency financing arrangements should reflect national and regional labor market conditions and traditions. They should not set precedents that cannot be maintained. To avoid fueling division in conflict situations, the allocation of resources should be based on a context analysis. A coordinated policy is needed to ensure that teachers’ and other education personnel’s compensation is not interrupted. To support sustainable interventions across the humanitarian-development-peacebuilding nexus, it is important to harmonize emergency financing arrangements with longer-term arrangements. This may include international financing institutions, multi-donor trust funds, or development financing options, such as pooled funding or national financing.

Private sector funding may supplement local and national resources and international assistance. The Abidjan Principles outline governments’ human rights obligations to regulate private involvement in education. Private financing should not undermine national and local ownership of education programs or replace locally recognized credentialing requirements. The national or sub-national education authorities and inter-agency coordination mechanism should discuss how to coordinate their operations with private sector funding, including longer-term funding and exit strategies, for example cluster deactivation.

International humanitarian actors should make sure their assistance complements assistance from community-based and civil society funding, faith-based giving, and South-South cooperation. The funding parties should work closely with the local community to do a needs assessments, followed by ongoing consultation (for more guidance, see INEE Guidance Notes on Teacher Compensation; INEE Reference Guide to External Education Financing; Minimum Economic Recovery Standards, Financial Services Standards).

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6
Transparent information and knowledge management

Information and knowledge management includes:

  • Assessing needs, capacities, and coverage in a participatory and inclusive way
  • Collecting, storing, analyzing, and sharing sex-, age-, and disability-disaggregated data
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Reflecting on lessons learned to inform future work

Information and knowledge management includes different levels and types of education data. This may include response-based reporting, general education information management through an EMIS, or learner data. How these various types of education data are collected, analyzed, shared, and used will vary.

Effective information and knowledge management systems should aim to build on and strengthen national systems and avoid duplicating them. It is essential to involve national and local partners who work in relevant sectors such as child protection, gender/gender-based violence, MHPSS, shelter, nutrition, WASH, health, food security, livelihoods, and early recovery and to share information across sectors. National and local authorities should design information and knowledge management systems and oversee them over the long term

Sharing information and data in a coordinated way can strengthen an education response. Not doing so may cause data to be collected multiple times or misused. On the other hand, sharing data between organizations can also increase the risk of mismanagement and affect communities negatively. To prevent this, humanitarian actors should establish an information sharing protocol (ISP) to ensure a responsible exchange of information and data. ISPs are usually established system-wide, but also at the cluster/sector and organization level (for more guidance, see Minimum Economic Recovery Standards, Core Standard 2).

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7
Principles coordination to achieve results

A results-oriented approach means that all actors coordinate their education responses to produce the desired results. Different actors have different mandates and missions, but all should agree to accountability in coordination and information sharing. This means being transparent about collecting and using information to plan the work. If there are critical gaps in the education response, the education cluster, refugee education working group, and other mechanisms will take responsibility for encouraging stakeholders to fill the gaps and cover the highest-priority needs.

Inter-agency coordination mechanisms should regularly monitor and evaluate the coordination of the education response to identify and address any gaps in coordination. Information about the outcomes of coordinated monitoring and evaluation work should be shared openly, including with the people affected. Doing this will highlight where more work is needed, such as respecting cultural diversity, promoting anti-racist initiatives, and protecting the rights of indigenous people. It also will help support people using the INEE MS and related humanitarian principles. Any national human rights institutions involved in a response should monitor their national authorities’ obligation to guarantee the right to education for all. National international humanitarian law committees, supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross, may also help national authorities meet their responsibility to fulfill the right to education.

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Supporting Resources

Supporting Resources
1 September 2020 Framework Child Protection Area of Responsibility (CP AoR), Global Education Cluster

Education in Emergencies - Child Protection Collaboration Framework

The CP-EiE Collaboration framework supports Education and CP coordination teams’ predictable and coherent collaboration throughout the Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC). At each step of the HPC, it provides steps to strengthen CP-EiE collaboration, promising collaboration practices from country coordination groups, and tools and resources to support collaboration.

1 August 2020 Report Global Education Cluster, Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Education in Emergencies coordination: Harnessing humanitarian and development architecture for Education 2030

This report presents learning and recommendations emerging from the Global Partners Project (GPP), an initiative to strengthen education in emergencies (EiE) coordination.

1 January 2022 Manual/Handbook/Guide Global Education Cluster

Practical Coordination Steps toward Humanitarian-Development Nexus

This guide provides recommendations to country-based Education Cluster and EiE WG coordination teams for aligning EiE response with national education sector plans in support of humanitarian–development coherence and includes a strong focus on Climate Change mitigation and adaptation to Disaster Risk Reduction.

29 January 2021 Manual/Handbook/Guide
Global Education Cluster, Save the Children
Translators without Borders

Humanitarian Coordination and the Cluster Approach: A Quick Guide for Local and National Organizations

This guide is designed to help you understand the humanitarian cluster approach. It gives an overview of what it is and why your organization should get involved.

7 April 2021 Report Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

Humanitarian-Development Coherence in Education: working together in crisis contexts

The paper proposes a set of actions and recommendations to strengthen humanitarian-development coherence in the education sector, with guidelines for education stakeholders to take collective action and advocate for improved coherence within their own agencies and across the education sector’s full spectrum of policy and programming.

5 July 2021 Manual/Handbook/Guide Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC)

IASC Guidance on Strengthening Participation, Representation and Leadership of Local and National Actors in IASC Humanitarian Coordination Mechanisms

This guidance note has been developed to support efforts to strengthen the meaningful participation, representation, and leadership of local and national humanitarian actors (L/NAs) within IASC humanitarian coordination structures.

1 January 2012 Manual/Handbook/Guide Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

INEE Reference Guide on External Education Financing

The INEE Reference Guide on External Education Financing was developed by the INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility in response to requests from education specialists for an easily accessible description of the different types of external assistance for education. 

11 July 2019 Website United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Refugee Coordination Model (RCM)

The Refugee Coordination Model (RCM) provides the model for leading and coordinating refugee operations. It sets out our shared duty to refugees, an integrated humanitarian vision, and responsibilities.

Indicators

Untitled Spreadsheet
INEE Domain INEE Standard Indicator/Program Requirements Clarification Numerator Denominator Target Disaggregation Source of Indicator Source of Data Available Tool Crisis Phase
Foundational Standards Community Participation Participation (FDN/Community Participation Std 1)

Community members participate actively, transparently, and without discrimination in analysis, planning, design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of education responses.
1.1 Percentage of parents actively participating in the conception and implementation of education in emergencies services Number of parents consulted Number of parents To be defined by program Gender Based on OCHA Indicator Registry Program documentation No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient All stages
1.2 Percentage of parents satisfied with the quality and appropriateness of response at the end of the project Number of parents satisfied with the quality and appropriateness of response at the end of the project Number of parents 100% NA Based on OCHA Indicator Registry Program documentation Tool required All stages
Resources (FDN/Community Participation Std 2)

Community resources are identified, mobilized and used to implement age-appropriate learning opportunities.
1.3 Analysis of opportunity to use local resources is carried out and acted on Scale 1-5 (1 = low, 5 = high) 5 NA New Program/procurement documentation Tool required All stages
Coordination Coordination (FDN/Coordination Std 1)

Coordination mechanisms for education are in place to support stakeholders working to ensure access to and continuity of quality education.
1.4 Percentage of regular relevant coordination mechanism (i.e., Education Cluster, EiEWG, LEGs) meetings attended by program team Number of regular relevant coordination mechanism (i.e.; Education Cluster, EiE Working Group (WG), Local Education Group (LEG) meetings attended by program team Number of regular relevant coordination mechanism (i.e. Education Cluster, EiEWG, LEGs) meetings held during organizational presence 100% NA New Meeting records No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient All stages
Analysis Assessment (FDN/Analysis Std 1)

Timely education assessments of the emergency situation are conducted in a holistic, transparent, and participatory manner.
1.5 Percentage of education needs assessments, carried out by the relevant coordinating body the program has participated in These include initial rapid and ongoing/rolling assessments Number of assessments organization contributed to Number of possible assessments organization could have contributed to 100% NA New Assessment records No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient All stages
Response Strategies (FDN/Analysis Std 2)

Inclusive education response strategies include a clear description of the context, barriers to the right to education, and strategies to overcome those barriers.
1.6 Strength of analysis of context, of barriers to the right to education, and of strategies to overcome those barriers Scale 1-5 (1 = low, 5 = high) 5 NA New Program documentation Tool required All stages
Monitoring (FDN/Analysis Std 3)

Regular monitoring of education response activities and the evolving learning needs of the affected population is carried out.
1.7 Percentage of education needs assessments carried out in defined time period Frequency to be defined by organization. Monitoring measures should be relevant to the desired program outcomes Number of education needs assessments carried out per year Number of education needs assessments required per year 100% NA New M&E plans and results No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient During program implementation
Evaluation (FDN/Analysis Std 4)

Systematic and impartial evaluations improve education response
activities and enhance accountability.
1.8 Number of evaluations carried out Number of evaluations carried out NA NA New M&E plans and results No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient Program completion
1.9 Percentage of evaluations shared with parents Number of evaluations shared with parents Number of evaluations 100% NA New M&E plans and results No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient Program completion