Thematic Areas


Humanitarian crises profoundly impact children and youth, disrupting family relationships, disturbing social cohesion, and creating feelings of isolation, uncertainty, fear, anger, loss, and sadness. This exposure to adversity, particularly in early childhood, can lead to lifelong impairment of learning, behavior, and physical and mental health. A growing body of research shows that the development of socio-emotional skills is critical for the success of children in school and other settings during their adulthood. However, psychosocial support (PSS) and social and emotional learning (SEL) considerations still have not adequately influenced education in emergency practices. 

Network Spaces with a focus on PSS-SEL


How to get involved

There are a number of ways members can connect with this thematic space. Here are a few ideas:

  • Apply to join the PSS-SEL Collaborative (applications opening soon. Email for further information)
  • Subscribe to the PSS-SEL in EiE Newsletter (forthcoming)
  • Join the INEE Community of Practice workspace on Slack, and sign-up to the #MHPSS-in-EiE channel
  • Write a Blog post
  • Upload a resource


Current Activities

PSS-SEL Framework Project (2020 - 2022)

The PSS-SEL Collaborative, in partnership with Harvard University’s EASEL Lab, seeks to develop a toolbox with different instruments that will improve coordination and coherence in the field of PSS/SEL. This project is motivated by two challenges currently facing the field:

  • We know that PSS and SEL matter a great deal, but we have many different names for skills, and many different definitions and measures for skills.
  • We know that culture and context influence social and emotional “norms” for social behaviour, yet the vast majority of research comes from the “global north” and western stable contexts. 

While we can’t solve these problems currently, we aim to address them by developing a toolbox that supports stakeholders to better understand what’s in the current field of SEL/PSS in EIE settings, and providing guidance around how to use that information to inform the work you are doing in your specific site, program, or organization. We’ve developed a toolbox with different instruments that improve coordination and coherence in the field. The tools help stakeholders do different things, such as:

  • Gain insights about PSS-SEL
  • Compare PSS-SEL frameworks
  • Develop/refine/adapt PSS-SEL frameworks
  • Develop/refine PSS-SEL programs and curriculum 
  • Develop indicators to track progress in the field
  • Identify evidence gaps for PSS-SEL
  • Develop PSS-SEL measurement maps


PSS-SEL Framework Project diagram
Above diagram comes from Slide 8 here which can be duplicated for translation

The work of the PSS-SEL Framework Project is supported by the PSS-SEL Reference Group.

Teacher Wellbeing Toolkit Project

Failure to guarantee and tend to teacher wellbeing has significantly adverse effects on students and  learning outcomes. Teacher wellbeing is key to providing quality, equitable education for all. It correlates with creating healthy relationships with students, managing the classroom effectively, implementing social emotional programs well, and improving the classroom climate for all students so children/youths are better  able to learn. This is especially true in situations of armed conflict, forced displacement, protracted crisis  and natural disaster settings, and particularly now during the ongoing COVID-19 global health response. 

Through the work of its Collaboratives, INEE has made significant contributions to teacher support in crisis,  including INEE’s Teachers in Crisis Contexts (TiCC) Training (2016) and Peer Caching (2018) packs and the Landscape Review:  Teacher Wellbeing in Low Resource, Crisis, and Conflict-affected Settings (2019). The urgent need now is to build on this work by identifying existing and creating new practical guidance and tools that focus  on teacher wellbeing through a social-ecological lens in consultation with teachers themselves. 

Addressing this critical gap will better enable EiE actors around the globe to uphold INEE’s Minimum Standards for Education: Preparedness, Response and Recovery and support ECW’s commitment to transform the quality of education response. Through its efforts, and funded through ECW’s Accelerator Fund, INEE will expand the capacity of EiE actors to meet the specific needs of teachers in their local contexts, while also engaging policymakers to more  effectively and systemically support teacher well-being. INEE will also expand its advocacy for an increased  focus on teacher well-being, both immediately and throughout this two year project. 

INEE seeks to address this critical gap through the following outputs:

  • Output B1.1: A comprehensive, collated collection of existing multimedia teacher wellbeing tools,  frameworks and measurement tools highlighting existing good practice and where possible the extent to  which cross-cutting areas like gender, race/ethnicity, ability, and other points of social marginalization are meaningfully incorporated, mapped to the Teacher Wellbeing Conceptual Framework
  • Output B1.2: Rapid access for EiE practitioners and teachers alike to existing teacher well-being tools as they respond to the COVID-19 global health crisis and advocate for policies and programs to benefit and  support teachers 
  • Output B1.3: An INEE Guidance Note on Teacher Wellbeing designed to equip policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and civil society organisations to deliver quality EiE programming, meaningfully integrating where appropriate cross-cutting areas like gender, race/ethnicity, ability, and other points of social marginalization 
  • Output B1.4: Teacher wellbeing in emergencies tools or resources, with associated guidance, that fill key gaps identified in the mapping exercise and gap analysis and meaningfully integrate where appropriate cross-cutting areas like gender, race/ethnicity, ability, and other points of social marginalization
  • Output B1.5: Widespread availability of the INEE Teacher Wellbeing Toolkit and the provision of technical support on how to effectively utilize tools in diverse contexts and for a variety of stakeholders, including  inter alia practitioners, advocates, researchers, teachers themselves, and as appropriate policymakers 


PSS-SEL Background Paper

The INEE Background Paper on Psychosocial Support and Social and Emotional Learning for Children and Youth in Emergency Settings, published in 2016, was written to clarify relevant terminologies and approaches relating to psychosocial support (PSS) and social and emotional learning (SEL) in education in crisis affected contexts, and to explore how the two concepts relate to one another. This resource is open-source, and is available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Arabic. 

Guidance Note on Psychosocial Support

INEE’s Guidance Note on Psychosocial Support was published in 2018 and offers specific strategies for how to incorporate PSS into education responses. The resource addresses a gap in the tools that are currently available to educators and professionals operating in emergency and crisis contexts, providing PSS programming guidance that is specifically oriented to the education sector. This tool is open-source, and is currently available in English, Spanish, and Arabic.

PSS-SEL Training Module and Webinar

In addition to the Background Paper and Guidance Note, an accompanying 3-hour training module and short webinar have been developed. The sessions provide a baseline understanding of PSS-SEL terminology, how psychosocial wellbeing can affect children and youth in crisis contexts, and how PSS and SEL can be integrated into education systems. The training module is available in all five INEE languages (Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish). 

Teacher Wellbeing

With support from the Education Equity Initiative, the Collaborative has produced a landscape review of teacher wellbeing, following an extensive literature review. A webinar on the findings of the literature review took place in August 2019. Watch the webinar recording and see the presentation slides here.

For more information please contact PSS-SEL Project Manager, Rachel Smith (