Donor's Engagement: Supporting Education in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States

This research examines the changing nature of donors' engagement in supporting education in fragile and conflict-affected states.

In 2000, donors committed themselves to making "new, concrete financial commitments" and providing "increased development assistance and debt relief for education," in order assist countries in achieving Education for All (EFA). Yet, education still remains one of the least-funded sectors in humanitarian aid. In 2016, only 2.7% of humanitarian aid was allotted to education in emergencies (EiE), well below the 4% target. Meanwhile, funding requests for education in emergencies has only increased within the past few years, and with the number of globally displaced people reaching the highest levels on record, their need for assistance is more critical than ever before. 

Education is a key factor in restoring normalcy and hope and in providing physical, psychosocial and cognitive protection in emergency situations. However, few donors have humanitarian policies that explicitly include education from the onset of a humanitarian response.

This book provides an overview of the policies, strategies and financial commitments of the 23 influential Western donors that constitute the OECD in relation to education in fragile and conflict-affected states. Three donors, including the European Commission, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, together with two international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) - the International Rescue Committee and Save the Children UK - were interviewed to draw out lessons learned and emerging good practice. A field visit to Liberia obtained a more detailed country perspective.

Recommendations are presented for deeper engagement by external stakeholders (donors, UN agencies, foundations and INGOs). Suggestions are also made to advise governments in fragile and conflict-affected states how to create an enabling environment for external stakeholders to support service delivery.

Resource Info

Resource Type



Published by

Education Development Trust (formerly CFBT)

Authored by

Laura Brannelly, Susy Ndaruhutse and Carole Rigaud


Education and Fragility