Field Note: Education Systems Response to COVID-19: Reflections on the Contributions of Research to USAID’s Education and Resilience Agenda

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, education systems have grappled with the complexity of protecting the wellbeing of learners and educators, along with ensuring learners’ continued engagement with learning. This has led to an increasing number of calls to strengthen education-sector resilience to future shocks and stressors, particularly for the most marginalized, in order to maintain momentum toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4. Resilience has been and continues to be a key focal point for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), both across the agency and within its education portfolio. In this paper, we reflect on case study research in five contexts—Colombia, Georgia, Lebanon, Nigeria, and Zambia—during the COVID-19 pandemic and apply it to USAID’s resilience framework for education. We identify practices and structures used in each context that were either operationalized or could be leveraged further to absorb, adapt, and ultimately transform these education systems when facing a pandemic and other types of stressors and shocks.


Resource Info

Resource Type

Journal Article


Published by

Journal on Education in Emergencies (JEiE)

Authored by

Jennifer Flemming, Ritesh Shah, Nina Weisenhorn, Julie Chinnery, and Gwendolyn Heaner


Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Research and Evidence
Risk Reduction and Resilience
Systems Strengthening

Geographic Focus