Training in Crisis-sensitive planning: outcome of the first edition in French
Planning is key to preventing, preparing for, and mitigating the impact of natural disasters and conflicts on education systems. However, it is important to be able to use the data on education in emergencies that is so often lacking. Understanding the challenges of statistical information in contexts of population displacement, collecting, and analysing quality data, mapping risks, using data to monitor and evaluate learning... these are some of the topics addressed in a very rich IIEP training course recently completed.
- Using data and information for crisis-sensitive educational planning: a nine-week online course held between January and March 2022.
- 49 participants from 13 French-speaking African countries, from ministries, international or regional organisations, and technical partners.
- A practical, specialised training course based on analytical tools and methods, case studies and the sharing of experiences between countries.
- At the end of the training, almost all participants found the course useful and relevant to their professional activities.
Insecurity in the Sahel, cyclones, and floods in Southern Africa: there is often a lack of coherent and up-to-date education data in crisis situations. This information is essential for planning education in emergencies, so ministries can ensure continuity of education, protect investments in education and training, and sometimes even save lives.
From collecting reliable data to integrating it into EMIS
Over the course of the training, the 49 participants were introduced to a range of tools and methods for crisis-sensitive education sector analysis. They were introduced to and explored open databases on humanitarian crises and conflicts, such as ACLED or INFORM. The training also gave them the opportunity to conduct a study describing the risk profile of their country and examine the effects of conflicts and disasters on education - or conversely, to understand the potential role of education in mitigating or exacerbating crises.
Thanks to this training, I became aware of the extraordinary amount of data that could complement the few national sources considered in education management information systems.
The online course also focused on the framework for monitoring and evaluating education provision in emergency contexts - including the integration of crisis-sensitive data into national education management information systems (EMIS). "I remember that ministries of education tend to reduce EMIS to an annual statistical campaign, whereas it is a much broader tool, which should include budget, crisis data and so on. To improve EMIS, we need to develop the statistical culture within ministries but also with the 'primary' producers of data. That is to say, teachers and school principals, who are the source of information feedback," says Ndeye Yacine Fall, a statistics adviser at UNESCO's Senegal office, who followed the course.
This course will help me to analyse our education system in the context of conflict and internal displacement. I will be able to report relevant data and develop approaches to promote educational continuity in my country.
Applying what was learned from the course
Working at different levels of the education and training sector in 13 different African countries, the participants had the opportunity to share their experiences, impressions, and perspectives at the end of the nine-week course. While some, at central and decentralized levels, intend to quickly use the knowledge gained to evolve their risk and data management procedures, others praised the relevance of IIEP's recommended readings and resources to their longer-term professional needs.
The training was very valuable for me, especially on the issue of data sources. Until now, we have not been collecting data on hazards impacting technical and vocational education and training institutions. We will now be able to start this analysis and then use it in a crisis-sensitive TVET planning process.
Training praised for its rich and relevant content
Funded with the support of the European Union's Foreign Policy Instruments Service (EU-IPE), the training course was developed by IIEP teams in Paris and Dakar, in partnership with the Network on International Education and Training Policy and Cooperation (NORRAG). After a first edition organized in 2021 for an English-speaking audience, this certification course has been adapted in French to the specific needs of the African continent in terms of education in emergency situations.
The course was structured around three successive modules, combining self-study and group work on the IIEP's Virtual Campus platform. Four thematic webinars complemented the programme, addressing, among others, climate change or gender in crisis-sensitive education planning.
I appreciated the way the training was conducted, in perfect accord with the IIEP team and colleagues from other countries. I am proud to have been able to attend this course, which is an asset for my professional life. We also learned a lot from the different experts mobilised during the various webinars
This training course was also marked by the sudden death, at the beginning of March, of Natalie Frédéric, Programme Assistant at IIEP-UNESCO for many years, who was part of the course team. Participants were able to share their sadness and memories during a tribute to Natalie at the closing ceremony of the course.
This online course on using data and information for crisis-sensitive educational planning contributes to IIEP-UNESCO Dakar's effort to improve the responsiveness of African education systems. It is based on a deep conviction that equity and inclusion must be at the heart of the priorities of education systems, including in times of crisis.