Delivery of education at scale to large refugee and conflict affected populations

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Helpdesk Query:

What evidence exists regarding how to deliver education at scale to large refugee and conflict affected populations?


General findings of this helpdesk report include:

  • There is a risk that host countries may not allow refugees access to public education, particularly if the government is under pressure to deliver services to their own citizens.
  • Restrictions on refugee employment may entrench poverty, which in turn dampens prospects for education.
  • Armed conflict is diverting public funds from education into military spending.
  • Education accounts for just 2% of humanitarian aid, with only 38% of aid requests for education being met.
  • Budget support or pooling is preferred by donors to align with government priorities, but in reality this approach resulted in delays and other difficulties.
  • A national level education plan and strategy is critical for successful delivery of education to refugee and vulnerable people.
  • Funding for education programmes should be long-term with care being taken to avoid discontinuity of the progress already made due to funding gaps.
  • Standardised responses to education in emergencies are favoured due to ease of implementation, prior experience and for evaluation purposes.
  • Education interventions must be culturally appropriate and only implemented after a political analysis. Children with special needs must be considered.
  • School feeding programmes must be sustainable and have a built in exit/transition plan.
  • For education kits, local sources must be prioritised. Teachers should also be trained how to use the kits.


Information was found for consideration when planning education delivery for refugee and conflict affected populations on the following key themes:

  • Infrastructure
  • Inclusive education
  • Gender
  • Financing
  • Teachers’ salaries


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