Working together to build resilience in crisis contexts

A new background paper from the Interagency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) suggests concrete actions and recommendations to strengthen humanitarian-development coherence in the education sector.

April 08, 2021 by INEE Secretariat, INEE
2 minutes read
Students from the Azimpur Government Primary School in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud
Students from the Azimpur Government Primary School in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, no country or education system is immune from crisis; therefore, building resilience is the key not only to avoiding losses but to sustaining and progressing toward our shared goals in the education sector.

Collective action is needed across the humanitarian-development spectrum to build inclusive and adaptable education systems that are prepared for and have the capacity to respond to crises, so that every child and young person has a chance to go to school, stay in school, and complete a full cycle of primary and secondary education.

Humanitarian-development coherence is a broad and complex topic that relates to many aspects of education, from policy and coordination to planning, financing, and programming.

It brings together actors with different mandates, points of view, and institutional cultures, thus finding common ground is not automatic. It is, rather, the result of a sometimes-long process of dialogue and trust-building.

While many practical examples of coherence are being implemented at the global and country level, there are mixed levels of understanding and engagement with humanitarian-development coherence in the education sector, and a variety of structural barriers stand in the way of its operationalization.

As education partners increasingly recognize that united, coordinated action is essential if we are to meet Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) targets by 2030, there is a need to clearly articulate coherence and agree on collective action across the divide.

Humanitarian-Development Coherence in Education: Working together in crisis contexts is a background paper from the Inter-agency Network For Education in Emergencies (INEE). The purpose of this paper is to demystify the concept of humanitarian-development coherence.

Using the New Ways of Working definition - working over multiple years toward collective outcomes based on the comparative advantage of a diverse range of actors - this paper recapitulates the critical concept of humanitarian-development coherence, provides an overview of barriers to coherence in the education sector, and identifies illustrative examples of coherent action.

The paper proposes a set of actions and recommendations to strengthen humanitarian-development coherence in the education sector, with guidelines for education stakeholders to take collective action and advocate for improved coherence within their own agencies and across the education sector’s full spectrum of policy and programming.

It is aimed at a broad range of humanitarian, development, government, and civil society actors who are working to ensure that all individuals have the right to a quality, safe, relevant and equitable education.

The paper is available in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

This paper was conceptualized by the Humanitarian Development Task Force, a collaboration between the INEE Education Policy Working Group and the INEE Advocacy Working Group.

For more information, please contact


Post a comment or

Latest blogs


CIDO-UG aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, and promote lifelong learning and providing opportunities for the children to participate and be empowered with knowledge and skills to articulate on issues that affect them, especially their rights to education and child rights in general.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world".

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Plain text

  • Global and entity tokens are replaced with their values. Browse available tokens.
  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.