Launch of Anticipatory Action Guidelines in EiE at HNPW 2024

This article was originally posted on the Geneva Global Hub for EiE.

GEC presenting guidelines at event

On 6 May, the Geneva Global Hub for Education in Emergencies (EiE Hub) and Global Education Cluster (GEC) co-hosted a session at Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks (HNPW) on Strengthening Coordinated Approaches to Anticipatory Action in the Education Sector, to launch new guidelines on anticipatory action in the education sector.

The guidelines aim to help education clusters coordinate inter-agency efforts on anticipatory action in education to enhance sector preparedness, support the provision of rapid and quality education in emergencies, strengthen education advocacy work, and contribute to nexus-focused programming.

“At least half of crises are at least partly predictable – so we can take action ahead of time,” said Mackenzie Monserez, co-lead of the GEC’s Preparedness and Anticipatory Action Task Team, introducing the guidelines. “We must switch from a reactive to a proactive approach to addressing crisis.”

Monserez added that we are still learning about what anticipatory action means for education, applying learning from inter-agency spaces, partners, and other sectors to define what anticipatory action looks like in this sector. This work will help reduce the impacts of predictable crises on children’s education and wellbeing, and empower children and school communities to play a critical role in supporting anticipatory action.

But, despite global calls and political commitments, less than 1% of funding is allocated to pre-crisis response and the humanitarian system has yet to systematically integrate anticipatory approaches.

The learnings and opportunities of improving humanitarian responses through anticipatory action must be scaled up and mainstreamed across all sectors, including education. Acting ahead of a crisis to ensure continuity of education through anticipatory action means lifesaving support can be provided, and that schools and educational services can serve as entry points for child protection, health, and other essential services. In protracted emergencies, anticipatory action offers opportunities to reduce the impact of complex and recurring crises.

“Not only does anticipatory action save money, it also saves lives and livelihoods and mitigates the economic, political, social and security impacts of compounded crises,” said Petra Heusser, Coordinator of the EiE Hub.

As part of the session, participants joined breakout discussions – three groups in the room and one online. They were each provided with three circle labels and activity print-outs so that they could develop Venn diagrams which they could then share and discuss. They were encouraged to debate and discuss how various activities fit (or don’t) into different categories, depending when it is done, how it is triggered, and how it is funded. The mix of expertise and experience in the room and online allowed for stimulating debate and exchange.

To understand how coordinated approaches to anticipatory action for education can contribute to more effective and efficient humanitarian responses and improved humanitarian outcomes for children, the GEC established its Preparedness and Anticipatory Action Task Team in 2023. The Task Team aims to initiate an inter-agency understanding of anticipatory action in education for the sector, and the role of education clusters in improving their humanitarian responses through coordinated approaches.

This work will ensure the GEC is at the forefront of coordinated efforts to use predictive data to anticipate conflict and resulting displacement.

Watch the session: here
Click to read: GEC Guidance on Coordinated Anticipatory Action in Education
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Banner photo: ©UNICEF/UN0847797/Haro


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