Education in Emergencies

4 March-14 April 2015 (E13514)Register for this course (page opens in new window)
Instructor: Jo Kelcey

This e-learning course introduces staff members of (international) development agencies and NGOs to the legal frameworks protecting and governing education in emergencies. More than half the world’s permanently out-of-school children live in areas affected by emergencies, either natural disasters or armed conflict. Many more become temporarily affected when an emergency strikes or they face entire childhoods in refugee camps. All are protected by a special combination of human rights, refugee, criminal and humanitarian law, spelling out how to prevent attacks, discrimination and violations of education, AND clearly stipulating who are the duty-bearers, what mechanisms for redress exist and how education must look in an emergency response.

Participants will deepen their knowledge about responses afforded by law and the international community to the dangers that emergencies, including natural disasters, complex emergencies and armed conflict, pose for education. It will also focus on the challenges and shortcomings of the law when faced with the reality of state practice and armed groups. Lastly, it will provide a discussion on how to advocate to key duty-bearers, with the law in hand, for the provision of better education in emergencies.

Course structure

This certificate course involves approximately 30 hours of reading, discussion, webinars, a writing assignment and quizzes, and is offered over a six-week period. The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on critical reflection and peer-to-peer learning. Participants will do the required readings, prepare interim and final assignments and participate in group discussions. Case studies will be used to enable interactive learning and activities. Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation upon successful completion of the course. The maximum number of participants is 25. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

Week 1. The dangers to education, learners and facilities in different types of emergencies: armed conflict, complex emergencies, and natural disasters
Week 2. The protection of education under different legal regimes: human rights, humanitarian, criminal and refugee law
Week 3. Remedies, mechanisms, and monitoring
Week 4. The wider response of the international community: INEE, the Education Cluster system, UN and NGOs
Week 5. Most vulnerable groups affected by emergencies and links to poverty and development
Week 6. Case study (a country or an organisation): how to use the legal frameworks governing education in emergencies for advocacy

About the instructor: Jo Kelcey

Jo KelceyJo Kelcey is an education specialist with a particular focus on questions of education practice, policy and research in countries affected by emergencies and crisis. Her experience covers project design and implementation, research, advocacy and capacity development. She has worked as a consultant and in staff positions with local and international NGOs, multi-laterals, government bodies and donor organizations. Most recently she worked for the World Bank designing and supporting education resilience trainings and assessments in Nicaragua, Honduras, Mali, India and Nepal. Before this Jo worked for INEE as a training and capacity development specialist, which involved designing and implementing trainings in Lebanon, Jordan, Indonesia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Canada. She also has substantial experience working on education and child rights issues including —but not limited to — questions of forced displacement and physical protection in the Palestinian territories. She is currently pursuing her PhD in International Education at New York University.

Who should apply

The course is intended for, among others, humanitarian workers, child rights advocates, youth workers, social workers, staff members of development and children’s rights/social justice organisations, including development NGOs and UN specialised agencies like UNICEF. Participants should have a good written command of English — the working language of the course — and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.


Tuition fee for participants: US$ 575 (after 1 December 2014: US$ 675); tuition for auditors: US$ 215 (US$ 250 after 1 December 2014). Payments can be made online with major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal, bank transfer (additional fee applies) and money transfer (Western Union, MoneyGram). Bulk rates are available. Payments are due upon registration.

How to register

Register for this course (page opens in new window). Early registration and payment deadline: 1 December 2014. However, registrations are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. Please be advised that courses generally fill up quickly!

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about HREA’s e-learning courses.