Education: needs, rights and access in displacement

Due out February 2019

Deadline for submissions: 15th October 2018

Conflict and displacement can cause significant disruption to school attendance and learning. Education planning and activities may be disrupted, community structures upset, and school infrastructure damaged, destroyed or utilised for temporary shelter. Provision of temporary learning spaces and programmes that address the need for inclusion in displacement contexts, both internally and across international borders, may be inadequate or non-existent.

Access to education and skills learning is further hampered by: certification, documentation and equivalency issues faced by both learners and teachers; reduced availability of teachers; reliance on humanitarian funding for education responses; contingency planning that only targets short-term interventions; and curricula that lack relevance for or alienate displaced learners.*

In some cases, however, displacement brings educational benefits. Refugee children, for example, may have greater access to education in the country of asylum than in their country of origin.

Although governments have made significant progress towards meeting various education-related goals, children affected by conflict and specifically by conflict- and disaster-induced displacement make up the overwhelming majority of those who still do not have access to the ‘inclusive and equitable quality education’ and ‘lifelong learning opportunities’ set out in Sustainable Development Goal 4 and agreed as essential in the Education 2030 Agenda.

The implications of inadequate education planning and delivery in displacement contexts are considerable. Education can both exacerbate and mitigate conflict. Quality education can mitigate conflict by equipping individuals, communities and societies affected by conflict to: acquire knowledge and language for community participation and personal protection; recover socially and economically; develop skills for life, livelihoods and personal fulfilment; provide governance and services; prevent, mitigate and resolve conflict, and mitigate its psychosocial impacts; and build sustainable peace. Lack of access to quality education undermines these possibilities. Furthermore, children and young people out of school are more vulnerable to risks such as violence, trafficking, child labour, early marriage and recruitment by armed groups.

We have previously published two issues of FMR on education: ‘Education in emergencies: learning for a peaceful future’ in January 2005 and ‘Education and conflict: research, policy and practice’ in July 2006, plus various individual articles more recently (see This new issue of FMR will provide a forum for practitioners, advocates, policymakers, researchers and those directly affected to look at more recent developments, share experience, debate perspectives and offer recommendations. This issue will address primary, secondary and tertiary education.

The FMR Editors are looking for policy- and practice-oriented submissions, reflecting a diverse range of experience and opinions, which address questions such as the following:

  • What examples are there of effective provision of quality education (primary, secondary and tertiary) in displacement, and what can be learned from these examples?
  • What has been learned about expanding successful learning initiatives? How does this vary in differing contexts of forced migration?
  • What particular challenges arise in the provision of education depending on the type of setting, whether camp, urban or other?
  • How can protection of children and young people in conflict and displacement be strengthened, with a particular view to improving their educational prospects?
  • What impact does the psychosocial well-being of children have on their learning, and how can these needs best be met in order to help them learn?
  • How can the specific educational needs of different groups of displaced people be addressed? For example, how can education providers ensure that disability, gender, language, ethnicity and more are not barriers to equal educational opportunities?
  • How can youth who have missed out on education and training access what they have missed as children? What contribution can Accelerated Learning Programmes make?
  • What opportunities are there for early childhood development in displacement? What practices are promising?
  • Are new forms and uses of technology – including distance learning – filling any gaps in educational provision, whether as interim measures or for the longer term? What are their advantages and disadvantages?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of refugee children studying the curriculum – and in the language – of the host country?
  • How can education in countries of origin, countries of first asylum, and resettlement countries best address certification, validation and equivalency issues relating to learners and teachers?
  • How are teacher qualifications, professional development, salaries and well-being addressed in displacement?
  • What is the role of peace education programmes to address social cohesion in displacement and in the case of return?
  • In what ways are formal and non-formal education coordinated and linked, from the perspectives of learners and systems?
  • What role do school feeding programmes have in supporting education provision?
  • What examples are there of good practice in a) joined-up humanitarian and development education planning and b) joined-up refugee and IDP response coordination mechanisms, including, but not limited to, the Education Cluster?
  • How can local education authorities and humanitarian actors best coordinate their responses?
  • What are the main challenges for education in displacement that hinder progress toward global goals, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, and how might these be tackled?
  • How are the INEE Minimum Standards in Education used?
  • What are the implications of initiatives such as the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, the Global Compacts, the Global Partnership for Education and the Education Cannot Wait Fund for education funding and programming?
  • How can the research community support the humanitarian and development communities to produce and harness effective and reliable evidence, both for the short-term needs of programme design and delivery in complex environments, and the long-term needs of effective decision making by governments?


* Please note that when we use the term ‘displaced’ we are referring to both internally displaced children/youth and refugee children/youth.

Maximum length: 2,500 words.
Space is always at a premium in FMR. Your article, if accepted for publication, may be shortened but you will of course be consulted about any editing changes.

Deadline for submission of articles: 15th October 2018

If you are interested in contributing, please email the Editors at to discuss your ideas for an article.

While we are looking for examples of good, replicable practice and experience as well as sound analysis of the issues at stake, we also urge writers to discuss failures and difficulties: what does/did not work so well, and why.

We are particularly keen to reflect the experiences and knowledge of communities and individuals directly affected by these questions. Authors are reminded that FMR seeks to include articles with a gendered approach or a gender analysis as part of them.

PLEASE NOTE: All authors are now asked to ensure their article complies with specific FMR submission requirements before submitting the article to us. A checklist of these requirements is online at We will be unable to accept any article that does not comply with these requirements.

Opinions in FMR do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors, the Refugee Studies Centre or the University of Oxford.
FMR is an Open Access publication. Users are free to read, download, copy, distribute, print or link to the full texts of articles published in FMR and on the FMR website, as long as the use is for non-commercial purposes and the author and FMR are attributed. Unless otherwise indicated, all articles published in FMR in print and online, and FMR itself, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND) licence. Details at



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Forced Migration Review
Refugee Studies Centre
Oxford Department of International Development
University of Oxford
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