In December 2019, the Global Refugee Forum Education Co-Sponsorship Alliance prepared the Global Framework for Refugee Education for the first Global Refugee Forum in Geneva.

This Framework aims to create the conditions for global support for the education of refugees and host communities to meet the commitments of the Global Compact on Refugees and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particular SDG4, which aims to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ by 2030.

The Framework complements the refugee education strategy: Refugee Education 2030: A Strategy for Refugee Inclusion.

The Framework provides a basis for national and international stakeholders, including host governments, humanitarian and development partners, to mobilise and articulate education pledges, contributions and evidence-based good practices for presentation at the Forum.

To prepare impactful pledges, stakeholders are encouraged to engage in local, regional and national consultations to identify opportunities and coordinated action for the inclusion of refugees in the local education systems while strengthening the capacity of these systems for all learners ahead of the 2019 Forum and beyond.

Overall calls to action:

1. INCREASE FUNDING & NATIONAL CAPACITY: Provide multi-year funding that contributes to the sustainable strengthening of national education systems and capacities. Support policy, planning, implementation, management and data collection that take refugee inclusion and effective host community support into account for all levels of education. In addition, ensure that access to certified accelerated, non-formal and alternative education opportunities as well as policy, pathways and arrangements for recognition of prior learning and qualifications are available.

2. STRENGTHEN PROGRAMMING & PLANNING: Develop national policy, national Education Sector Plans and costed emergency preparedness plans that are crisis and conflict-sensitive, and engage a wide variety of stakeholders. These plans should create and promote the conditions to include refugees, asylum seekers and returnees, as well as stateless and internally displaced persons in national schools and programmes. 1 Such planning and programming should be based on analysis of barriers, assets and opportunities for including refugees in host-community schools and non-formal programmes, engaging refugee and host communities to build trust, cohesion, and identify barriers and facilitators. National Education Sector Plans and preparedness plans, as well as humanitarian and development programming, should reflect the results of that analysis, be gender-responsive and address the needs of children and youth out of school, those marginalised and those with disabilities.

3. SUPPORT & TRAIN TEACHERS: Invest in education programmes and national policies that prioritise teacher recruitment and retention, training, deployment, management and support, with a focus on female teachers. Qualified pre-primary, primary and secondary school teachers are the cornerstone to achieve SDG4. In emergencies, crises and fragile contexts, teachers need classroom management skills that enable them to impart learning and feel accomplished. They also need to know what to do in cases in which psychosocial help is needed but beyond their capacity to support. They must also be trained to reduce bias and promote social cohesion in the classroom.

4. IMPROVE DATA FOR BETTER INVESTMENT: Increase investment in existing national data systems to generate robust, accurate and timely data. This evidence can be used to inform programming and prompt action that addresses the needs of marginalised and vulnerable children and youth, such as those who are out of school and those with disabilities. Host governments, donor partners and multilateral organisations, with the support of academic specialists, should focus resources on improved data generation, management, analysis, sharing and utilisation. These can contribute to efforts that develop and improve refugee-inclusive assessments and mechanisms that track the SDG4 indicators.

5. STRENGTHEN PARTNERSHIP & COORDINATION: Ensure effective coordination between education ministries, development and humanitarian partners that anticipates protraction; leverages agile humanitarian action and funding; harmonises humanitarian and development financing and planning in line with sector goals; draws upon domestic resources; and increases the effectiveness of external resources in line with national Education Sector Plans and priorities.

6. ENGAGE & ACCOUNT TO REFUGEES AND HOST COMMUNITIES: Adopt the approach that refugees have requested: ‘Nothing about us without us’. Ensure and promote meaningful consultation and participation of both refugees and host communities in decision making and community-based initiatives in a way that is inclusive, non-discriminatory and accounts for the diversity of communities. This will strengthen ownership, appropriate action and sustainable solutions in support of inclusive and equitable quality education