What we do


The Education Cluster derives its primary mandate, scope and boundaries from the IASC humanitarian system, and specifically from the cluster approach. The stated aim of the cluster approach is to strengthen system-wide preparedness and coordination of technical capacity to respond predictably to humanitarian emergencies, and provide clear leadership and accountability in the main areas of humanitarian response.

Education Cluster role and responsibility

The Education Cluster responds to major emergencies when called upon to do so by the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC)/Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and where the scale of the emergency is beyond the response capacity of national authorities. The nature of support provided depends on the expressed needs of individual country clusters, global priorities and the availability of resources.

The principal responsibility of the Education Cluster is to ensure education agencies and organisations responding to an emergency have the opportunity to take a coordinated approach and work alongside existing education structures at country level, to meet the education needs of the affected population. In doing so, the Cluster’s work is guided by the 6 core functions described in the IASC Cluster Coordination Reference Module (CCRM). This approach aims to ensure the international response is appropriate, reliable and efficient.

2015-2019 Strategic Plan

Developed through an extensive consultative process undertaken in 2014 with a wide range of stakeholders, the Education Cluster Strategic Plan  is the main reference that guides the Education Cluster’s activities during the period 2015 to 2019. Its principal purpose is to provide a framework and primary direction in support of the generation of the Education Cluster’s annual work plans.

Coordination Services

The Education Cluster provides three core services in the coordination of education service delivery:

Coordination Services for Education Cluster Readiness (1)

The Education Cluster will support national actors and coordination mechanisms to develop the understanding and capacity to help inform when the cluster should be activated, and how the products available will support coordination of education resources in response to an emergency. The cluster also helps plan how these products are integrated with ongoing education development initiatives.

Coordination Services for Activated Education Clusters (2)

When a cluster is activated in an emergency, the Education Cluster will have a systematic process in place by which it identifies and deploys products appropriate to support the coordination of education activities. The level of engagement and support depends on the type of cluster and severity of the emergency, capacity on the ground and the level of preparedness. The Education Cluster also leads on the development, revision and maintenance of these products to ensure their relevance and appropriateness in supporting activated clusters to fulfill their functions.

Coordination Services for Education Cluster Transition and De-Activation (3)

The Education Cluster will have a systematic process in place by which it reviews the relevance and impact of its support. It will use this information to identify when to transition its coordination functions to standing national coordination mechanisms.

Our ongoing support

Find out more about the ongoing work of the Education Cluster by visiting our current work plan webpage.

You can also learn more by downloading our 2011-2014 Strategic Plan report and current quarterly updates.

 If you would like to receive the Global Education Cluster Newsletter, enter your e-mail address in the Newsletter Sign Up widget. For up-to-date information about current work and new initiatives, see our News page.

*What we do- photograph credits: © UNICEF/NIGB2010-00530/Pirozzi

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