Accelerating Early Childhood Education in Crisis and Conflict Settings

Date: 15 Sep 2021
Time: 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Event Type: Webinar

15 September 2-3pm BST

Webinar: Accelerating Early Childhood Education in Crisis and Conflict Settings

  • Hosted by: GPE, UNICEF, IRC, and Sesame Workshop
  • This event will be broadcast in English, Spanish, French, and Arabic
  • For more information and resources, visit the event website

Why prioritize Early Childhood Education in conflict and crisis settings?

Nearly 25% of pre-primary-aged children globally live in conflict-affected countries, and only one in three children in these contexts are enrolled in pre-primary education (UNICEF 2019). These children face compounded risks to their healthy development stemming from multiple adverse experiences which may include exposure to violence, forced displacement, migration and resettlement in new settings, and poverty.

Prolonged, severe adversity puts crisis-affected children at greater risk of toxic stress, leading to short- and long-term negative impacts on their physical, mental, cognitive, and emotional development. The ‘double emergency’ introduced by COVID-19 has only compounded these challenges.

But solutions are possible.

Children are resilient and research shows that early interventions can mitigate the impacts of adversity. Quality early childhood education, learning, and development opportunities must be available to all, including during acute and protracted crisis contexts. This is vital to both build resilience and enable children to fulfill their potential, setting them on course for success in primary school and beyond. But new, sustained commitments are needed to realize these solutions.

Leadership at the global, regional, national, and local levels is required to support crisis-sensitive early childhood education. These interventions are often overlooked and remain underfunded and under-prioritized in national contexts as well as in humanitarian and development assistance. Actors across the humanitarian and development architecture must come together behind a comprehensive approach, led by promising, evidence-based models and tools such as the ECE Accelerator Toolkit.

Event Overview

The Global Partnership for Education, UNICEF, the International Rescue Committee, and Sesame Workshop invite partners to join a 1-hour webinar on ‘Accelerating Early Childhood Education in Crisis and Conflict Settings’.

Taking place on 15 September 2021, this online webinar will highlight evidence and the urgent need for prioritizing and investing in quality early childhood education and development in crisis and conflict-affected contexts.

A multi-perspective panel of representatives from national ministries, the humanitarian response system, and education investors will explore the challenges and opportunities for national decision-makers in data mapping and education sector planning and analysis.

The webinar will consist of opening and closing remarks by senior representatives from UNICEF, GPE, and Sesame Workshop. The webinar will include a moderated panel discussion led by the Global Education Cluster, and consisting of representatives of ministries of education from Colombia and Jordan, along with humanitarian education experts from The World Bank, Sesame Workshop, the United Nations.


  • Robert Jenkins, Global Director of Education, UNICEF
  • Jo Bourne, Chief Technical Officer at the Global Partnership for Education


  • (Moderator) Maria Agnese Giordano, Global Education Cluster Co-Lead
  • Dr. Nawaf Al-Ajarmeh, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Education, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
  • Constanza Alarcón Párraga, Vice-minister of Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education, Ministry of Education Colombia
  • Gustavo González, Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator, UN Philippines
  • Andreas Blom, Education Practice Manager (MENA), The World Bank
  • Sherrie Westin, President of Sesame Workshop

Logos for UNICEF, International Rescue Committee, GPE, Sesame Workshop