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Promoting access to quality, safe, and relevant education for all persons affected by crisis

Inclusive Education

Inclusive education, ensuring that all excluded and marginalized persons have access to education,  presents challenges in any setting. Yet inclusive education is a vital element for developing societies that challenge discrimination and that see diversity as a positive resource rather than as a threat. Inclusive education is therefore a challenge that we must rise to. Arguably, the need for inclusive education is even greater in situations of crisis and conflict, where discrimination may be rife, even causing the crisis, and where acceptance of diversity and reconciliation is essential for moving the society forward again.

The international community has specifically addressed the issue of inclusive education through the following global conventions:


Key Messages

  1. Education in emergencies provides an opportunity to build inclusive education systems from the beginning in situations where education systems have largely or sometimes entirely broken down.
  2. Support and training for educators working in emergency situations is critical to the success of inclusive education interventions, given that teachers are often untrained and often traumatized as a result of the crisis as well. Proper training and awareness-raising provides an opportunity for teachers to ensure accessibility for all learners, according to their needs.
  3. Inclusive education is “democracy in action”. It offers a chance to rebuild broken societies and bring people together from across divides as they face a common challenge in providing all learners with equitable access to safe and relevant education, as well as instilling a culture of acceptance of difference and diversity.
  4. Education For All as set out in the Dakar Framework for Action, really does mean education for all, including those children, numbering 65 million, whose education has been disrupted by humanitarian crises. That includes those who have disabilities from prior to the disaster or as a result of the natural or man-made disaster.
  5. Education in emergency situations arguably requires more focus on ensuring access for persons with disabilities given that natural and man-made disasters cause physical and psychological damage to people. Persons with disabilities are also likely to face increased risks and suffer even more of a disadvantage in terms of access to aid (including food, water, shelter), precisely because they are unable to physically access food distribution points, water points, sanitation facilities, schools, and so on.


Key Activities


INEE Inclusive Education Task Team

The INEE Inclusive Education Task Team aims to promote the key principles, behaviours and actions necessary for ensuring that all excluded and marginalized people are included in emergency education opportunities..


  • Produce resources useful to emergency practitioners which give practical advice on making inclusive education a reality
  • Influence emergency education training schemes to more effectively promote inclusive education principles and practice
  • Produce advocacy messages and information which can be used to get greater attention and support for inclusive education in emergencies

The Task Team promotes a focus on inclusive education for all groups marginalised because of disability, ethnicity, gender, language, or poverty among others. However, the Team also has a specific focus on disability, acknowledging that children and adults with disabilities are often the most excluded from education during periods of crisis and emergency, and that the barriers to participation in learning for people with disabilities are often perceived to be the most challenging during emergencies.

If you are interested in participating in this Task Team, please send an introductory email to [email protected] and indicate your interest. If you are interested in this work but are not yet a member of INEE, please join us -

INEE Pocket Guide to Inclusive Education

The INEE pocket guide, “Education in Emergencies: Including Everyone”, takes a broad look at inclusive education principles and the types of actions that can be taken to make education in crises contexts more inclusive. It a quick reference guide to help practitioners make sure that education in emergencies is accessible and inclusive for everyone, particularly those who have been traditionally excluded from education.

This pocket guide outlines useful principles for an inclusive education approach in emergencies and provides advice for planning, implementing and monitoring. The guide also looks at the issue of resistance to inclusion, and highlights ways in which organisations can support their emergency staff to develop more inclusive education responses. The Pocket Guide complements the INEE Minimum Standards for Education: Preparedness, Response, Recovery (INEE Minimum Standards), particularly the crosscutting issues reflected within them. These relate to human and children’s rights, gender, HIV/AIDS, disability and vulnerability.

INEE Pocket Guide to Supporting Learners with Disabilities

The INEE Pocket Guide to Supporting Learners with Disabilities is specifically aimed at providing practical advice to teachers/educators, as one of the biggest challenges in the development of inclusive education is helping practitioners to turn theory into practice. The pocket guide provides advice with key issues such as helping children get to/from the learning space, recognizing when children need more learning support, arranging learning spaces so they are more inclusive, adapting teaching and learning activities, and so on.


Key Resources


Do you have something you think should be added to this page? Let us know by writing to [email protected]. Thank you!