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Article 18/03/2024

Promising practices for teacher management in refugee settings identified as five-year research project draws to a close

Our multi-year, multi-country research initiative on the promising policies and practices for managing primary teachers in refugee settings, in collaboration with IIEP-UNESCO and part-funded by Dubai Cares, has concluded after five years of research across four countries.

As part of the 2017-2021 Dubai Cares-INEE Evidence for Education in Emergencies (E-Cubed) research envelope, we partnered with IIEP-UNESCO to develop evidence-informed policy guidance for governments and their partners on effective teacher management in refugee settings. Specifically, our research sought to understand policies and practices currently being used to recruit, deploy, and manage teachers in Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, and Uganda, and identify promising areas for further policy development and successful implementation of good practice. 

Following a literature review in 2018 which confirmed a lack of literature, we examined the key dimensions of teacher management, including recruitment and deployment processes, professional development, job conditions, supervision, appraisal and career paths – all which have an impact on teachers’ motivation, wellbeing, teaching quality, and retention.

A collage of the IIEP-UNESCO and EDT refugee research project collateral. 

We published a total of four country case studies, each accompanied by a policy brief that provides policy guidance for managing teachers of refugees at national and sub-national levels. We also produced a set of films called ‘We Teach Here’ that focuses on the lives of teachers in refugee settings in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, exploring the challenges and opportunities they encounter daily. 

We were also proud to host a highly successful knowledge workshop in Uganda in July 2023, bringing together ministerial delegates from Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia, along with representatives from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). To experience inclusion in action we decided to hold the 3-day event in a refugee settlement, offering delegates the opportunity to not only learn from one another but speak directly to refugee students, teachers, and communities through visiting a range of schools.  

The findings have already fed into several policy and advocacy activities, including IIEP-UNESCO’s ‘Crisis-sensitive teacher policy and planning’ module that complements the International Task Force on Teachers for Education’s Teacher Policy Development Guide. We also presented our findings and formally pledged our support for refugee learners at the Global Refugee Forum 2023. Our ‘We Teach Here’ series has been watched by approximately 7,500 people and shown at several conferences and global meetings, including the Transforming Education Pre-Summit at UNESCO HQ, the Transforming Education Summit in New York, and the annual Comparative & International Education Society conference. 


"I am excited about how widely our research findings have been welcomed; by government policy makers from the case study countries, regional bodies including IGAD, and by those organisations supporting refugees, such as UNHCR. We have collaborated throughout with key government stakeholders to ensure that the research findings and recommendations are not only evidence-based, but practical and achievable, and we look forward to seeing how the inclusion of refugees into national education systems progresses." 

Helen West, Principal Consultant at EDT 


We have significant experience in supporting teaching and learning in refugee settings, including developing the global evidence base on education for refugees and internally displaced persons. Through this five-year project, we contribute to a burgeoning body of evidence about teachers in refugee contexts and aim to provide policy guidance to support ministries of education. 

Find all of our reports on teacher management in refugee settings here. 

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