Collaboration Across Child Protection in Humanitarian Action and Education in Emergencies

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Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (CPHA) and Education in Emergencies (EiE) are highly complementary areas of humanitarian response. Conceptually, programmatically, and operationally the two sectors have much in common: both are child focused, both are priorities for affected populations, and, through collaboration, they can reinforce each other’s sectoral outcomes.

Many humanitarian and development actors have recognised this interdependence, and have developed guidance for practitioners, as well as laying out policies and procedures that promote integrated or joint programming across the two sectors, such as Save the Children’s Safe Schools Common Approach; IRC’s Safe Healing & Learning Spaces, and NRC’s Better Learning Programme. INEE & The Alliance, as well as the Global Education Cluster (GEC) and the Child Protection Area of Responsibility (CPAoR) have also begun working on initiatives aimed at drawing the sectors closer together. However, despite these commendable efforts, this has yet to be done systematically at all levels of a response, from donor strategies, through coordination, to implementation and monitoring.

This paper aims to interrogate the argument that integrated and joint programming across CPHA & EiE gives added value, not just to the beneficiaries, but to service providers and donors. As part of the process for developing this paper, a comprehensive desk review was undertaken, alongside a series of key informant interviews (KIIs) with actors from both sectors (See Annexes 1 & 2). This research provides an up-to-date analysis of the current situation, reflecting on past and present initiatives to highlight areas of successful collaboration and good practice in integration, and determines where best to focus efforts to encourage closer cross-sector working.

The research revealed a huge amount of goodwill amongst practitioners, donors and networks, and a clear desire to work more closely together to support and promote joint and integrated programming at all stages. It is critical to capitalise on this as the work moves forward to maintain momentum and expand support.

Based on the research, this paper summarises the available evidence supporting collaboration and integration between the sectors, providing a rationale for cross-sector working grounded in child wellbeing and holistic development. Subsequent sections synthesise evidence, including a summary of challenges and opportunities, and draw out clear recommendations charting the way forward for systematic and planned collaboration.