Accelerated Education Working Group
October 3, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
What is accelerated education?
Around the world, more than 263 million children and adolescents are out of school. For many of these children and youth, the formal schooling system may no longer be a viable option. Accelerated Education is an alternative. Accelerated Education Programs (AEPs) are flexible, age-appropriate programs run in an accelerated timeframe. The goal is to provide learners with a basic education that is certified and equivalent to the formal schooling system.
For further detail on how to adapt and implement an AEP this website provides a comprehensive collection of information about Accelerated Education created and approved by experts in the field. Here, you will find valuable guidance notes, reports and case studies as well as multi-media resources to watch experts discuss what works best.
What is the Accelerated Education Working Group?
The Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG) is comprised of education partners working in Accelerated Education (AE). It is currently led by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with representatives from UNICEF, UNESCO, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Education in Crisis and Conflict Network (ECCN), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Plan International, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Save the Children, and War Child Holland.
What is the AEWG’s goal?
To strengthen the quality of AE programming through a more harmonized, standardized approach.
Accelerated Education programs are increasingly used worldwide. However, while agencies and governments agree on the need for such programs, insufficient documentation exists to provide guidance, standards, and indicators for efficient planning, implementation, and monitoring. What is the impact of such programming? How are we contributing to learning achievement, and how successful are we at facilitating pathways between accelerated programming and formal and non-formal education? To address these challenges, UNHCR invited a number of education partners to form the AEWG.
What does the AEWG do?
The AEWG meets biannually to share experiences and expertise in AE and provide an opportunity for dialogue around a more harmonized, standardized approach. In recent years, the AEWG has created guidance materials based on international standards and sound practice.
The following resources have been created to help practitioners who are working to provide out-of-school children and youth with the education they deserve. Included here are detailed case studies from Afghanistan, the Dadaab refugee camp in northeast Kenya, and Sierra Leone as well as the foundational documents of Accelerated Education, which are now available in Arabic, French, and English, with Spanish coming soon.
- AEWG Executive Summary Accelerated Education Field Study
- AEWG Synthesis Report Accelerated Education Principles Field Study
- AEWG Brief 2018
- Accelerated Education Working Group Directions 2018
- AEWG Learning Agenda (English | French | Arabic | Spanish)
- AEWG Guide to the Principles (English | French | Arabic | Spanish)
AEWG Accelerated Education Definitions (English | French | Arabic | Spanish)
Accelerated Education: 10 Principles for Effective Practice (English | French | Arabic | Spanish)
AEWG Brief: The Case for Accelerated Education (English | French | Arabic | Spanish)
- AEWG Checklist (English | French | Arabic | Spanish)
- AEWG ECCN Webcast Presentation
In 2018 the Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG) is working in three major areas:
- Systems-level engagement for Quality AE
The AEWG wants donors and governments to recognize Accelerated Education (AE) as an important strategy for connecting humanitarian, early-recovery, and development programming.
- Improve the quality of Accelerated Education Programs (AEPs)
The AEWG wants to develop an M&E framework for AEPs that can be adapted to specific program designs, but still have a set of common indicators and outcome statements.
- Strengthening the evidence base
Developing a value-for-money case for AE is a critical missing component of the evidence base at present and the AEWG will explore developing this case in 2018. The AEWG will also continue to support and nurture existing and new research partnerships.
In 2017, the AEWG had three objectives:
- Improve international and national AE policy and systems through advocacy;
- Strengthen the evidence base for AE through research and knowledge management;
- Improve AE programming through the development, promotion, and dissemination of AE guidance and tools.
Activities for Objective 1: Improve international and national AE policy and systems through advocacy.
The AEWG advocated to improve AE policy and systems at both the national and international levels through the development of key messages, a policy brief, and engagement plans for donors and ministries of education. The AEWG communicated and promoted key messages through blogs, websites, webinars, and at international education conferences and events.
Activities for Objective 2: Strengthen the evidence base for AE through research and knowledge management.
The AEWG published its Learning Agenda and established partnerships and conducted research to strengthen the evidence base for AE.
If you are interested in doing work linked to these research themes and questions please register here. This will enable the AEWG to track research and also enable you to see who else is working on similar themes.
The AEWG completed a series of studies on the application of the Accelerated Education 10 Principles for Effective Practice. This included four case studies, conducted in Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and two programs in the Dadaab refugee camp in northeast Kenya, as well as an overall synthesis report and an executive summary. The case studies highlighted how contextual differences are managed in assessing adherence to the principles and in ensuring effectiveness of AE programs generally.
Activities for Objective 3: Improve AE programming through the development, promotion, and dissemination of AE guidance and tools.
The AEWG promoted and disseminated guidance and tools, including the translation into additional languages of the AE 10 Principles for Effective Practice, AE Guide, and AE definitions, as well as the development of an AE toolbox, containing a how-to guide, AE indicators, log frame, and monitoring tools. We built on the understanding of AE, especially within AEWG member organizations, through the dissemination and use of the tools. All these resources are available in Arabic, English, and French (Spanish coming soon), and can be found here.
On June 9, 2016, ECCN, in partnership with the Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG), hosted a webcast that offered a preview of its Guide to the Principles, which features 10 key principles of Accelerated Education. Presenters discussed the development, importance, and potential application of the guide and gave an overview of the principles that underlie the development and implementation of AE programming.
Martha Hewison has over 20 years of education experience working for INGOs, donors, and governments in East, West, and Southern Africa, with a particular focus on education in post-conflict contexts and fragile states. Currently she is part of the UNHCR Education team, with a specific focus on supporting accelerated education programs, and is chair of the AEWG. Prior to this, she has worked largely in East Africa (Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya) with a specific focus on education and fragility.
Kate Radford, with War Child, has over 20 years’ experience working internationally in rights-based development cooperation, change management, program management, and evaluation and business development in the development, humanitarian, and private sectors
James Lawrie, senior education adviser with Save the Children, has 15 years’ experience as a teacher, researcher, policy adviser, and program manager working in numerous conflict, post-conflict, and low-income locations. He has been involved in Accelerated Education Programming in South Sudan, DRC, Bangladesh, and Uganda, and joined the AEWG in 2015.
Ash Hartwell has 40 years of field experience working at community, national, and international levels on educational policy analysis, planning, evaluation, and research. He has conducted program and project evaluations in numerous crisis and post-conflict countries, including Uganda, Egypt, and South Sudan. Over the past five years, he completed numerous consultancies, including serving on the core Leader Team for EQUIP 2, focusing on an analysis of alternative education models for underserved populations. Hartwell is M&E Specialist for ECCN and an adjunct professor at the Center for International Education at the University of Massachusetts. He joined the AEWG in 2015.
AEWG Webcast Questions and Answers