OverviewResourcesAEWG 2018

What is Accelerated Education?

AEWG Decision Tree

AEWG Decision Tree

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 that allow those who have missed out on education to catch up. The goal is to provide learners with a basic education that is certified and equivalent to the formal schooling system.

Check if Accelerated Education could be a solution in your context. Consult this one-page decision-making tree (available also in French, Arabic, and Spanish).

This website provides a comprehensive collection of information about Accelerated Education, as developed by the Accelerated Education Working Group. You will find valuable tools, guidance notes, reports, and case studies as well as multimedia resources in which experts discuss what works best and how to design, adapt, and implement an AEP.

What is the Accelerated Education Working Group?


Overview of AEWG’s Accelerated Education Guidance Materials
Also available in Spanish, French, and Arabic

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 and what does it do?

The AEWG’s goal is to improve the quality of AEPs through developing guidance and tools to support a more harmonized, standardized approach to Accelerated Education.

In recent years, Accelerated Education programs (AEPs) have been employed with greater scope and scale as one of several solutions to the intractable issues of attracting and retaining out of school and overage learners within the formal education system. Yet, widespread variation exists in how AEPs are planned, implemented, and approached, with little or no overarching objectives, guidance, standards or indicators for what effective Accelerated Education (AE) provision looks like.

In response to this challenge, the AEWG has made significant investment and efforts to develop a conceptual framework for what constitutes good practice in AE. The development of the 10 Principles for Effective Practice and accompanying Guide to the Principles have created a foundation for improving program quality, design, implementation, and the assessment of results. Please see Resources for all of the AEWG’s tools and guidance.

The AEWG works in three main areas:

  1. Systems-level engagement and uptake for Quality AE;
  2. Influencing quality provision through the development of tools and guidance;
  3. Strengthening the evidence base.

For more details of what the AEWG does, please see the AEWG 2019 Brief.

To contact the AEWG, please write to Martha Hewison at hewison@unhcr.org.



AEWG Resources

The AEWG has developed a pack of tools and guidance for AE in multiple languages, including English, French, Arabic, and Spanish.

The foundation of all the tools and guidance are the 10 Principles for Effective Practice which capture the key components of any AE Program. In addition, the AEWG developed an agreed definition for AE as well as other key program terms, a checklist to help align your program against the Principles and a Guide to the Principles which further details the 10 Principles.

When initially developing these materials, the AEWG piloted them in three countries. Detailed case studies from Afghanistan, the Dadaab refugee camp in northeast Kenya, and Sierra Leone as well as an overall synthesis report and executive summary are all included below, in the additional resources. Strengthening the evidence base is a key area of work for the AEWG. Here the AEWG has developed a Learning Agenda for AE, which can also be found below.

The AEWG is currently working on a Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning framework, which will be out by the end of 2019.

You might also be interested in the slide decks and handouts from AEWG’s presence at CIES 2019 in San Francisco, as well as the three blog posts they have authored: AEWG at CIES 2019: Talking Evidence and ToolsMaking a Case for Accelerated Education: How It Can Be Done and a reflection on AEWG at CIES 2018 in Mexico City, titled Making the Case for Accelerated Education. In addition, the findings from the field studies are available below.

Additional Resources: Case Studies

In 2018, the Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG) is working in three major areas:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  1. Martha Hewison 3 years ago

    Its always difficult having multiple ministry’s supporting one programme. My only suggestion is to encourage and foster close collaboration and coordination- potentially setting up an AEP working group with representatives from both ministries.  In the initial design of the AEP if you know that it is under more than one ministry ensure that both are there and involved in the design and attempt to encourage splitting of responsibilities and developing some kind of joint MoU for the AEP.

  2. Author
    USAID ECCN 3 years ago

    Comment from Zillur:

    I am curious about the struggle learners in the classroom. Is there any way to help them? Also I am interested to know about sustainability of the AEP program.

    • Martha Hewison 3 years ago

      AEP learners struggle for a variety of reasons but one  reason is that because they have missed out on parts of their education or indeed never been to school they lack the foundations, the basics. In the 10 AE Principles under P1 ‘AEP is flexible for older learners’ we recommend age-appropriate introductory level course for learners who have never been to school to improve readiness skills. We also mention it again under P4 ‘Prioritize the acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills as the foundation for learning’.

      We also stress the importance of flexibility of class time, and location, as required by the community, teacher, and above all, the specific needs of both male and female learners in order to ensure consistent attendance and completion.  Under P4 we talk about the curriculum being age appropriate and using a relevant language of instruction too and under P7 the involvement and support of the local community. Under P8 we  talk about the learning environment being safe, inclusive and leaning ready. So there are several ways we can help and support learners in the classroom which we have included under the principles.

      We also mention the importance of sustainability under P10 ensuring that goals, monitoring and funding align and that an exit strategy and sustainability plan is included in the design. As mentioned above we talk about using local teachers and having the support of the local community (P9) which all support sustainability.

  3. Author
    USAID ECCN 3 years ago

    Comment from Jim Rogan:

    And speaking of Do No Harm–are there any steps or measures in the guide to help ensure AEPs are conflict sensitive?

    • Martha Hewison 3 years ago

      There are steps and measures in the guide under the principles to help ensure AEPs are conflict sensitive; for example under P4 ‘Curriculum, materials and pedagogy are genuinely accelerated, AE-suitable and use relevant language of instruction’  we mention the importance of language relevancy; under P6 ‘Educators are recruited, supervised and remunerated’ we talk about recruiting educators from target geographic areas, building on learner’s culture, language and experience and under P7 ‘AE Centre is effectively managed’ we mention that the  centre management committee (e.g. PTA), should be representative of the community but we do not overtly mention AEP’s should be conflict sensitive and have specific measures in to ensure this. Because of the contexts that AEP’s operate in I think we should add this into final version of the pocket guide.

  4. Author
    USAID ECCN 3 years ago

    Comment from Yolande:

    In the DRC (kivus) , the MOE and the ministry of social affairs are both supporting the ALPs  and have problems coordinating of course. The advantage of having the Ministry of social affairs manage the ALP is that they bring more health messaging and practices and safety environments. Any suggestion?

    • Martha Hewison 3 years ago

      Its always difficult having multiple ministry’s supporting one programme. My only suggestion is to encourage and foster close collaboration and coordination- potentially setting up an AEP working group with representatives from both ministries.  In the initial design of the AEP if you know that it is under more than one ministry ensure that both are there and involved in the design and attempt to encourage splitting of responsibilities and developing some kind of joint MoU for the AEP.

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