Eliminate gaps in education for children, adolescents and young people
- Commitment Type
- Core Responsibility
The Global Platform for Syrian Students and its partners commit to promote the setting up of rapid response mechanisms for higher education in emergencies and in protracted crises. These mechanisms would allow the delivery of more, better and quicker responses to higher education needs of 18-25 years old refugees, IDPs and other forcibly displaced and vulnerable populations.
- Leave No One Behind
What led your organization to make the commitment?
The Global Platform for Syrian Students (GP4SYS) made the commitment to set up a rapid response mechanism (RRM) for Higher Education in Emergencies to expand an ongoing pilot emergency scholarship programme for Syrian students. The global challenge of managing refugees, IDPs and forcibly displaced people requires a change of paradigm through innovative, more focused, systemic and sustainable solutions. Higher Education in Emergencies is a case in point and we decided to focus our commitment on how it can address the humanitarian-development nexus.
Achievements at a glance
Since the commitment was made at the WHS, the Global Platform for Syrian Students has carried out the following main actions:
- It has actively participated in the preparatory process of the UN Summit on Refugees & Migrants, held in New York on 19 September 2016 in order to include in the outcome document a commitment to boost higher education opportunities for refugees. The effort paid off as per paragraph 82 of the New York Declaration;
- It co-sponsored a side event of the above mentioned meeting for which it produced an animation-film on setting up the RRM (https://www.dropbox.com/s/fg8h5uuo28njhk2) that was used to kick-off the debate;
- Since then, it has advocated with UN Members States to work together on the practical implementation of commitments made under paragraph 82 of the New York Declaration;
- Since then, it has worked with new international partners to enlarge the number of scholarships for Syrian students ...
How is your organization assessing progress
Progress is measured on a regular basis comparing goals set for a period of time, actions taken to reach these goals and success achieved. Our assessment is that good progress has been achieved so far although sometimes procedures and the variety of constituencies and stakeholders involved make coordination sometimes difficult and reporting a very time consuming task because of the variety of templates and procedures used for this purpose.
Challenges faced in implementation
Challenges faced are mainly twofold: on the one hand, reaching out to international donors to scale up the emergency scholarship programme for Syrian students requires long and very uncertain procedures that are not aligned with the academic calendar. This is very frustrating and challenging. On the other hand, regarding setting up a RRM, the main challenge is to finalize the design of this mechanism, namely its financing facility component, and to identify a core group of partners ready to endorse the project and commit to launch a pilot.
Next step to advance implementation in 2017
Three next steps will be undertaken in 2017:
- Enlargement of the number of scholarships awarded to Syrian students for the academic year 2017-18 with strong focus on gender balance. Figures to be announced in May.
- Identification of a core group of partners supporting the RRM and announcement of an Action Plan (June 2017).
- Launch of a pilot "academic solidarity levy" as a basis of the financing facility for the RRM (pilot).
- Launch of an international contest to find tech, state of the art IT solutions for the RRM.
- A Summer School on building resilience, leadership and empowering refugees is planned in 2017.
If you had one message for the annual report on what is most needed to advance the transformation 'Eliminate gaps in education for children, adolescents and young people', what would it be
Wholeheartedly engage in collaborative actions and partnerships that are focused on addressing specific needs thus avoiding one size fits all solutions. Put people first. Educate. Empower. Engage.
Cross cutting issues
☑Gender ☑ IDPs ☑ Refugees
☑Commitment to Action: Transcending the humanitarian - development divide ☑ The Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action
Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations
☑3F - Enable adolescents and young people to be agents of positive transformation ☑ 4C - Deliver collective outcomes: transcend humanitarian-development divides