Co-ordinating education during emergencies and reconstruction: Challenges and responsibilities
by Marc Sommers
While co-ordination is essentially a method of getting institutions to work together, it is clearly not synonymous with togetherness. Undercurrents of suspicion and distrust between individuals and institutional actors can affect important relationships and give rise to enduring misunderstandings and perplexing challenges. Turf battles involving huge international institutions are a real life illustration of the African adage: "When elephants fight, the grass suffers". In terms of co-ordination: war-affected, displaced, disempowered and traumatized communities constitute the grass.
In this book, the co-ordination, or lack of co-ordination, of education during both emergencies and the early reconstruction period is examined. What constitutes effective and poor co-ordination is also analyzed, with suggestions for enhancing co-ordination of education in emergency and post-conflict settings. This includes the need to recognize that co-ordinated education systems are unlikely to be achieved unless education authorities are willing to decline aid that does not help fulfil the objectives of their agreed and announced plans