In 2008, the newly established Section for Education in Post-conflict and Post-disaster settings provided technical support to a number of country offices designing or implementing education programmes with Ministries of Educations in several PCPD settings; China, Cuba, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nepal, OPT, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe.
In Pakistan, PCPD staff helped draft and revise training policies and materials that prepare district education mangers and MoE staff in earthquake-affected areas of Kashmir and North West Frontier Province for the medium and longer-term reconstruction of the education system. See UNESCO Islamabad Earthquake Response Programme
In China and Myanmar, PCPD staff helped draft the education component of the flash appeals following the earthquake and the cyclone, with strong components on capacity building for educational planners and managers in government, responding to the disasters.
The Section also played a supportive role to the UNESCO Iraq office in the organisation of the International Conference on the Right to Education in Crisis-Affected Countries held in Paris in October 2008:
In collaboration with the Education Sector Division for UN Priorities, the Section also supports UNESCO’s continued efforts to strengthen the protection of education from targeted attack in situations of conflict and insecurity. Building on the UNESCO-commissioned study, Education under Attack, the Section most recently provided input on education-related attacks to the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, in preparation of the 8th Annual Report of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict. Further information can be found in Children and armed conflict - Report of the Secretary-General (A/63/785–S/2009/158)
Through collaboration with UNESCO’s standby partner the Norwegian Refugee Council, the Section has facilitated the deployment of emergency education staff to the Myanmar programme, to Zimbabwe, Sudan, Afghanistan, Gaza and Lebanon. The Section has further helped to secure funds for the roll-out of one of four projects in the global humanitarian Education Cluster, namely the development of training for Ministry of Education staff to better plan and respond to emergencies and reconstruction, in two regions (Anglophone Africa and Latin America). The Section also provides support to country offices preparing contingency plans or disaster prevention activates, most notably in Latin America through the Santiago regional office.
Most recently, the Section contributed to the facilitation of the United Nations General Assembly Thematic Debate on Education in Emergencies, held 18 March 2009. The debate, gathering top UN experts, representatives of Member States, civil society, teachers and learners, aimed to press for concrete measures to ensure the provision and protection of education in situations of crisis and emergency. The debate resulted in a call for renewed commitment, clearer resolutions, legislation and policies and better funding mechanisms to make education a priority in humanitarian response and support the call for States to regard attacks on schools as war crimes.
Since its establishment, the Section has taken over UNESCO's representation of the Global Education Cluster Working Group.
The Section also represents UNESCO on the Steering Group of the Inter-Agency network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) and the INEE Working Group for Minimum Standards.
In May 2008, the PCPD Section hired and now hosts the Coordinator for INEE’s newly established Working Group on Education and Fragility.
Working closely with UNESCO’s Bureau of Field Coordination (BFC) and the Intersectoral Platform for PCPD, the unit has taken a lead role in the development of PCPD training and guidelines for UNESCO staff. Training is scheduled for 60 staff members in the Asia and Latin America regions in early 2009, and for HQ staff and in the autumn 2009, and for Africa in spring 2010.