The UNHCR Humanitarian Education Accelerator Programme 2021 for humanitarian education innovators

Application Deadline:  15 January 2021, 5 pm CET  

The Humanitarian Education Accelerator (HEA) is an Education Cannot Wait-funded programme led by UNHCR.

The programme supports promising humanitarian education innovations to transition from successful pilots to programmes that can operate at scale – through capacity building, mentorship, peer learning and rigorous research. Since 2016, the HEA has supported nine grantees, operating in multiple contexts.

The need to identify and bring to scale innovative solutions to the complex challenges surrounding humanitarian education has never been more pressing, particularly in low resource settings. 

However, evidence on what works in humanitarian education, as well as how to effectively bring that to scale, is limited. As a result, practitioners, donors and policymakers have little information at their disposal to help them make informed decisions about how to spend scarce resources and work towards sustainable scale. 

The HEA seeks to address gaps in evidence and scaling capacity by taking common elements from an accelerator – such as mentorship, internal capacity building and establishing a cohort that works together – and merging these with an evaluation-based programme. Through this unique approach, the HEA seeks to:

  • Build the evidence base on how to effectively scale education innovations in humanitarian settings, through investing in rigorous research;
  • Strengthen internal monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) processes and provide targeted support for selected organisations to navigate scale ;
  • Assist organisations to build strong, supportive partnerships with governments, humanitarian and development actors, donors and other practitioners for sustainable scale;
  • Develop a community of practice, capturing knowledge and sharing lessons learned on scaling humanitarian education innovations, including the development of global public goods for the wider education sector. 

Having already supported nine grantees since 2016, the HEA has launched a new Call for Applications for Phase II of the programme, to identify and support a further cohort of education innovations in five countries: Chad, Ethiopia, Jordan, Lebanon and Uganda

Eligibility Requirements

The HEA will not be funding new, untested innovations in this funding cycle. We are instead looking to support innovations that
have already been rolled out, have a Proof of Concept and are looking to scale beyond the pilot phase.
The following criteria will be used to identify an initial shortlist of successful interventions for support under the HEA:

– Geographic focus: is your innovation being implemented in one or more of the following focus countries: Chad,
Ethiopia, Jordan, Lebanon and Uganda?

Eligibility/selection criteria

– Proof of concept: have you developed a Proof of Concept around your innovation?
– Readiness to scale: Are you preparing to or currently scaling? What is your readiness to scale?
– Sustainability: do you have human resources and financial resources to support the scaling process?
– Humanitarian education focus: does your innovation provide a solution to an education challenge within emergency or protracted crisis settings?
– What level of scale should you have reach

HEA support to successful applicants includes:

Stage 1

  • Capacity building by experts in scaling innovations, M&E and partnerships for 10 innovations during a week-long Scaling Bootcamp

Stage 2

  • Tailored mentorship and further capacity building support on research, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and scaling for 5 innovations over 3 months

Stage 3

  • Funding of up to USD 200,000 for the final 3 selected innovations – to be used towards internal capacity building in M&E and investments in research, project implementation and scaling. A fully funded external evaluation for the final 3 selected innovations will also be provided.

Apply Now for the UNHCR Humanitarian Education Accelerator Programme

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the UNHCR Humanitarian Education Accelerator Programme 2021



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