INEE Minimum Standards and Tools for Initial

INEE Minimum Standard and Tools for Initial Assessment
The INEE Minimum Standards represent a global framework for coordinated action to enhance
the quality of educational preparedness and response, increase access to relevant learning
opportunities, and ensure humanitarian accountability in providing these services. Effective
emergency education programmes that meet the needs of disaster-affected populations must be
based on a clear understanding of the context. Initial assessments will analyse the nature of the
emergency and its effect on a population. The capacities of affected people and available local
resources should be identified, at the same time as assessing their needs and vulnerabilities
and any gaps in essential services. To ensure the effectiveness of programmes, emergency
education assessments must include the participation of not only the emergency-affected
community but also the local government and humanitarian actors working on education and
non-education issues. Assessments must also consider both formal and non-formal education
for all sections of the population. Education cannot be considered in isolation from other sectors,
or in isolation from economics, religious and traditional beliefs, social practices, political and
security factors, coping mechanisms or anticipated future developments.
Analysis of the causes and effects of the emergency is critical. If the problem is not correctly
identified and understood then it will be difficult, if not impossible, to respond appropriately.
Response depends on a number of factors, including actors’ capacity, area(s) of expertise,
budget constraints, familiarity with the region or situation, and security risks for staff and
The standard, indicators and guidance notes on Initial Assessment, and the tools relating to this
standard, are below.
For more information, go to:
INEE Minimum Standards
Analysis Standard 1: Initial assessment
A timely education assessment of the emergency situation is conducted in a holistic
and participatory manner.
Key indicators (to be read in conjunction with the guidance notes)
 An initial rapid education assessment is undertaken as soon as possible, taking into account
security and safety (see guidance notes 1-3).
 Core stakeholders are involved in identifying what data need to be collected; in the
development, interpretation and refinement of indicators; and in information management and
dissemination (see guidance notes 4-5).
 A comprehensive assessment of education needs and resources for the different levels and
types of education, and for all emergency-affected locations, is undertaken with the
participation of core stakeholders, and updated on a regular basis (see guidance note 4).
 Education is part of an inter-sectoral assessment that collects data on the political, social,
economic and security environment; demographics; and available resources, to determine
what services are required for the affected population (see guidance note 6).
 The assessment analyses existing and potential threats to the protection of learners, using a
structured risk assessment of threats, vulnerabilities and capacities (see guidance note 7).
 Local capacities, resources and strategies for learning and education are identified, both prior
to and during the emergency.
 The assessment identifies local perceptions of the purpose and relevance of education and of
priority educational needs and activities.
 A system is established for sharing assessment findings and storing education data (see
guidance note 8).
Guidance notes
1. The timing of assessments should take into consideration the security and safety of the
assessment team and the affected population. Where access is limited, alternative strategies
should be explored, such as secondary sources, local leadership and community networks.
When greater access is possible, the first assessment should be upgraded and based on more
extensive data and information collected. The assessment should be updated regularly (at least
quarterly), drawing on monitoring and evaluation data, review of programme achievements and
constraints, and information on unmet needs.
2. Assessment data and information collection should be planned and conducted to
understand educational needs, capacities, resources and gaps. An overall assessment,
covering all types of education and all locations, should be completed as soon as possible, but
this should not delay the speedy preparation of partial assessments to inform immediate action.
Field visits by different education providers should be coordinated, where possible, to avoid a
continuous stream of visitors distracting staff from the emergency response.
Qualitative and quantitative assessment tools should be consistent with international standards,
EFA goals and rights-based guidelines. This helps to connect global initiatives with the local
community and promote linkages at the local level to global frameworks and indicators. Data
collection forms should be standardised in-country to facilitate the coordination of projects at an
inter-agency level and minimise the demands on information suppliers. The forms should
provide space for additional information deemed important by the local/community respondents.
Ethical considerations are essential to any form of data collection in a humanitarian response.
Collecting information for any purpose, including monitoring, assessment or surveys, can put
people at risk – not only because of the sensitive nature of the information collected, but also
because simply participating in the process may cause people to be targeted or put at risk. The
basic principles of respect, do no harm, and non-discrimination must be kept in mind and those
collecting the information have responsibility to protect and inform participants of their rights.
See Analysis references in Annex 2 (on page 86) for a link to the document Making Protection A
Priority: A Guidebook for Incorporating Protection into Data Collection in Humanitarian
3. Methods of analysis: in order to minimise bias, data should be triangulated from multiple
sources during analysis, before conclusions are drawn. Triangulation is a mixed- method
approach to collecting and analysing data to measure overlapping but also different facets of a
phenomenon, yielding an enriched understanding to ensure the validity of qualitative data. Local
perceptions are also included in the analysis, to avoid a humanitarian response based solely on
outside perceptions and priorities.
4. Stakeholders should include as many individuals as possible from the affected population
group(s). Stakeholder participation in data and information collection, analysis, and information
management and dissemination may be limited by circumstances during the initial assessment,
but should be increased during later assessments and monitoring and evaluation.
5. Assessment findings should be made available as soon as possible so that activities can be
planned. Pre-crisis data and post-crisis assessments that identify education needs and
resources (e.g. by authorities, NGOs, specialised agencies within the humanitarian community,
and the local community) should be made readily available to all actors. This is particularly
useful if actors cannot access the location during an emergency.
6. General emergency assessments should include an education or child protection specialist
on the emergency team to collect data on education and child protection needs and resources.
Agencies should commit resources and build staff and organisational capacity to carry out these
7. Risk analysis: it is important to consider all aspects of the situation that may affect the health
and safety of children and youth, in so far as education may constitute a protective and/or risk
factor. The assessment should include a list or table of risks (a ‘risk matrix’), which should
document for different age groups and vulnerable groups the risks associated with factors such
as natural disasters and environmental hazards; landmines or unexploded ordnance; safety of
buildings and other infrastructure; child protection and security; threats to mental and physical
health; problems regarding teachers’ qualifications, school enrolment and curricula; and other
relevant information.
The assessment should state the risk management strategies needed for prevention, mitigation
and action related to emergencies (preparedness, response, reconstruction and rehabilitation)
during adverse events of a natural or provoked nature. This may in some circumstances require
each educational centre to have a school contingency and security plan to prevent and respond
to emergencies. Where necessary, each educational centre should prepare a risk map showing
its potential threats and highlighting the factors that affect its vulnerability.
8. Sharing assessment findings: this should be coordinated by the relevant authorities at the
local or national level. If there are no competent authorities or organisations to do this, an
international lead actor, such as the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA), should be named to head up the mechanism for coordinating and sharing
information. The sharing of assessment findings should lead to the prompt introduction of a
statistical framework and the output of data that can be used by all stakeholders (see also
Education policy and coordination standard 3 on page 77).
Tools on Initial Assessment from the INEE Minimum Standards Toolkit
Information Gathering and Needs Assessment Form
[INEE Minimum Standards Handbook, adapted from UNICEF Questionnaire, 2004]
pages 33-38
 This tool provides a framework for information gathering and need assessment that can be
used to assess education needs, services, infrastructure, supply and system capacity.
Planning in an Emergency: Situation Analysis Checklist
[INEE Minimum Standards Handbook, adapted from World Food Programme, Planning for
School Feeding in the Emergency Setting- Situation Analysis, Designing the Programme,
Implementation, 2004]
pages 30-32
 This situation analysis checklist provides a series of questions regarding the factors, issues,
people and institutions pertaining to the emergency environment, the socio-political context and
education system in order ensure appropriate understanding to plan and implement the
Sample Emergency School Assessment
 This tool provides a sample, adaptable framework for an assessment of school and learning
needs, including school level, enrolment, infrastructure, subjects, teachers, school resources
(building, furniture, textbooks and school supplies, water and sanitation facilities, school feeding
programmes), and support structures, such as extra-curricular activities, community
involvement and UN or NGO support.
Integrated Rapid Assessment Field Data Checklist
[Education in Emergencies: A Resource Tool kit, UNICEF, 2006]
Doc Pages 31-33
Pdf pages 55-57
 This tool provides a framework for an integrated rapid assessment checklist that can be used
to assess education services, priorities, infrastructure and system capacity.
Rapid Education Assessment from Emergency Field Handbook
[Education in Emergencies: A Resource Tool kit, UNICEF, 2006]
Doc Pages 34-36
Pdf pages 58-60
 This tool provides a framework for a Ministry of Education/UNICEF rapid assessment of
learning spaces that can be used to collect data on and assess a school’s location, details,
condition and supplies.
Assessing Resource Needs and Capacities in an Initial Emergency: INEE Good Practice
[INEE, 2003]
 This INEE Good Practice Guide provides a series of practical strategies, checklists and
resources for assessing resource needs and capacities in an acute emergency and it contains a
table outlining the potential contributions of the community, local NGOs, humanitarian NGOs
and UN agencies.
Assessing and analyzing community non-formal educational needs: INEE Good Practice
[INEE, 2003]
 This INEE Good Practice Guide provides a series of practical strategies, checklists and
resources for assessing and analyzing community non-formal educational needs, including
providing examples of non-formal educational activities and presenting guidance on assessing
different parts of the community, assessing and prioritizing information for community
awareness campaigns, assessing long-term educational needs, and assessing and developing
communication skills of vulnerable populations to access medical services, go to markets, and
conduct basic business transactions.
Assessment of School-Age Children: INEE Good Practice Guide
[INEE, 2003]
 This INEE Good Practice Guide provides a series of practical strategies, checklists and
resources for assessing the formal and non-formal educational needs of school-aged children.
School Site / Environmental Assessment: INEE Good Practice Guide
[INEE, 2003]
 This INEE Good Practice Guide provides a series of practical strategies, checklists and
resources for assessing where educational activities will take place in an acute emergency,
including ensuring that schools and educational areas are safe for children, assessing spacing
and catchments and using local standards in furnishing, rehabilitating and building schools and
educational areas.
Assessment of Out-of-School Youth and Youth Leaders: INEE Good Practice Guide
[INEE, 2003]
 This INEE Good Practice Guide provides a series of practical strategies, checklists and
resources for assessing whether out-of-school youth and youth leaders want to go to school,
whether educational programs exist for them and assessing the obstacles that prevent them
from attending. The Good Practice Guide also gives guidance on how to support young people
to express and address their own needs, build youth leadership and capacity of youth
organizations, and provide special consideration to young women to access educational
Assessment of Teacher/Facilitator Availability and Capacity, including Selection: INEE
Good Practice Guide
[INEE, 2003]
 This INEE Good Practice Guide provides a series of practical strategies, checklists and
resources for identifying and assessing teachers and facilitators, establishing clear roles and
responsibilities, assessing the their psychosocial and physical needs, calculating the number of
teachers needed.
Community Participation in Assessment and Development of Education Programmes:
INEE Good Practice Guide
[INEE, 2003]
 This INEE Good Practice Guide provides a series of practical strategies, checklists and
resources for ensuring community participation in a rapid and thorough assessment, facilitating
community interpretation of assessment results and program development, negotiating a
combination of community-identified strategies and known best practices, and carrying out
continual assessment within the community. It also provides an example of a participatory
method for assessment.
INEE Good Practice Guide: Partner Assessment and Selection: INEE Good Practice
[INEE, 2003]
 This INEE Good Practice Guide provides a series of practical strategies, checklists and
resources for donors, including NGOs and UN agencies, to help identify and assess all potential
partners and assess their strengths and weaknesses as a foundation for capacity-building.
Education Action Sheet from the Gender Handbook in Humanitarian Action
[UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee, 2006]
 The Gender and Education in Emergencies section of this handbook contains an overview of
the gender dimension of education and a checklist for assessing gender equality programming.
Education Action Sheet from the Task Force on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support
in Emergency Settings
[UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee, 2007]
Doc pages 148-155
Pdf pages 81-85
 This Action Sheet articulates key actions and immediate steps for minimum response in
assessing, providing and strengthening access to safe and supportive education, through reestablishing a safe learning environment, making formal and non-formal education more
supportive and relevant, strengthening access to education for all, supporting educators to
provide psychosocial support to learners, and strengthening the capacity of the education
system to provide mental health support for learners experiencing particular difficulties. The
Action sheet ends with three indicators and a series of key resources.
Participatory Assessment in Operations
[UNHCR Tool for Participatory Assessment in Operations, UNHCR, 2006]
 This tool contains a number of useful assessment tools, including a list of potential protection
risks (Annex 1); guidance on communicating with children during an assessment (Annex 2); a
list of themes, including education, and sample questions on protection risks (Annex 3); a
sample systematization form for recording education assessment findings (Annex 4a), covering
protection risks/incidents, causes, capacities within the community, solutions proposed by
subgroups, the most important issues to address and urgent areas for follow-up; and a sample
matrix for recording meetings during a participatory education assessment (Annex 6a).
WFP Emergency School Feeding Guidelines: Situation Analysis for Planning for School
Feeding in an Emergency
[UN World Food Programme, 2004]
Doc pages 27-29
Pdf pages 28-30
 Included in these guidelines is a Situation Analysis for Planning for School Feeding in an
Emergency Setting (pages 27-29) and checklist for designing a school feeding program (pages
Education and Fragility: An Assessment Tool
[USAID, 2006]
 The Education and Fragility Assessment Tool helps to identify the links between education
and fragility in countries that are at risk of conflict, and identifies education interventions to help
avert crises and build capacity and resilience toward peace and transformation.
Sphere Common Standard 2: Initial Assessment
[Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response, The Sphere
Project, 2004]
document pp. 29-33
pdf pp. 9-13
 The Sphere Humanitarian Charter and minimum standards are aimed at improving the quality
of assistance provided to people affected by disasters and improving the accountability of states
and humanitarian agencies. This common standard asserts the need for an initial assessment in
order to understand the situation, threats to life and dignity and to determine whether an
external response is required, and if so, the nature of the response, and it provides a series of
indicators and guidance notes to meet the standard.
Ethical Approaches to Gathering Information from Children and Adolescents in
International Settings: Guidelines and Resources
[Horizons, Populations Council, IMPACT, Family Health International, 2005]
pdf pages 16-17
document pages viii and ix
This publication provides practical guidance to help program managers and researchers
understand and uphold ethical standards when planning and implementing informationgathering activities among children and adolescents. Pages 16-17 provide a summary of
guidance for informational-gathering, design, consultation with the community, anticipating
adverse consequences and conducting consent and interviewing procedures.
A Focused Conversation on Education Systems
[Dean Brooks, IRC/CARDI Indonesia, 2005]
This tool, developed by IRC/CARDI Indonesia, provides an example of how the INEE
Minimum Standards, indicators and guidance notes were adapted to the local context in
Indonesia. The Minimum Standards were utilized to develop a needs assessment tool to better
understand the education systems that were in place before the tsunami-disaster and to
understand ways that those systems could be re-established/regenerated with the aim of
improving both access to and the quality of education.
Assessment Framework
[Save the Children, August 2004]
 This Assessment Framework, developed by Save the Children in Northern Uganda in 2004,
provides an example of how programmes can be guided by INEE Minimum Standards and how
the indicators can be adapted for an initial assessment of education needs.
INEE Case Study: Participatory Assessment and Teacher Training in the Aftermath of the
[INEE, 2006]
 This Case Study, authored by a member of INEE, describes the way in which the INEE
Minimum Standards were applied during the rehabilitation of schools in post-Tsunami Aceh,
Indonesia. The Minimum Standards in this context acted as a framework which enabled local
and international agencies to communicate and effectively build upon previous systems of
education. Issues of local community participation in assessment and planning in this situation
of dire teacher shortage are enlightening for INEE members working in any context.