Fostering an Innovation Network to Increase Access to Education in Emergencies

Humanitarian crises around the world have disrupted the education of millions of children. Within the first two years of the Syrian crisis, 150,000 education personnel had been killed, 2.1 million Syrian children were out of school, and one in four schools was either damaged, destroyed, or used as shelter or for military purposes.  Compounding this challenge, girls are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys in conflict-affected regions.

With funding from the MIKTA consortium, GKI, in partnership with OpenIDEO, and stakeholders across the education and humanitarian sector, designed and launched the Education in Emergencies (EiE) Challenge to catalyze new solutions in service of expanding educational opportunities in emergency situations, particularly for girls and the disadvantaged. Following the announcement of the challenge winners, we delivered a bootcamp for the cohort of runner-ups to build their skills, improve and measure the maturation of their early-stage businesses, and collectively access more than US $500,000 in additional financing. 

Since the close of the EiE Challenge, the Australian Government and OpenIDEO worked closely with the Challenge community to co-design the Education in Emergencies (EiE) Alliance: “a six-month open innovation network intended to support innovators, leverage resources and collaboration tools, and fuel ongoing innovation in this field.”