UNHCR Teacher Retention Project in Algeria, Ethiopia, and Pakistan

Map of EthiopiaTeachers are a critical resource for children in refugee and emergency settings. Teacher quality is recognized as a primary driver of variation in student learning outcomes, particularly in refugee and emergency settings, but few studies have examined the factors that motivate or demotivate teachers in these contexts. AIR was contracted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to conduct a literature review on teacher retention as well as three field studies in refugee populated areas of Algeria, Ethiopia, and Pakistan.

Map of PakistanFor the literature review, AIR used secondary source materials from academic experts and gray literature from United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations to identify seven key areas that affect teacher retention in such contexts: teacher recruitment, selection, and deployment; the teaching environment; certification; professional development; incentives; management structures; and status and social recognition. Further, AIR identified critical gaps in the literature surrounding refugee teachers and their retention and suggested specific areas for further research. For the field missions,

AIR explored the key issues that influence teacher retention in protracted refugee settings in Algeria, Ethiopia and Pakistan and offer suggestions for cost-effective policies and technical responses that would reinvigorate teaching forces, attract new teachers, and reinforce the value we as education practitioners place on education for all.