Critical Conversations on Refugee and Migrant Education: Toward Commitment and Concrete Action


The coronavirus pandemic has upended educational systems and practices worldwide, but for refugees and migrants the pandemic exposed just how desperate their already difficult plight has become. Throughout 2021 and 2022, the Refugee & Migrant Education Network was hosting a series of conversations about issues within refugee education.

The series of programs explored:

  • Reimagining innovation in a time of global uncertainty;
  • Educating university students about refugees and migrants;
  • Developing effective partnerships advancing educational access to displaced persons.

Previous Events

Measure your Impact at the Margins

March 29, 2022

This webinar familiarized participants with the Integrative Justice Model (IJM), a normative ethical framework for statistically predicting the extent to which an organization or intervention actually transforms quality of life (TQL) for beneficiaries. Based on these statistical methods and research, we explored best practices to apply the IJM for more effective strategic planning grounded in the voices of beneficiaries.


November 16, 2021

RME Network, Jesuit Refugee Service, and GHR Foundation gathered to explore strategies and practices that support effective partnerships. We discussed:

  • How can organizations partner well to deliver measurable and durable benefits for refugees and hosts?
  • Tips to build successful collaborations between refugee and host communities, NGOs and philanthropic funders with high levels of transparency, trust, and complementarity.
  • How to align visions, set priorities, monitor outcomes, and develop or adapt interventions to enhance programmatic impact and sustainability.

Leadership Lessons from the Jesuit Refugee Service

June 15, 2021

JRS leaders joined the Refugee & Migrant Education Network for a candid conversation about how to address organizational challenges to better serve their community of  800,000 refugees each year and improve outcomes for forcibly displaced communities in 56 countries around the world.
Key questions that guided our conversation:
      • How does a humanitarian organization remain agile and responsive to the changing needs of forcibly displaced learners worldwide?
      • Can leaders embed innovation into their practices, programs, and cultures, without compromising mission or core values?
      • What enables broad buy-in and sustainability in managing organizational change? In diverse contexts?

To watch the full event featuring experts from the Jesuit Refugee Service–Thomas H. Smolich, International Director;  Melly Preira, Director of Human Resources; Andre Atsu, Regional Director for East Africa–and moderated by Arnout Mertens, JRS Director of Programmes and Innovation, please visit our Facebook.

The current state and importance of refugee education as a pathway to opportunity

March 4, 2021

The Refugee & Migrant Education Network, in partnership with the Gregorian University in Rome, hosted our  first program of in our 2021 Critical Conversations event series! The discussion featured Filippo Grandi, the 11th United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

This powerful and pertinent discussion focused on the realities and challenges of educating displaced people around the world. Fernando M. Reimers, Harvard University’s Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice in International Education and Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative, moderated.

Key moments from the conversation:

The conversation highlighted:

  • Meeting the goals of UNHCR’s 15by30
  • The impact of Covid19 on the education of refugees
  • “Education is a tool to create opportunities in adversity”
  • The education of refugee girls