Pilar Aguilar, PhD.

Specializes in education in emergencies

Pilar is passionate about education in emergencies contributor to vulnerable children affected by war, in situations of extreme poverty, emergencies, post-crisis to transition, early recovery and reconstruction. Pilar is a crisis and armed conflicts specialist with over 30 years of experience. She has spent most of her career advising major UN and government humanitarian crisis stakeholders. She has extensive experience in access to quality education, girl’s education, play-based education, psychosocial support, child-friendly and protective environments.  Since graduating as a PhD. of Education at the University of Hull (UK). From 1994 to 1997 she was Chief of the UNICEF Education Programme in Rwanda where she was responsible for the creation of the first rapid Back-to-School Initiative response to approximately 800,000 children including refugees and displaced persons. For almost 20 years, she was employed by UNICEF to lead complex emergencies across regions as a Senior Education Advisor. She was at the origins of the INEE Minimum Standards, interagency coordination in humanitarian settings, and the cluster approach that officially recognized education as part of the emergency response.  Pilar has been committed to the Sustainable Development Goals principle of ‘leaving no one behind,’ this is reflected in her recent work regarding the Venezuelan migration crisis and Lessons Learned Study on Preparedness for UNICEF Middle East and North Africa. Her awareness concerning the current learning crisis; how school closures have disrupted the schooling of 91 per cent of students worldwide are analysed in a forthcoming publication where the effects of the pandemics plus the added complexities that this represents for displaced children and young people in addition to the humanitarian crises.

She keeps a thorough understanding of the effectiveness and efficiency of humanitarian developments including the new humanitarian landscape, especially after the World Humanitarian Summit (2016), how escalating needs are addressed through the “localization agenda” and “triple nexus” (humanitarian, development and peace).   Pilar has authored over 15 publications analysing subject that ranges from human rights to post-conflict rehabilitation. Currently, she provides continual advice to NGOs and governments through the ongoing demand for her consultancy work. Her extensive experience advising governments and other international experts on how to reduce, prepare and manage complex natural disasters, armed conflict or refugee situations has made her one of the leading experts on the subject.

Area of specialisation: Education in Emergencies