The INEE website has moved to You are currently viewing the static archive of the former INEE website, established in May 2019.

Promoting access to quality, safe, and relevant education for all persons affected by crisis

Is Education in Emergencies An Integral Part of The First Phase of Humanitarian Assistance?

Education in Emergencies, Humanitarian System, Standards, Response
Resource Type
Deborah Haines
Birkbeck College, University of London
Publish Date


Filename File Size
Dissertation__Is_Education_in_Emergencies_An_Integral_Part_of_Humanitarian_Assistance_PDF_DH_doc_1 360 KB Download


This research explored the hypothesis that ‘education should be an integral part of the first phase of humanitarian assistance’. A group of twenty-four participants were interviewed, comprised of education, health and also non-technical advisers in six international INGOs, the United Nations, representatives from five major donors and three global bodies, including the Global Education Cluster, the Inter Agency Network for Education in Emergencies and one education partnership body. Using a theoretical framework of governmentality, the findings demonstrated that while education is believed to be an important part of response, saving lives takes precedence over education in the early phase of humanitarian assistance. Through the rationality that justifies saving lives and the technologies that enables the system to do so, education becomes excluded, obscured, obstructed or delayed in humanitarian assistance, affecting its funding opportunities and reproducing the ‘truths’ that the focus of assistance must be on saving lives. The research concludes that without education, human beings are viewed as a biological entity and such rationality produces subjects, in this case children, who experience life with a bare existence.