Twenty years of the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies: towards a new ontology and epistemology

This paper reflects on the role of the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) by analysing and presenting a critique of its report ‘20 Years of INEE: Achievements and Challenges in Education in Emergencies’. Despite the strides achieved in highlighting the importance of education in humanitarian crises, we identify four critical points related to the ontology and epistemology of Education in Emergencies with a specific focus on refugee education: First, the oxymoron between short-term humanitarianism and future-oriented education, second, the purpose of education; third, the role of knowledge production within INEE as a primary agenda-setter; and fourth, how the INEE as firmly embedded in the humanitarian system reproduces unequal power dynamics. In conclusion and by using a decoloniality continuum (Abdelnour and Abu Moghli [2021]. “Researching Violent Contexts: A Call for Political Reflexivity.” Organization. doi:10.1177/13505084211030646) ranging from complicity to liberation, we offer different possibilities for INEE to address the four critical points and the potential for decolonising the field.

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