Anti-racism and Decoloniality

Global inequality and injustice are rooted in the legacies of colonialism and racism. Colonialism is widely understood to have shaped the global humanitarian and development systems, both historically and currently; racial and cultural biases are present in and actively shaping the structures and actions in these systems. These forces show up in the ways of working, the practices, and the policies of the humanitarian and development sectors, including the following:

  • The language used to talk about people affected by crisis
  • Who holds power in decision-making spaces and processes
  • Who holds power over money and resources and who has access to them
  • Who holds the power to set global agendas and produce knowledge

It is essential to approach EiE through a lens of equity, decoloniality, and anti-racism. Equity refers to fair and just practices that are achieved by systematically assessing disparities in opportunities, outcomes, and representation, and by addressing these issues through targeted actions. Decoloniality broadly refers to a process that aims to question and transform legacies of colonialism in institutions, structures, and ways of knowing. It involves actively addressing actions, behaviors, and decisions that uphold or reinforce the power dynamics of colonialism. Anti-racism is more than the absence of racism. It is an active process of challenging structures and practices of racism. It is essential for the global education community to engage critically with these concepts, to work for locally led humanitarian action, and take action to dismantle unbalanced power structures and inequality.

This collection was curated by the INEE Secretariat with support from Zeena Zakharia, EdD. To suggest resources or edits, contact

1 Março 2023 Manual/Handbook/Guide Oxfam

Inclusive Langauge Guide

The language guide is divided into thematic sections, though many of the issues discussed intersect and some terms may be relevant to several categories. The guide is based on a set of Feminist Principles for Language Use and gives examples of how you can put these principles into practice in your writing and in day-to-day conversation.

1 Janeiro 2022 Policy Brief Dubai Cares

Guiding Principles for promising partnership practices in education in emergencies

Despite a surge in educational partnerships, the EiE community has yet to develop guiding principles on how organizations might approach partnerships so that they result in effective and ethical practices, leading to improvements for students in crisis settings. This policy brief aims to address this gap by proposing five intersecting guiding principles for promising partnership practices in EiE.

14 Janeiro 2021 Background Paper International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Opportunities for Transformative Language in Feminist Approaches to Partnership

This paper, developed through consultations with Building Local Thinking Global members, seeks to explore language and power hierarchies within humanitarian aid, and the impact of language on relationships between different groups, with the goal of identifying new language that is inclusive and empowering, and promotes equality.

1 Outubro 2019 Report
Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
Humanitarian Policy Group

Rethinking capacity and complementarity for a more local humanitarian action

Humanitarian action has been a mainly international endeavour, where power continues to lie with donors, UN agencies and large international non-governmental organisations . This led to a call at the World Humanitarian Summit  for humanitarian action to be as ‘local as possible, as international as necessary’ inspiring numerous debates and initiatives, including the Grand Bargain. To better inform local humanitarian action, HPG launched a two-year research project in 2017 on capacity and complementarity, of which this is the final report.

24 Outubro 2023 Journal Article
Globalisation, Societies and Education

Retelling education in emergencies through the black radical tradition: on racial capitalism, critical race theory and fugitivity

The paper, adopting my roles as a scholar and aid practitioner, critically examines the EiE sector through three Black Radical Tradition (BRT) lenses: racial capitalism, critical race theory, and fugitivity. It employs case studies, aligning with the BRT’s interconnected focus, revealing the pervasive influence of educational aid, racial injustice, and structural inequalities.

13 Fevereiro 2018 Livro
Explorations of Education Purpose

Politics of Anti-Racism Education: In Search of Strategies for Transformative Learning

Politics of Anti-Racism Education is a book that engages the tough questions of anti- racism practice: How do we recognize anti-racism when there is no prescription or recipe for transformative practices? How does anti-racism resist the imperial divi- sive practices at various sites of difference while simultaneously amplifying the saliency of race? How do anti-racism educators challenge and support each other to do the ongoing work of anti-racism to guard our work from being consumed by hegemonic status quo agendas? What does it mean to name that which is incommensurable – experiences of race and racism?

17 Dezembro 2022 Journal Article
Globalisation, Societies and Education

Between ‘the paradox of liberalism’ and ‘the paradox of decoloniality’: education for peacebuilding in conflict settings

This article extends current debates in Education for Peacebuilding (EfP) in conflict settings. It presents and discusses two paradoxes I have observed when examining EfP literature and engaging in conversations with EfP scholars: ‘the paradox of liberalism’ and ‘the paradox of decoloniality’.

15 Novembro 2019 Convention/Declaration
Global Refugee Forum Education Co-Sponsorship Alliance

Global Framework for Refugee Education

A framework to guide the pledging process for the first Global Refugee Forum and subsequent initiatives to meet the 2030 education commitments of the Global Compact on Refugees

21 Junho 2019 White Paper United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organziation (UNESCO)

Enforcing the right to education of refugees: A policy perspective

This paper, aimed at education policymakers, provides analysis and insights on how the right to education for refugees could be ensured from a policy perspective. It does so by reviewing the current status of access to education of refugees, using the scant data that is available in this area.

10 Abril 2023 Journal Article
International Journal of Human Rights Education

Ordinary Solidarities: Re-Reading Refugee Education Response Through an Anticolonial Discursive Framework

Drawing on a three-year case study of one faith-based school in Lebanon, this paper explores how one ordinary school in a refugee hostile transit country secured and protected the right to education for refugee children from Syria, within a significant broader context of multiple compounding crises.

12 Maio 2021 Report
Peace Direct

Time to Decolonise Aid

In November 2020, Peace Direct in collaboration with Adeso, the Alliance for Peacebuilding and Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security, convened a three-day online consultation to discuss the issue of structural racism and how to ‘Decolonise Aid’.

1 Julho 2015 Livro
Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies

Global White Ignorance

This chapter sets out—necessarily very schematically, but as a possible stimulus for research on the key features of a white ignorance conceived of as global.

6 Janeiro 2021 Áudio
Rethinking Humanitarianism podcast

Decolonizing Aid

Co-hosts Heba Aly and Jeremy Konyndyk sit down with Tammam Aloudat, a Syrian doctor who is senior strategic adviser to the Access Campaign of Médecins Sans Frontières and one of the few people of colour in a senior management position within an organisation going through a very public struggle with racism, to discuss dismantling colonialism in the aid sector.

7 Janeiro 2022 Journal Article
Journal of International Humanitarian Action

The racialization of expertise and professional non-equivalence in the humanitarian workplace

This paper aims to explore the ways which expertise is covertly racialized in the contemporary humanitarian aid sector. The research suggests that embedded under the contemporary professional structure of the liberal humanitarian space is a covert power hierarchy fueled by perceptions of expertise and competency along racial lines—particularly around one’s whiteness.

20 Março 2023 Áudio

Black Lives Matter and Comparative Education

Today we talk about Black Lives Matter and what it means for the field of comparative and international education. With me are Sharon Walker and Krystal Strong, who have recently co-edited with Derron Wallace, Arathi Sriprakash, Leon Tikly, and Crain Soudien, a special issue of Comparative Education Review entitled “Black Lives Matter and Global Struggles for Racial Justice in Education.”