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Sarah Collinson

Research Associate

  • Humanitarian Policy Group
Portrait of Sarah Collinson

<p>Sarah is a Research Associate of HPG. She has held senior research and policy positions at Chatham House, ActionAid and HPG. Over twenty years, her work has spanned a range of key policy challenges in the humanitarian sector and in the area of migration and refugee protection. Her latest work has focused particularly on the nature of the humanitarian system and the challenges of humanitarian action in difficult political and security environments, including the implications of international ‘stabilisation’ agendas for humanitarian action, trends in 'humanitarian space', protected status for civilians and displaced people, livelihoods in conflict, and the importance of politically informed humanitarian programming. She previously led the HPG programme on ‘Principles, Politics and the Humanitarian System’.</p>

She has held additional associate positions with other research centres including the Global Insecurities Centre (Bristol) and the International Migration Institute (Oxford), and she has taught as an external postgraduate tutor in refugee studies at the Refugee Studies Centre (Oxford). She was a founder of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) and member of the editorial board of the Journal of Refugee Studies. In 200, she was a contributing author (Europe chapter) of the 50th Anniversary Edition of the UNHCR publication The State of the World’s Refugees and of IOM’s The State of the World’s Migrants. In 2009-10 she joined the German Marshall Fund Transatlantic Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration, and in 2011 she provided expert analysis of the social drivers of environmentally-induced migration to the UK Government’s Foresight Project on migration and global environmental change.

Sarah has an interest in inclusion of people with disabilities and older people in humanitarian assistance and protection and has recently written Minimum Standards for Age and Disability Inclusion in Humanitarian Action (Pilot Version) for the Age and Disability Capacity Building Programme (ADCAP).

  1. A more inclusive post-Covid-19 world for persons with disabilities – how humanitarians can play their part

  2. Our Shared Future: the governance challenges posed by the sustainable development, climate and World Humanitarian Summit agendas

    Briefing/policy papers

  3. Power, politics and the economics of humanitarian action


  4. Constructive deconstruction: making sense of the international humanitarian system

    Working papers

  5. Dear EU leaders: Syria’s refugees won’t stop coming

  6. Risky business: maintaining a presence in dangerous environments


  7. Paradoxes of presence: Risk management and aid culture in challenging environments

    Research reports

  8. Humanitarian space: trends and issues

    Research reports

  9. Humanitarian space: a review of trends and issues

    Research reports

  10. The role of networks in the international humanitarian system

    Research reports

  11. The search for coherence: UN integrated missions and humanitarian space


  12. Counter terrorism and humanitarian action


  13. Politicisation and securitisation of Aid: challenges to humanitarian space in Somalia


  14. The Humanitarian System: how does it affect humanitarian space?


  15. Humanitarian Space in Sri Lanka: what lessons can be learned?


  16. States of fragility: Stabilisation and its implications for humanitarian action


  17. Humanitarian Space: concepts, definitions and uses


  18. Disasters theme issue: States of fragility: stabilisation and its implications for humanitarian action


  19. States of fragility: stabilisation and its implications for humanitarian action


  20. 'Stabilising' fragile states: implications for humanitarian action

    Press Release