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Barbara has joined ODID as a DPhil student with ‘Beyond solutions? Pushing the development agenda in refugee assistance – data, drivers, dynamics and the effects on equity in education’ as her proposed research title. She is supervised by Mathias Czaika.

Barbara ZeusResearch Focus

Barbara's research takes a critical approach to examining the dynamics of the development discourse in forced migration, analysing the drivers and interests at play, looking beyond shifting responsibilities and aid flows, and assessing policy effects on communities affected by forced displacement. The project analyses these impacts by looking at the example of education asking to what extent developmental policy approaches have influenced and been effective in creating more equitable education opportunities for refugee and host community children and youth. It takes particular interest in the data and funding dimensions in processes of translating global policy to the national level.


Barbara holds a BA in Regional Studies Asia/Africa & Social Sciences and an MA in Education and International Development from University College London. She has worked in diverse contexts from grassroots and NGO level to national policy and UN level on four continents, most recently as Education Specialist with UNHCR. In more than ten years of professional experience in international development and humanitarian aid, Barbara has managed multi-donor projects and gained expertise in programme design, monitoring & evaluation, data management and analysis, and capacity building. She has worked on refugee protection as well as post-conflict reconstruction and returnee integration in South and Southeast Asia as well as East and Central Africa and published her academic work on issues around forced migration and education.