Dr Zoe Jordan

Senior Lecturer

School of Architecture


I am a researcher at the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice. My research interests are in forced migration and humanitarianism, with a focus on how displaced populations respond to and manage their displacement in protracted and urban contexts.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

  • MA Humanitarian Action and Peacebuilding, Oxford Brookes University- UNITAR
    • DEVP7028: Forced Migration, Protection and Humanitarianism
    • DEVP7012: Humanitarian and Peacebuilding Programmes in Urban Conflicts
    • Dissertation Supervision
  • MA Development and Emergency Practice, Oxford Brookes University
    • DEVP7004: Refugees, Forced Migration, Protection and Humanitarianism
    • ARCH7004: Research Methods and Design
    • Dissertation supervision
  • ARCH6008: Dissertation (Architecture - Undergraduate)


Research group membership

Research grants and awards

Ageing in Displacement: Improving older refugees’ experiences of migration and ageingin the UK. (PI Supriya Akerkar, Co-I: Ben Spencer, Zoe Jordan). Research Excellence Awards 2022/23, Oxford Brookes University, UK

Competing Priorities? Education, employment, and migration policies in Jordan. Research Excellence Awards 2021 for Postdoctoral Researchers and Research Technicians, Oxford Brookes University, UK

Research projects


Effects of Externalisation: EU Migration Management in Africa and the Middle East (EFFEXT). Partnership between Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Global Development Institute (GDS) University of Manchester, and Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) Oxford Brookes University. Funded by NordForsk

Migration is key for economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It may therefore seem paradoxical that SSA and MENA countries cooperate with the EU on policies to reduce migration and increase returns. While international collaboration has become essential in migration management, the incentives, implementation and broader impact of EU migration measures in partner countries remain largely unexplored. This project examines the effects of the EU’s external migration management policies in on six countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Ghana and Libya. Within this project, I focus on the research in Jordan, and am particularly interested in understanding the impact of policy (or the absence of policy) on how people experience and manage displacement and migration, how they relate to sites of migration, and the role of formal and informal mediating actors.

Ageing in Displacement: Improving older refugees’ experiences of migration and ageing in the UK.

Refugees above the age of 60 account for 4% of the global refugee population (UNHCR 2021), and a little over 1% of the UK refugee population. Though a numerically small population, older refugees have specific experiences and needs (WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2018; Hatzidimitriadou, 2010), which have thus far received little attention. This exploratory pilot research seeks to understand how the refugee experience shapes that of ageing, and what it means to age as a refugee in the UK context in particular. The research takes an interdisciplinary and intersectional approach to experiences of ageing and displacement, paying particular attention to gender and disability (including mental and physical well-being). Focusing on Birmingham and Oxford, the research encompasses diverse spatial geographies, from a large city to smaller rural settlements. The project will address the dearth of evidence regarding older refugees in the UK context, identify and disseminate policy recommendations to improve the well-being of older refuges in the UK, and support the exchange of practice-based learning between refugee-oriented and age-oriented organisations, faith-based organisations, and older service users. 


From Education to Employment? Young people’s trajectories in protracted displacement” Co-led by CENDEP, Oxford Brookes University and the Centre for Lebanese Students, Lebanese American University, funded by ESRC-GCRF and IDRC-MENA.

In displacement settings, what shapes the trajectories of young people from education into employment? This research programme is based in Lebanon and Jordan, two countries with a long history of hosting refugees. It analyzes the trajectories from education to employment of young Syrians, Palestinians, Lebanese, and Jordanians in each country with the aim of understanding how legal status – a critical but understudied dimension – alongside other factors such as socio-economic status, gender, place of residence, and family background influence young people’s complex and non-linear trajectories between education and employment. Within this project, I am interested in how to capture and analyse such multi-directional trajectories, how young people understand their options and positions, particularly with regards to their changing aspirations, and how the city is used by youth in shaping their trajectories.

Competing Priorities? Education, employment, and migration policies in Jordan. Research Excellence Awards 2021 for Postdoctoral Researchers and Research Technicians, Oxford Brookes University, UK

Many young people globally view migration as the key to achieving their aspirations in education and employment. Similarly, many countries see migration as essential for economic development. Despite this, numerous countries, including Jordan, have adopted policies that support the EU’s aims to reduce migration. As yet, the tensions inherent in these processes are largely unexplored. Jordan is a major hub of global migration, acting as a country of origin, destination, and transit for an estimated two million migrants a year (Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2015).

In this project, I assess the extent to which Jordan’s education and employment policy priorities influence its migration policy, by analysing the intersections of education, employment and migration (both emigration and immigration) policies in Jordan. This project bridges the two post-doctoral research positions I hold.

Everyday Humanitarians: The act of refugee hosting in protracted urban displacement in Amman, Jordan. PhD research. Funded by an Oxford Brookes University 150th Anniversary Awards PhD Studentship and a Travel Award from the ISA Charity Network.


Projects as Co-investigator

  • Navigating Networks in Multiple Displacement: Connecting formal and informal education and livelihood assistance for Internally Displaced Persons in Southern Ethiopia(20/01/2023 - 19/01/2026), funded by: Gerda Henkel Stiftung, funding amount received by Brookes: £109,980, funded by: Gerda Henkel Stiftung


slide 1 of 6

Further details

Before joining CENDEP, I worked with NGOs in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Haiti, leading and supporting humanitarian projects responding to urban displacement, internal displacement, and disaster recovery. 

I also have voluntary experience with community-based organisations working with asylum-seekers and refugees in Jordan and the UK.