Researcher, Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford Department for International Development, University of Oxford


Dr Sarah Rosenberg-Jansen is a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, where she is a member of the Refugee Studies Centre and Linacre College. Sarah is the Research Lead for the UN Global Platform for Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement (GPA), a multi-institutional group leading action on energy in forced migration settings. She has held academic positions as a Research Associate at Imperial College London and Research Analyst at the University of Cambridge. As a practitioner, Sarah was previously Head of Humanitarian Energy at the international NGO Practical Action, and a senior adviser on energy for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID – now FCDO).

Sarah specialises in the institutional and geographic study of energy in humanitarian settings, including the impact of electricity and clean cooking access on the lives of refugees. Her research focuses on understanding institutional and individual practices on energy within humanitarian systems and refugee camps. Sarah has been published in several peer-reviewed scholarly journals, including Energy Research and Social Science, the Journal of Refugee Studies, the Journal of Humanitarian Action, Nature Energy, and Climate Policy. She was the lead author for the GPA State of the Humanitarian Energy Sector 2022 report, launched at SEforALL in May 2022 in Kigali Rwanda. Her Fellowship is funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) and considers ethnographic evidence on the energy needs of refugees and the ethics of humanitarian practices on sustainable energy.

Selected publications

Rosenberg-Jansen, Sarah. 2022. The emerging world of humanitarian energy: A conceptual research review. Energy Research & Social Science 92.

Rosenberg-Jansen, Sarah. 2022. The Secret Life of Energy in Refugee Camps: Invisible Objects, Technologies, and Energy Systems in Humanitarianism. Journal of Refugee Studies.

Rosenberg-Jansen, Sarah (with Peter James Matthew Thomas, Aimee Jenks). 2021. Moving beyond informal action: sustainable energy and the humanitarian response system. International Journal of Humanitarian Action 6 21.

Rosenberg-Jansen, Sarah (with Tracy Tunge, Timothy Kayumba). 2019. Inclusive energy solutions in refugee camps. Nature Energy 4 990–2.

Rosenberg-Jansen, Sarah. 2019. Leaving no one behind: An overview of governance of the humanitarian energy sector. In Owen Grafham (ed) Energy Access and Forced Migration , Routledge.