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In Memoriam — Jacqueline “Jackie” Kirk

A Note from the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) about the senseless death of one of our strongest advocates for peace and reconstruction of war-torn societies, Jackie Kirk :
Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies  

Dear INEE Members:  
We have tragic news to share.  Yesterday, Wednesday 13th August, the education in emergencies community lost three exceptional members, all employed by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), in an ambush of a humanitarian aid vehicle in Logar Province, Afghanistan. They are Shirley Case, who managed education programs designed to meet the needs of children with disabilities; Nicole Dial, IRC child protection coordinator; and Jacqueline (Jackie) Kirk, Ph.D., an education technical advisor who provided support for the IRC's children's education programs worldwide. A driver for the IRC, Mohammad Aimal, was also killed and a second driver employed by the IRC was seriously wounded in the attack and has been hospitalized.

We'd like to pay particular tribute to Jackie Kirk, who was an extremely active member of INEE and a passionate advocate for quality education in emergencies. For those of you who didn't have the honour of working personally with Jackie, she was a technical specialist in education in emergency and post-conflict and fragile states, focusing on gender and teacher-related issues. In addition to working with the International Rescue Committee, providing ongoing technical assistance to country programs as well as working on global policy and program development projects, Jackie was the founder and, on behalf of IRC, convenor of the INEE Gender Task Team/ IASC Education Cluster Working Group. She also represented IRC on the IASC Education Advisory Group, was a trainer on the INEE Minimum Standards and a resource person on a myriad of inter-agency initiatives, such as the initiatives to develop Teacher Compensation Guidance Notes and IASC Gender Guidelines for Humanitarian Action.

Jackie had extensive field-based experience working in humanitarian settings, including refugee camps and returnee communities, and advocated for gender mainstreaming and cross-sectoral programming involving the impacts of conflict on children and women, of child rights, protection, sexual abuse and exploitation issues, especially for girls. In addition, Jackie was an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University and worked on several research projects focused on gender, education, conflict and peace. This included topics on, but not limited to, education and fragility, safe schools and learning environments, teacher recruitment, support and training, school feeding, certification of learning achievements, and strategies for more effective education financing. Jackie was a prolific writer and produced numerous academic and policy-focused publications on education in emergencies. She also developed and co-taught classes at the University of Ulster, Sydney University and McGill University.

Jackie worked extensively with educators, field staff, education organisations and institutions, including ministries of education and teacher education institutions around the world and the positive impact of her tireless work with all of these groups will be felt for years to come. She was a passionate advocate, generous colleague and a good friend and she will be sorely missed. Mourning her loss, we must dig deep within ourselves to find and act on the same kind of commitment to rights that Jackie embodied so well.

Many of us have been impacted by the work that Jackie did for the education in emergencies field, either through a personal working relationship or benefiting from tools/resources and opportunities for training and engagement she developed for the community over the years. For those of you who would like to share your remembrances of Jackie Kirk, the IRC is putting together a memorial book in her honour; please send any contributions to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . INEE will share the final book back with members when it is completed.

INEE Secretariat and Steering Group



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