The International Humanitarian Studies Association is a network engaged with the study of humanitarian crises caused by natural disaster, conflict or political instability.

The Social Role of the Museum in Humanitarian Crisis: Learning from NGOs about the effective management of the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Submitted by Inge Zlatkou
For panel Social Museology and Social Role of Museums

Museums are institutions whose roles have been changing constantly throughout the history of their existence. Nowadays, their social role receives an increased importance, as museums are officially recognised as institutions of social service by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). The purpose of the present thesis is to examine the museum’s social role in the case of the Syrian refugee crisis by identifying ways that museums as institutions can contribute to its relief. In order to approach this topic, a correlation is drawn between museums and Development NGOs, as the latter have a well-established presence in the provision of social work. Therefore, as a secondary purpose, this thesis compares and contrasts these two types of organisations, identifies similarities and seeks aspects of NGOs that museums can learn from in order to enhance their efficiency in assisting in times of humanitarian crisis, like the in Syrian refugee one.