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Inclusive education for children with a disability in the Sahel

This research project addresses the challenges of inclusive education in the Sahel, a region characterized by fragility and conflict.

The ability to tackle the challenges of including children with disabilities in school will ultimately be decisive to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals on global education. There is global consensus on non-discrimination of children with disabilities in the delivering of education services, a claim that the Norwegian whitepaper on human rights describes as “absolute” and “immediate”. Yet, there is a gap between political vision and education sector programming on the ground. Recent research highlights that the lack of research-based, low-cost, locally acceptable solutions is a main cause for this implementation gap.

The objective of the project is therefore to produce a set of such research-based, practically oriented strategy recommendations that can contribute to the overarching project goal: to sustainably improve the education situation for a substantial number of children with disabilities in fragile countries in Sahel. The recommendations will be tailored to meet the demand of the national governments and their most important donors, and aim to inform the development and negotiations of the national education sector strategy documents.

The project will be led by Fafo in collaboration with HiOA, and hosts two PhDs, one in Norway and one in West Africa. The latter will be affiliated with the local partner LASDEL, and relate to a mapping of children with disabilities, classified on functional domain, within a defined area of the region, supervised by ICED. The Norwegian PhD will be affiliated with SAI at UiO, and cover anthropological fieldwork in Mali and Niger. R&D challenges to the project predominantly relate to the security situation in the region, which may affect the selection of geographical areas for field work. Areas affected by the refugee situation will be included, unless staff security is compromised.


Project period

  • Start:
    January 2018
  • End:
    June 2022

Commissioned by

  • The Research Council of Norway

Sustainable development goals