Experiences Implementing Inclusive Education in West Africa and Madagascar

Humanity and Inclusion

To garner insights into successes and challenges in building inclusive education approaches in sub-Saharan Africa, this study examines experiences implementing a project aimed at improving educational opportunities for children with disabilities and other vulnerable children. This project, which was implemented by Humanity & Inclusion in partnership with Educate A Child (EAC) from September 2016 to November 2019, was designed to adapt and contextualise cross-national approaches to inclusion and promote innovative approaches aligned with local priorities and systems. The project was implemented in ten Sub-Saharan African countries and included goals to improve the access to and retention in primary school for vulnerable children, especially children with disabilities. The project goal was exceeded in enrolment of vulnerable children, ultimately enrolling 32,525 out-of-school children (OOSC) and meeting 116% of the initial target of 28,011, with a 78% survival rate.

This case study describes implementation strategies and experiences from the project. The inclusive education approaches used in each country; policy and systems changes attributed at least in part to the programme; the role of contextual factors in the successes and challenges faced within each country; and the influence of EAC contributions on the project are examined. The case study includes special attention to the innovative approaches pursued in some project countries, i.e., itinerant teacher schemes used in Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Sierra Leone; the use of school life assistants to support inclusion in Senegal; and the role of bridging classes in Madagascar. Specifically, the following research questions are pursued, drawing on a desk review of project documents, qualitative survey responses, and key informant interviews. 

View webpage for full text 

Regional Focus 

Country focus 


Type of material 

Content type