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Pre-Primary and Primary Inclusive Education for Tanzania (PPPIET) – Foundation Phase : Report on Participatory Research to Inform Design of New Inclusive Education Model in Tanzania

JUDGE, Emma
June 2020

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The Disability Inclusive Development (DID) consortium, a UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded initiative, is working together on the Pre-Primary and Primary Inclusive Education in Tanzania (PPPIET) programme whose ultimate goal is to foster quality sustainable inclusive education for all children with disabilities at scale across Tanzania in mainstream pre-primary and primary government schools. To achieve this, it aims to support collective, coordinated systems change by establishing an agreed common model of basic inclusive pre-primary and primary education in mainstream government schools, and galvanising significant progress in spreading its systematic implementation for all children with disabilities across Tanzania. 

 

This task requires the cooperation of government, civil society and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to achieve real change.  No single organisation or government department can achieve inclusive education on its own. Pooling the skills and resources and exchanging learnings to achieve quality inclusive education of children can help all involved. Working together will build collective commitment and action, not just amongst DID consortium members but also across government, donors, education actors and the private sector. 

 

Part of this process was to conduct a participatory field research to gather evidence on the current provision of support services needed for inclusive education and identify gaps that need to be filled in the future. The exercise also served to identify key challenges that need addressing to facilitate the removal of legal, policy, systemic, physical, communication and language, social, financial and attitudinal barriers. The findings from the research were intended to identify the priority components that need addressing in the design of an inclusive education design model and the drivers of accountability, i.e. the agencies/stakeholders responsible for implementing the required system changes.

 

Summary of key findings

The Government of Tanzania has continually demonstrated its support and commitment to inclusive education evidenced by the many comprehensive policies for inclusive education, including the National Inclusive Education Strategy (NSIE) 2018 – 2021.  Through these policies, it is actively working to improve the educational environment but the journey is long and requires significant system changes for the policies to be effectively implemented, which needs collaboration, cooperation, planning, and strategic resourcing across multiple ministries, NGOs, DPOs, and the private sector. 

 

To achieve inclusive education, a rights-based approach to education needs to be adopted, focusing on identifying and removing the barriers to access and quality learning for every child, including appropriate infrastructure changes in schools, changing attitudes, and providing additional support to girls and boys with disabilities through learning support assistants.  There also needs to be a fundamental shift towards child-centred pedagogy in teacher training and curriculum development to meet the needs of all learners, including having a mandatory module on inclusive education in all teacher training curricula.  Over time, this will help develop teachers’ confidence and positive attitudes towards teaching children with disabilities and achieve impact at scale.  Strengthening the capacities of all teachers, improving classroom management, increasing awareness about inclusive education for all stakeholders, and improving access to screening and early identification, health, rehabilitation services, and affordable assistive devices are all contributing factors to achieving inclusive education in Tanzania.

 

Systems change to improve learning and support for children with disabilities takes time and requires a significant investment of resources and budget allocation by government and service providers.  However, inclusive education can be cost-effective compared with the cost of segregation and special schools, particularly where ministries work together to ensure a more ‘strategic allocation of existing funds, promoting universal design and co-operation agreements among multiple ministries’.   Developing partnerships with the private sector to improve the physical infrastructure of schools and access to affordable assistive devices can also help reduce the cost of inclusion.

 

Inclusive education is a cross-cutting issue that requires the commitment and accountability of multiple stakeholders across government ministries to ensure its effective implementation.  This includes the MOEST, MOHCDGEC, MOFP, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the President's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG). 

 

It is anticipated that to achieve successful implementation and scaling up of the model design for inclusive education, there will need to be a systematic and phased approach to implementing the recommendations in this report over the short, medium and long term.  It is acknowledged that this process will take considerable time to implement and can only be successfully achieved over a period of years with the support and increased understanding of all stakeholders.  There is no quick-fix solution to inclusive education.  It requires changing long-established systems and adjusting services, including health and education, training, and attitudes.  There is also no financial short cut. 

 

However, while some recommendations require significant investment, others can be achieved in the current context without significant monetary investment.  For example, changing the curriculum for all teacher training to ensure inclusive education is included as a standard module will help transform the approach of teachers and the inclusion of children with disabilities in learning.  Raising awareness of inclusive education for all stakeholders, including policy-makers and implementers will also help increase understanding of the long-term system changes required and reduce stigma and discrimination.  Inclusive education can only be achieved in an inclusive society and it needs collective effort from the government, parents, community, and all stakeholders for effective implementation.

Sexual Abuse of Persons with Disabilities - Research

Rob Aley
et al
November 2016

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The aim of the research was to investigate the social, cultural and institutional factors which contribute to the high incidence of sexual abuse of persons with disabilities in East Africa and to identify interventions which could change detrimental attitudes, beliefs and practices which perpetuate this high incidence. The research is framed within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), particularly articles 12, 13 and 16.

The study used a qualitative participatory action research approach and worked with local partner organisations and Ugandan and Kenyan field level researchers to collect data. Survivors of sexual abuse were not interviewed but instead the research investigated the understandings, beliefs and practices of a range of service providers and key responders who are involved in the prevention of and response to sexual abuse against persons with disabilities in their communities. Groups consulted included police, teachers, health-care workers, government administrators, faith and community organisations and traditional leaders, as well as persons with disabilities and their parents. Participatory workshops were run with a reference group of people with disabilities (with a range of impairments and experiences) and relevant specialists at the initial stage and during the participatory analysis process. After initial orientation and training the field researchers undertook a total of 52 individual interviews and 9 focus group discussions with a range of stakeholders.

The overall findings show that social attitudes and understanding of disability and sexuality in general are strong influencing factors on the risks that persons with disability face in relation to sexual abuse. Participants reported a range of harmful attitudes and beliefs about disability and about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. It is very common for cases of abuse to go unreported and to be dealt with at the family or community level, rather than being viewed as a serious criminal matter which should be taken to the formal authorities. Many barriers exist, especially at community level which mean abuse does not get reported. Lack of awareness and knowledge, stigma and exclusion and poverty were key drivers of continuing abuse and survivors of abuse seldom get proper support. Guidelines, training and clear procedures for good practice in the various professions were generally weak or absent. Key recommendations were generated for both community level interventions and in relation to policy and training at regional and national levels. The practical implementation of some recommendations was undertaken.

Sexual Abuse of Persons with Disabilities - Research

ALEY, Rob
et al
November 2016

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Abstract
The aim of the research was to investigate the social, cultural and institutional factors which contribute to the high incidence of sexual abuse of persons with disabilities in East Africa and to identify interventions which could change detrimental attitudes, beliefs and practices which perpetuate this high incidence. The research is framed within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), particularly articles 12, 13 and 16.

The study used a qualitative participatory action research approach and worked with local partner organisations and Ugandan and Kenyan field level researchers to collect data. Survivors of sexual abuse were not interviewed but instead the research investigated the understandings, beliefs and practices of a range of service providers and key responders who are involved in the prevention of and response to sexual abuse against persons with disabilities in their communities. Groups consulted included police, teachers, health-care workers, government administrators, faith and community organisations and traditional leaders, as well as persons with disabilities and their parents. Participatory workshops were run with a reference group of people with disabilities (with a range of impairments and experiences) and relevant specialists at the initial stage and during the participatory analysis process. After initial orientation and training the field researchers undertook a total of 52 individual interviews and 9 focus group discussions with a range of stakeholders.

The overall findings show that social attitudes and understanding of disability and sexuality in general are strong influencing factors on the risks that persons with disability face in relation to sexual abuse. Participants reported a range of harmful attitudes and beliefs about disability and about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. It is very common for cases of abuse to go unreported and to be dealt with at the family or community level, rather than being viewed as a serious criminal matter which should be taken to the formal authorities. Many barriers exist, especially at community level which mean abuse does not get reported. Lack of awareness and knowledge, stigma and exclusion and poverty were key drivers of continuing abuse and survivors of abuse seldom get proper support. Guidelines, training and clear procedures for good practice in the various professions were generally weak or absent. Key recommendations were generated for both community level interventions and in relation to policy and training at regional and national levels. The practical implementation of some recommendations was undertaken.

Research principles and research experiences: critical reflection on conducting a PhD dissertation on global health and disability

CLEAVER, Shaun
MAGALHAES, Lilian
BOND, Virginia
POLATAJKO, Helene
NIXON, Stephanie
2016

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This article is a presentation of insights gained through critical reflection on the experience of doctoral dissertation research on disability in Western Zambia. The framework guiding this critical reflection is the Principles for Global Health Research released by the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR) in 2015. These six interrelated principles were developed in order to inform and foster research that better and more explicitly addresses health inequities. The principles are: humility, responsiveness to the causes of inequities, commitment to the future, inclusion, authentic partnering, and shared benefits. Critical reflection on the dissertation fieldwork raises the challenges of fulfilling each of the principles. Additionally, the structural power from a researcher in a position of relative privilege, as well as institutional power through the doctoral researcher’s academic program, was apparent. The exercise of power enabled certain possibilities for action by the researcher and the participants with disabilities while constraining others. The insights generated inform the next steps for this project in Western Zambia and considerations for current and prospective doctoral student researchers.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2016, Vol. 3 No. 2

Partnerships for disability research in Africa: Lessons learned in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

ALDERSEY, Heather
WENDA, Delphine Assumani
2015

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Issues concerning individuals with disabilities are under-researched in Africa, and persons with disabilities remain some of the most highly disadvantaged groups. In an increasing era of globalization, partnerships across borders and boundaries to conduct disability research is inevitable. Yet, such partnerships might be complicated by issues such as unequal power dynamics, poverty, and cultural misunderstandings, among others. In this article, the authors reflect upon their experience partnering for disability research across cultures, with one author being a Congolese person with a disability and the other being a Canadian ally. They discuss the nature of their research relationship, challenges they faced while conducting a seven-month study of personhood and support for people with intellectual disabilities in Kinshasa, and how they addressed these challenges. They also outline lessons learned from this partnership and how their past experience collaborating for disability research will shape their future endeavours.

 

Disability and the Global South (DGS), 2015, Vol. 2 No. 3

Resource pack on systematization of experiences

HARGREAVES, Samantha
MORGAN, Mariluz
Eds
2009

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Systematization of experiences is a methodology that helps people involved in different kinds of practice to organize and communicate what they have learned. Over the past 40 years systematization has evolved and obtained recognition as a methodology for social reflection, in Latin America. This resource pack provides materials for the English speaking world

Civil society engagement for mainstreaming disability in the development process : report of an action research project initiated in Gujarat with multi-stakeholder partnership

UNNATI ORGANISATION FOR DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION (UNNATI)
Handicap International
2008

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This report describes "a three-year action research (2002-2005), in Gujarat, to understand the prevailing situation and invoking the participation of civil society groups for mainstreaming disability... The four key strategies adopted in the project have been detailed to share how civil society groups can be mobilised and invoked to take concrete action for promoting participation of persons with disabilities on local issues, creation of a barrier-free environment, developing materials for public education and social communication and influencing development organisations for mainstreaming disability"

Institutionalising participation and people-centred processes in natural resource management : research and publications highlights

PIMBERT, Michel
Ed
2004

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This report presents the background and rationale for the IIED-IDS action research on institutionalising participatory approaches and people centered processes in natural resource management. The methodologies used in the different case studies (India, Indonesia, Senegal, Mexico and other settings) are then introduced, along with the complementary studies undertaken in this collaborative research programme. The last section of this report contains highlights of all the publications in the Institutionalising Participation Series, and a summary of each

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