Disability under Siege - Development Award

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Education

Abstract

15% of the world's population - 1 billion people - experience some form of disability, with the prevalence even higher in lower- and middle-income countries exacerbated by poverty and conflict (LMIC) (World Bank, 2018). Furthermore, there is a significant gendered dimension to disability, where three quarters of disabled people in LMICS are women. Disability negatively affects socio-economic outcomes, including education, employment and participation in society, and the gendered dimension of disability exacerbates these outcomes for women and girls. Therefore, the need to map, review and build on this body of work in contexts of conflict and crisis is essential in order to make meaningful progress toward meeting the SDGs focused upon inclusive quality education provision (specifically UN Sustainable Development Goals 4.2, 4.5, 4.6, 10.2 and 10.3).

While the challenges arising from provision for disability in education in conflict-affected states is a global issue, the work of this project focuses on one specific region: The Middle East - and specifically the countries of Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. This region has been chosen as it provides a differentiated conflict and crisis context through which to strengthen the theoretical and empirical evidence base on the subject of Education in Conflict and Crisis with a focus on disability.

Project team members and partners in the region have identified and prioritised the importance of understanding, challenging and co-producing new ways of understanding disability as a pre-requisite for addressing the challenges in implementing inclusive, quality education, a global challenge exacerbated in LMIC countries and further compounded in contexts of conflict and crisis.

This Development Award will be used for developing equitable partnerships with local organisations, mapping research and policy, gathering and disseminating information via inclusive workshops, developing educational training materials and constructing a range of legacy-building activities to ensure the outcomes of the Award are taken forwards for future beneficiaries. Each of the planned actions and activities are intended to raise awareness of issues surrounding education provision for those with disabilities and to improve the quality of this education to support those where they need it most.

The Award will allow local partner organisations in the regions to lead on the identification of the issues they feel are most problematic based on their direct experiences. Expertise and knowledge will be drawn from all levels, from international organisations such as UNESCO, to local schools and educational experts, in order to share best practice and build capacity. The Award team will share outcomes directly with local communities in the pursuit of social, educational and economic benefits for all of those involved. Training and educational materials will be developed in conjunction with schools and academic networks will be established to drive forwards the agenda of improving educational outcomes for those with disabilities.

By providing more effective education, the Award team hopes to reinforce a pathway out of poverty by increasing potential for economic activity and eroding social barriers experienced by those with disability as a result of limited access to education.

Planned Impact

It is intended that the activities proposed within this Development Award will be undertaken in the pursuit of social, educational and economic benefits primarily for those with disabilities and their communities in the countries of Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan, with potential future impact to extend to other countries in the region based around the planned legacy activities.

Stakeholder organisations, such as Legal Agenda, UNICEF and the Queen Rania Foundation, will have the opportunity to be involved in key workshops throughout the duration of the Award, where they will be able to contribute to discussions around educational provision and challenges encountered based on their own experiences. The knowledge gathered in these workshops, and during the literature and policy mapping process, will feed into the design and early planning for educator training materials, which can be used by schools and relevant organisations in the region. The workshops will also provide a space for networking and collaboration opportunities between the organisations and with individuals who are affected by disability in relation to education.

The workshop discussion topics, preparation of best practice materials and policy briefing documents will be presented at an open dissemination event, which will focus on changing public attitudes and discourses of disability. This event and dissemination activity, along with the establishment of a South-South facility for networking and collaboration between organisations, will be of paramount importance for ensuring the agenda remains relevant and that improving outcomes for children with disabilities in the Middle-East is prioritised by future policy makers, local support organisations and schools.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The Development Award has enabled to date:
1.The consolidation and development of interdisciplinary research policy and practice networks in the three countries of focus: Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. This has been achieved to date through the first three 3 workshops - one held in each country, which focussed on:
i) trust-building for equitable partnerships, as well as
ii) identifying baseline knowledge and attitudes towards disability; and
iii) engaging different sectors and disciplines who have not previously worked together in order to address the challenges of disability in a coordinated multi-sector and interdisciplinary way.
2. We have been successful in engaging an additional project partner - a key objective of the Development award. Liwan is an NGO whose remit focuses on youth engagement and disability, and is well-networked nationally in the field of disability.
3. This work has enabled us to build on these initial achievements to extend this work through additional funding. We have been successful in being awarded GCRF AHRC Inception Funding (£98,851) GCRF AHRC Full Award funding (£1973217.10), and the funding of a University of Birmingham International PhD studentship (£101,547).
Exploitation Route The work to date may /is being taken forward through:
i) representations in national consultations. In both Lebanon and Palestine, there have been consultations of international and eregional classification systems, and a multisectoral approach to disability respectively.
ii) identifying gaps in research in the region, as will be further utilised in the Full Award stage where research and related projects will be commissioned in the region.
iii) raising awareness of disability in public discourses;
iv) highlighting key challenges with policymakers and practitioners;
v) informing curriculum development and teacher-training.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Healthcare,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description The achievements to date from the Development award have been used to: i) foster equitable collaborations across multiple policy sectors, including social policy/social affairs, education, healthcare and the arts; ii) contribute to national and international-level policy consultations; iii) highlight the gendered nature of disability and its differentiated impacts; iv) contribute to a legacy moving forward informing the disability agenda in Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Participation in a national consultation on disability - Lebanon
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description Participation in a national consultation on disability - Palestine
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description GCRF Network Plus Disability Under Siege
Amount £1,973,216 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/T007826/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2020 
End 04/2024
 
Description Inception Award Disability Under Siege
Amount £98,851 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2020 
End 06/2020
 
Description PhD studentship Disability Under Siege
Amount £101,547 (GBP)
Organisation University of Birmingham 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2020 
End 09/2023
 
Title Database Lebanon 
Description A database of grey literature and published literature from the region is being compiled, for the basis of a regional literature review. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The database will enable the identification of gaps in data collection. Given the gendered nature of disability and its differential effects, particular attention is being paid to the presence and quality of statistics disaggregated by gender. 
 
Title Database Palestine 
Description A database of grey literature, published literature and data from the 2017 Palestinian census is being compiled. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The database will enable the identification of gaps in data collection. Given the gendered nature of disability and its differential effects, particular attention is being paid to the presence and quality of statistics disaggregated by gender. 
 
Description Disability classificartion workshop Lebanon 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This was a national level working group meeting held with the UN, with representatives from the Ministry of Social Affairs present, amongst other policy and practitioners stakeholders. A key outcome was a discussion to move from a charity model to a social model. A meeting has been schedules with the Ministry of Social Affairs - in particular the department responsible for reforming the curriculum rto understand their approach to inclusive education and to consult with them.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Website and social media outreach 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We have developed a website, and have a prescence on twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description Workshop 1 - baseline knowlefge and attitudes to disability Jordan 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The purposes of Workshop 1 was to bring together an interdisciplinary and multi-sector group of stakeholders working in the field of disability to:
• identification of baseline knowledge and attitudes towards disability, and the lived experiences of and challenges for those living with different forms of disability in relation to education and more broadly in society.
• develop ways of equitable co-designing and co-working.
14 representatives of relevant government ministries, NGOs, international organisations, humanitarian organisations and disability activists in the fields of education, health, public engagement etc participated in the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Workshop 1 - baseline knowlefge and attitudes to disability Lebanon 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The purposes of Workshop 1 was to bring together an interdisciplinary and multi-sector group of stakeholders working in the field of disability to:
• identification of baseline knowledge and attitudes towards disability, and the lived experiences of and challenges for those living with different forms of disability in relation to education and more broadly in society.
• develop ways of equitable co-designing and co-working.
26 representatives of relevant government ministries, NGOs, international organisations, humanitarian organisations, refugee support, academics, arts. and disability activists in the fields of education, health, refugee studies, public engagement etc participated in the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Workshop 1 - baseline knowlefge and attitudes to disability Palestine 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The purposes of Workshop 1 was to bring together an interdisciplinary and multi-sector group of stakeholders working in the field of disability to:
• identification of baseline knowledge and attitudes towards disability, and the lived experiences of and challenges for those living with different forms of disability in relation to education and more broadly in society.
• develop ways of equitable co-designing and co-working.
over 20 representatives of relevant government ministries, NGOs, museums, international organisations, humanitarian organisations, refugee support, academics, and disability activists in the fields of education, health, social care, public engagement etc participated in the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019