Enhancing Inclusive Remote Learning in Remote areas of Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Graduate School of Education


This research addresses inclusive remote learning (IRL) for marginalised learners in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). A particular focus is placed on school-aged learners with disabilities living in remote areas. It is framed within the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and builds on my established research for UNESCO. For this multi-methods research project, I will collaborate closely with Inclusion International, along with Ministry of Education staff in LMICs (contacts already established through my UNESCO research).

This research, which is both in line with Sustainable Development Goal 4 and the ESRC's 'new Covid-19 research', will contribute to knowledge in an emerging and highly-relevant field. It will have a number of valuable impacts:
1. Governments and other stakeholders will benefit from research that focuses on inter-sectoral coordination and a systems approach to IRL when planning and delivering initiatives.
2. Marginalised learners who are excluded from education due to factors including disability, poverty and geographical location will benefit from the findings of this research.
3. It will build knowledge and provide evidence in an emerging area which will help to stimulate further research and investment into IRL.

Aims and Research Questions
This research aims to:
1. Analyse the impact of Covid-19 on learners with disabilities in R-LMICs.
2. Analyse and develop good practice of delivering IRL, particularly in areas with poor electricity or internet connection.
3. Provide government Ministries and other stakeholders with recommendations that will enhance the development and implementation of IRL.
4. Contribute to UDL and associated concepts for IRL.

These will be addressed by five research questions (RQ):
1. How have learners with disabilities in R-LMICs been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic?
2. In what ways does remote learning (including IRL) take place in these areas?
3. What are the main technological, institutional and social barriers and enablers for IRL in these areas?
4. How can IRL best be delivered in poorly-connected remote areas?
5. How can coordination of best practise IRL between stakeholders be promoted and maintained?

Anticipated Outputs
Three research papers:
1. An analysis of Covid-19 impacts on IRL in R-LMICs.
2. An analysis of technological, institutional and social barriers and enablers of enhancing IRL in R-LMICs.
3. A critical analysis of UDL and relevant concepts for IRL; future research needs

A review of current IRL methods in R-LMICs.
Recommendations and action plan for governments to enhance IRL, co-designed with stakeholders.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000630/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2592526 Studentship ES/P000630/1 01/10/2021 30/09/2025 Richard Ingram