The ‘Disability Under Siege’ project, aims to provide the intellectual, financial and logistical resources required to deliver a transformational step change in education provision for children with disabilities in conflict affected states.
There is an established link between conflict, and poor development outcomes. For many Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) the presence, and legacy, of violence within their own borders or in neighbouring states hinders existing efforts to enhance development, while also placing additional burdens upon the state.
The consequences of conflict and crisis echo throughout society, but the challenge it poses for education provision for those with disabilities is particularly acute. Instability erodes existing capacity, whilst simultaneously increasing demand, as the proportion of the population with a disability, either as a result of physical or psychological trauma, rises. Research commissioned by UNICEF indicates that over 85% of children with disabilities have never attended school, yet despite this, the link between conflict, disability and access to education is under-examined.
This project will work to establish best practice for disability education provision in settings of conflict and crisis, and offer to support organisations within these locations to expand inclusive education. In order to achieve this aim, the programme will set out to meet the following objectives. It will:
1) support interdisciplinary research to critically evaluate dominant discourses, and individual and community attitudes toward disability in contexts of conflict.
2) facilitate the development of equitable co-produced, multidisciplinary research and the gathering of evidence to inform education provision for those with disabilities in the Middle East.
3) strengthen local and international capacity for implementing research designed to address challenges for disability inclusion in education.
4) develop equitable and sustainable partnerships, South-South as well as South-North collaborations, and sustainable legacy activities and practices. By working towards these objectives, the project will make a contribution to a range of Sustainable Development Goals, and also deliver a measurable difference to disability education provision in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs).
Dr Dina Kiwan University of Birmingham
Professor Deborah Youdell University of Birmingham
Dr Kate Woodcock University of Birmingham
Dr Ruth Gilligan University of Birmingham
Professor Rita Giacaman Birzeit University
Dr Maha Shuayb Lebanese American University
Dr Nazmi Al-Masri Islamic University of Gaza
Professor Anthony Thomas Downey Birmingham City University
Partner organisations and sponsors