Inclusive primary education in West Africa through a gender lens

Main objectives

  • To serve Sightsavers’ inclusive education and gender projects in Senegal, Sierra Leone and Cameroon, making them research-based
  • To ensure boys and girls with disabilities, their parents and teachers help to shape the project interventions for disability inclusion through sharing their lived experiences at the beginning, middle and end of projects
  • To ensure participatory research is carried out by peer researchers who are local teachers and parents
  • To understand the experiences of boys and girls with disabilities in accessing and remaining in education
  • To understand the experiences and perspectives of teachers and of parents/carers of children with disabilities relating to inclusive education
  • To explore the implications of these experiences and perceptions on boys’ and girls’ participation and quality of learning, including whether gender affects experiences and outcomes


How do boys and girls with disabilities, their teachers and carers experience or perceive disability in primary schools in schools involved in Sightsavers education projects in Cameroon, Senegal and Sierra Leone; and what are the implications of these perceptions on the participation and quality of learning of boys and girls with disabilities?

Sightsavers requires project research to contribute to the existing knowledge base on disability inclusion in education, and where necessary use that knowledge to refine a contextually appropriate and gender-responsive approach to supporting education for girls and boys with disabilities. The West Africa study will lead to practical recommendations to concretely orientate Sightsavers’ programs in inclusive education.

Community-based participatory research (CPBR) has been built into each of the three project designs so that the lived experiences of boys and girls with disabilities, their parents and teachers at the schools involved can help to shape the inclusive education interventions. A gender lens is used in the analysis of data rather than in the interview questions.

There are three phases to the CBPR research:

  • 2017/8: in time for children, parents and teachers to inform the intervention design
  • 2018/9: once interventions are in place within the schools
  • 2020/21: towards the end of the education projects
Study details
Start date
Finish date
Main contact
Sapana Basnet
Senior Research Associate - Qualitative Methods
  • Sightsavers Senegal
  • Anthrologica UK
  • Sightsavers Sierra Leone
  • Sightsavers Cameroon