street graffiti in Gaza

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”

Professor Dina Kiwan, Principal Investigator

Disability Under Siege is a co-created programme bringing together a community of researchers, educational practitioners, advocacy organisations and disability led groups in the UK and Middle East.  It will contribute to research efforts by providing intellectual and logistical resources that local practitioners need to transform education provision for children with disabilities in conflict-affected countries. 

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.

While the activities of the Network Plus project will initially be focused on the Middle East, the intended outcomes will be scalable to other comparable contexts across the works and with the ultimate aim of contributing to the UN Sustainable goals (UN SDGs) 4, 10 and 17.

News and Events

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Development Award Policy and Dissemination Event

Wednesday 31st March 2021, 10:30-12:30 (UK Time)

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). Focussing on Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, our programme has sought to identify a central challenge that over 85% of children with disabilities in the region do not go to school. However, there is relatively little literature focusing on the issue of disability in the field of Education in Conflict and Crisis research. Our work has focussed on developing networks and identifying key barriers to in inclusive education.

This dissemination event will share recommendations for policy in the areas of language usage, disability rights in health, and cultural policy across the region.

Please join to hear our speakers present on some of the current research, advocacy and cultural activities related to disability that are underway in Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.

Watch Nour’s story about the obstacles she faces growing up in Lebanon and how “inclusive design” can help to overcome them.