What are the impacts of approaches to increase the accessibility to education for people with a disability across developed and developing countries and what is known about the cost-effectiveness of different approaches?

Peer-reviewed article


This research was funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The research was commissioned as part of a joint call for systematic reviews with the Department for International Development (DFID) and the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).

The aim of this systematic review is to describe the literature evaluating educational initiatives and delivery mechanisms of education for children with disabilities and to identify impact in terms of completion of school, participation and social change. Currently, there are a variety of different methods and approaches being undertaken globally to ensure that children with disabilities can access and attain education, as well as ways to evaluate the outcomes of these approaches. However, to date there has been very little evidence produced to demonstrate the most effective approach (or the most cost-effective), in particular comparing different approaches in high-, medium- and low-income countries (‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries).

This review is an attempt to systematically gather this evidence. It is worth noting that the review question is very broad and complex, given that education for children with disabilities is influenced by a variety of factors in developing and developed countries, and as a result, follows very diverse policies and outcomes. In order to try to provide useful policy guidance to donors as well as other potential users of this review, we have tried to map this diverse body of work, and present future avenues for further research and analysis.