Send All My Friends to School

This report aims to address this gap by reviewing how the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has addressed inclusive education for children with disabilities to date. DFID is the largest bilateral donor to basic education, providing over £400 million in 2011, and is also the largest contributor to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), contributing £357.3 million between 2010 and 2015. This report reviews DFID’s policy and practice in relation to education for children with disabilities, in terms of its specific investments and its wider influence on policy and practice.

The findings of this report are based on desk-based research and primary interviews conducted with DFID staff. Interviews were also conducted with staff in key multilateral agencies and with donors (including GPE, the Australian government, UNESCO, and UNICEF). Submissions from International Non Governmental Organisations (INGOs) and Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) were collected via a written questionnaire. And the team conducted short country visits to Ethiopia and Rwanda to explore the situation at country-level in greater depth through meetings with: Ministries of Education; district education officials; national GCE affiliated civil society education coalitions; multilateral’s (GPE, UNICEF, World Bank ); DFID funded projects (GEC/PPA); NGOs and DPOs (both national and international) and head teachers, teachers, and school children.

In summary, this report finds that DFID has increased its focus on education for children with disabilities in recent months, particularly at the ministerial level and in some programmes. However, it finds that the issue needs much greater prioritisation within DFID, and that there is an urgent need for DFID to develop a systematic approach towards the issue, both directly within its education portfolio, and by mainstreaming the issue across other areas of DFID operations. It is critical that DFID works to embed disability throughout its development programmes to achieve long-term change, even as governments change and key individuals move on.

Resource Info

Resource Type

Advocacy Statement


Published by

Global Campaign for Education (GCE)


Inclusive Education
Inclusive Education - Disability