No One Left Behind: an Emancipatory Research for young people with disabilities in Tanzania

Title No One Left Behind: rights and accessibility to school and rehabilitation services for minors with disabilities in Iringa District, Tanzania

Location Iringa, Tanzania

Duration 2019 – 2021

Project Leader IBO Italia

Local partners Nyumba A.L.I. e District of Iringa

Partner Centro di Ateneo per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo Internazionale dell’Università di Ferrara, Comune di Ferrara – Servizio Integrazione Disabili e Stranieri, Helpicare by Didacare, ISAAC Italy, La Città Verde, Istituto Leonarda Vaccari

Ente finanziatore Agenzia Italiana per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo



The project “No One Left Behind: rights and accessibility to school and rehabilitation services for children with disabilities” aims to intervene on the structural, educational and cultural causes of exclusion and to strengthen basic services for young people with disabilities in the District of Iringa, in Tanzania.

The life of children with disabilities and their families is complicated: the former have a high school dropout rate due to both social stigma and difficulties in accessing schools, families instead, often finding themselves in conditions of great poverty and deprivation difficulty accessing or reaching the facilities with care, rehabilitation or education services.

The project, by adopting a participatory approach that involves all the actors of the educational community (school, day centres and families), aims to contribute to strengthening and improving the structures, and their physical access, for people with disabilities and to improve the process of social inclusion of minors.

Among the various activities that the project aims to carry out, it is also expected that all target groups, such as the community, associations of people with disabilities and local institutions, are involved in an Emancipatory Research to promote an inclusive culture capable of breaking down cultural barriers.


General Objective

Emancipatory Research focused on the analysis of the structural, cultural and social dynamics that limit the active participation of people with disabilities and in particular the access to school for young people with disabilities. Emancipatory Research involves local facilitators, who will have the task of conducting interviews and focus groups with caregivers of people with disabilities and young people with disabilities.


Our contribution

Inclusive Develoment Unit’s Researchers carried out a field mission to train 4 local facilitators on the themes of Emancipatory Research, as a research-action methodology, and on disability in its various biological, psychological and social dimensions.

In the first days of training, Researchers investigated the theoretical and practical aspects of Emancipatory Research, in particular the research tools, the methodology, the methods for collecting and analyzing data.

Subsequently, Researchers and local facilitators went to the villages of Kipera, Kibaoni and Isimani to initially interview local authorities, school principals, teachers, the school manager, the head of the village and religious leaders. In the second phase, focus groups were conducted both with the caregivers of children with disabilities and with young people with disabilities. This phase of the research involved around 132 people including 24 key informants (teachers, village leaders, religious leaders, etc.), 67 parents of children with disabilities and 41 people with disabilities.

The local facilitators will continue the Emancipatory Research on site, while the ARCO Researchers will conduct a second mission on the field, to proceed with the return and validation of the research results and the development of an awareness plan to be adopted to facilitate access to the health and education services for children with disabilities.

To know more on Emancipatory Research, read ARCO’s work with young people with disabilities in Mozambique and women with disabilities in Palestine.

Read more on our Inclusive Development Unit