About Breaking down Barriers

In many developing countries, people with disabilities are frequently forgotten in mainstream policy-making. They often face stigmatisation and discrimination and typically have problems accessing basic services related to education, employment and health services.

Disability advocacy

Civil society groups can advocate for more disability inclusive policies and practices. Success, however, is far from certain. ‘Breaking down barriers to inclusion’ seeks to understand the success factors of disability advocacy, with a special focus on children. By generating academic evidence, the project aims to strengthen Liliane Foundation and its local civil society partners in supporting, designing and implementing effective advocacy.

Academic research

The project undertakes new academic research on disability advocacy in Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Zambia and reviews existing academic and non-academic evidence on (disability) advocacy. More information on the research approach used (e.g. research questions, methodology) can be found here. To ensure accessibility for a non-academic audience, research outputs are captured in project sheets summarizing key findings and practical implications.

Project team

Dr. Willem Elbers from the African Studies Centre at Leiden University supervises the research and is responsible for the academic quality of the project. He works closely with Anneke Donker from the Liliane Foundation who manages the capacity building elements of the project with the support of a small team. Research is primarily carried out by talented Research Master Students with the support of local experts dr. Aisha Ibrahim (Sierra Leone), dr. Walter Nwki (Cameroon) and Thomas Mtonga (Zambia). Practical local support is provided by One Family People in Sierra Leone, The Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services and Cheshire Homes Society of Zambia.