Arnold from Cameroon

About Breaking down Barriers

Breaking down Barriers 2.0 contributes to more effective and evidence-based policies and programmes in the field of disability inclusive development. Each year students from Cameroon, the Netherlands, Sierra Leone and Zambia will write a thesis on a subject linked to the topics and priorities of the participating partners. The emphasis will be on inclusive development for children with a disability. Based on the studies we will translate the research findings into successful strategies and products like policy briefs, training and manuals.

Part of the research is a yearly cross-country study. In 2021 the cross-country study will focus on Inclusive Education (IE); what factors and dynamics impede or catalyse implementation? In each country the team will examine different models/policies/practices of inclusive education. This includes initiatives from the government and civil society.

Pushing boundaries in advocay for inclusion

Breaking down Barriers 2.0 is a continuation of our learning trajectory that started in 2015 with the African Studies Centre (Leiden University) and our partners in Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Zambia. Together we identified the success factors of advocacy for children with disabilities by using academic research as input to build capacity for effective disability advocacy.

In 2020 we finalized Breaking down Barriers 1.0 with the ‘Pushing boundaries in advocacy for inclusion’ conference. Together with the Dutch Coalition on Disability and Development, and the African Studies Center Leiden we addressed questions like: What is the best way to strengthen political participation of people facing marginalisation and discrimination in the global South? How can unheard voices be amplified and connected in efforts to leave no one behind? What evidence exists about effective advocacy methods and collaborations?

At the conference the publication Pushing boundaries in disability advocacy, Breaking down Barriers to inclusion, Elbers W. (editor) (2020) was presented. This publication captures the outcomes of the ‘Breaking down Barriers to inclusion’ learning trajectory.

Impact Challenge Award

The ‘Breaking down Barriers’ has won the Impact Challenge Award 2019. The award is a prize for Dutch charity organizations that care strongly about the effectiveness of their strategies. According to the expert jury and the audience that was present at the Impact Challenge Event, the ‘Breaking down Barriers’ has shown most development and the involved organizations have shared their knowledge and experience best.

The Liliane Fonds received a tailored prize: support from an expert team of ABN Amro bank to work on a strategic, impact enhancing issue.

How to promote evidence-based practice?

On the 14th October, at the Partos innovation festival, Sofka Trajcevska, Policy Advisor at Liliane Foundation together with Willem Elbers from Radboud University, organized a learning session on: How to promote evidence-based practice? The learning session was based on the experiences from our multi-annual and multi-country research trajectory Breaking Down Barriers towards Inclusion. We truly believe that when academics, practitioners and clients engage in a decision-making process in which their voices and wisdom are equally valued, then the evidence-based practice will have best possible impact on the ones who directly experience it. This report highlights the most important lessons that were learned. For more information on the learning session you can check the presentation.