Centre for Lebanese Studies, Disability Under Siege


About the project:  

The project focuses on education provision for children with disabilities in contexts of conflict and crisis, aiming to address the challenge that most children with disabilities never go to school. The project activities focus specifically on the different contexts in Palestine (West Bank and Gaza), Lebanon, and Jordan. 

Under the Network+ model, the Disability Under Siege programme has identified key priorities and gaps in research about disability and education provision, as well wider discourses about disability and conflict, in the target countries. The programme is now in the process of commissioning research, networking, and artist-led projects, which are led by organisations in the Middle East region. This will be followed by an impact phase which will include creative and artistic dissemination methods, as well as engagement with Disabled People’s Organisations, NGOs, and policymakers to share project results and forge long-lasting and sustainable networks. 

While de/institutionalisation has been identified as one of the key factors that may affect children with disabilities’ access to schooling, there is very little empirical research on this led by researchers in the Middle East, with only one study identified on the topic de-institutionalisation of people with disabilities (carried out by the proposal’s Co-I, the Centre for Lebanese Studies). 

However, the proposed mapping of organisations working on de-institutionalisation will provide an invaluable resource both for our programme and for others working on this topic in the area to build North-South and South-South networks around the topic and connect key stakeholders to each other. 

The proposed work will lay the groundwork for future research on de-institutionalisation in emergency contexts of occupation and conflict, as well as pandemic-related challenges to infrastructure, within a demographic context of large youth populations, stigmatisation of disability, and disability also arising through conflict. This will contribute to the Disability Under Siege project objectives of strengthen local and international capacity for addressing challenges around disability inclusion, and the development of equitable and sustainable partnerships and multisectoral collaborations. In particular, by providing the opportunity for networking with key stakeholders already working on de-institutionalisation across the three countries, the proposal will support the outcome of promoting of South-South learning and knowledge transfer with the aim of an increase in disability-led initiatives and reinforced networks in the region.  The proposal will also lay the groundwork for further work by the Disability Under Siege team around the challenges of institutionalisation and education, both as part of the existing programme and as part of future projects. 



Outputs and Outcomes 

  • A report arising from the mapping exercise. The report will provide written summary of the key organisations locally, regionally and internationally working on deinstitutionalisation of persons with disabilities and enabling the building of networks and partnerships between South-South and North-South organisations working within this domain.

  • A seminar or conference paper based on the information to support the network building by making the findings of the exercise more widely available, and empowering other stakeholders to build their own networks and collaborations.