Somalia: Conducting a Disability Assessment In SOMGEP T Project Target Areas

Project Background

The four-year SOMGEP-T project runs from May 1, 2017 to October 30, 2021. The project seeks to improve transition rates into post-primary education opportunities for marginalized girls; to enhance marginalized girls’ learning outcomes at primary and secondary levels; and to develop girls’ agency, building conditions for their economic and social empowerment. The project will cover 148 primary schools, 53 secondary schools, and the respective catchment areas in 22 target districts in Somaliland, Puntland, and Galmudug.

SOMGEP-T has identified four key domains of change in order to boost girls’ learning and transitions into ABE, upper primary and post-primary options (through formal secondary school or through ALP), as well as their empowerment for future engagement in the local economy and in decision-making processes:

(1) Promotion of positive shifts in gender and social norms at multiple levels, through dialogues with religious leaders, authorities, elders, mothers, girls and both male and female role models, creating an environment where girls and boys are equally supported to attend school, their skills are valued, there are higher expectations for their achievement, and where girls and boys are safe from harmful practices. The project will work with girls to develop their leadership skills, supporting them to become active participants in learning processes, able to communicate their needs and choices, and empowered to make decisions for themselves and for their families. This domain is also critical to build agency and peer support for girls from extremely marginalised groups, particularly girls with disabilities and those facing systematic exclusion, such as older pastoralist girls who have never enrolled in school; and to change their own expectations and vision for their future.

(2) Improved access to tailored education opportunities, supporting girls to transition either into (a) formal secondary schools through economic empowerment of parents and partial grants (bursaries); (b) into ALP programme developed in partnership with the MoEs and communities; (c) into ABE classes implemented in partnership with communities; and (d) supporting communities, parents, teachers to identify and support girls with disabilities to be able to enrol and stay whether in one of the above options or enrol in special needs education pathway.

(3) Improved quality of education, boosting numeracy outcomes and English skills among primary and secondary students, providing remedial support to students with high absenteeism rates (particularly pastoralist girls), enabling teachers to provide appropriate support to girls with disabilities based on the type of disability, and supporting the school leadership to track attendance, learning, retention and transitions, therefore increasing the chances of marginalised girls building foundational skills, completing primary school and succeeding in secondary education;

(4) MoEs’ staff, local education officers will be supported to develop robust governance and support structures, taking an active role in improving girls’ retention and transition rates, providing quality primary and post-primary education and alternative education options, overseeing the implementation of quality standards and data management systems, and identifying and addressing barriers to learning using a gendered, inclusive lens.

According to available statistics, 76% of the disabled children are not enrolled in school (CARE, 2014). Families tend to hide disability cases. Special education services are very limited and only available to families who can afford the cost. Girls with disability in the SOMGEP-T targeted areas are educationally marginalised through very limited provision of education services for girls with special needs or none of them at all. Education services often not available in the immediate vicinity of the house, limiting access for girls with physical disabilities. Families tend to hide disabled children; and lack of services and infrastructure to support disabled children (no specialised healthcare; no outreach of health services to communities living in areas where mobility is limited due to security issues, reducing survival chances for disabled individuals that face life-threatening health issues)

Previous assessments conducted by the SOMGEP –T in rural areas of Somaliland, Puntland and Galmudug showed low prevalence rates of disability (with the exception of mental health issues); this situation is likely to be associated with (a) the absence of options for medical support in rural areas, forcing families of children with disabilities to move to capital cities to access assistance and specialised services; and (b) low survival rates of young children with complex disabilities in a scenario of severe malnutrition, recurrent displacement/ migration, and inability to access corrective treatment for life-threatening cardiac/ vascular malformations (which are often associated with some types of complex disabilities). SOMGEP-T’s baseline indicates that the proportion of girls facing anxiety and depression is much higher than the proportion with physical or cognitive disabilities

In order to enhance inclusivity in the education sector including girls with disabilities (GwD), SOMGEP-T seeks services of a qualified consultant to conduct a disability assessment to help develop a knowledge base on the various types of disabilities in the project intervention areas as well as the challenges and opportunities facing girls living with the various types of disabilities and provide actionable recommendations on what could be done to improve the situation and the status of girls with various types disabilities, including of hidden types of disabilities (dyslexia, trauma, depression)

About the assignment

Overall Objective of the assignment

The main objective of this assignment is to carry out an assessment of:

a) Disability prevalence, the risks (i.e. specific barriers/challenges) and needs of girls with disabilities in project target areas in Somaliland, Puntland and Galmudug , including differences between those living in hard to reach project areas and other project areas within the vicinity of urban locations;

b) Available resources and services to support girls with disabilities, including specialised workforce and private sector investments in areas that may support girls’ enrolment and learning.

c) The assessment will inform the ESSP approach to girls and boys with disabilities

Specific objectives

a) To establish socio-cultural beliefs and practices that adversely affect girls with disabilities in accessing education facilities as well as other related services in the region, including differences between those living in rural and urban areas;

b) To identify specific barriers (both attitudinal and structural) faced by girls with various impairments in accessing educational facilities as well as other related services in the region, including differences between those living in rural and urban areas

c) To establish the specific needs to be met at individual level to enhance and or facilitate access to educational facilities as well as other related services (health, special needs assistance devices and psycho social support) in the region, including differences between those living in rural and urban areas.

d) To identify available resources and services to support girls with disabilities, including specialised workforce and private sector investments in areas that may support girls’ enrolment and learning.

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