January 2020-January 2024

This exciting international research project aims to identify and develop safe, inclusive participative pedagogy that is implementable in fragile contexts and sustainable for governments, communities and families.

It has four research questions:

  • In what ways and how do current policies, systems and organisations support inclusive participative pedagogy in these contexts? What are the tensions and how can they be resolved?

  • What information, knowledge, support, partnerships and expertise can be mobilised to understand these contexts and the threats, assets and opportunities for early childhood learning, young children and their families? What are the findings from such mobilisation and their implications for developing and supporting inclusive participative pedagogy?

  • How can inclusive participative pedagogy become embedded and sustainable in communities, their formal and informal contexts, so as to support children’s early learning?

  • Is there an economic case for inclusive pedagogy? If so, what are the relevant components and what are the short- and long-term costs and benefits?


The project will be undertaken with partners in Brazil, Eswatini, Palestine and South Africa, using a mixed-method approach. This includes qualitative community case studies in each country; policy and systems analysis at country and community levels; and developing the economic case for safe inclusive pedagogy. Community engagement and participation underpin the project and there is a strong focus on knowledge exchange and collaborative learning.


Academic partners:

  • The Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa

  • The International Center for Research and Policy on Childhood at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (CIESPI/PUC-Rio) Brazil

  • Faculty of Education, University of Bethlehem, West Bank

  • University of Eswatini, Eswatini

  • Childhood & Youth Studies Research Group, MHSES University of Edinburgh, Scotland (Grant Holder)

The support of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is gratefully acknowledged