Elisa Genovesi

Thesis title:

Development and Pilot Evaluation of a Programme to Help Teachers Support Children with Developmental Disabilities in Mainstream School Settings in Ethiopia


Unmet educational needs have been identified as one of the largest service gaps for children with autism and other developmental disabilities in Ethiopia.

The aim of my PhD is to develop and evaluate an intervention promoting effective inclusion and support of children with developmental disabilities in mainstream primary schools in the Ethiopian capital city, Addis Ababa. The intervention aims and components will be defined in collaboration with stakeholders, but we expect it to be a multi-faceted intervention centred around a manualised teacher-training programme.

The intended research has five phases, each with a specific objective:

1. Synthesising teachers, pupils and caregivers’ perspectives and experiences of strategies used in mainstream school classrooms in sub-Saharan Africa to include children with DD, through the analysis of qualitative studies selected in a previous systematic review.

2. Scoping the evidence and mapping existing resources for teacher and non-specialist training on developmental disabilities and relevant interventions to include children with developmental disabilities in community and education settings.

3. Understanding the context, through an exploratory study investigating key stakeholders’ perspectives on the education needs of children with developmental disabilities and ways to meet them, and attitudes, barriers and facilitators for including children with developmental disabilities in mainstream primary schools.

4. Co-developing a low-resource and implementable intervention centred around an adapted evidence-based teacher training resource, in collaboration with local stakeholders.

5. Piloting the programme in mainstream primary schools in Addis Ababa and evaluating its implementation through process indicators and qualitative data.

Social media:

Twitter – https://twitter.com/EliGenovesi LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/elisa-genovesi-35b914109/ Lab twitter account – https://twitter.com/GLADlab_kcl

First supervisor:

Rosa Hoekstra

Second supervisor:

Charlotte Hanlon


2 – Life Course, Psychology, & Health



Eli is a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at King’s College London, supervised by Dr Rosa Hoekstra and Dr Charlotte Hanlon, and member of the Global research on Autism and other Developmental disabilities (GLAD) lab