Elisa Genovesi

Thesis title:

Development and Pilot Evaluation of a Programme to Enable Mainstream Primary Schools in Ethiopia to Include Children with Developmental Disabilities


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

My PhD project has led to the development of an intervention aimed at promoting effective inclusion and support of children with DD in mainstream primary schools in the Ethiopian capital city, Addis Ababa. The intervention aims and components have been defined in collaboration with stakeholders, and the product is a multi-faceted intervention centred around a manualised teacher-training programme and the restructuring of special units and inclusive education pathways.

The intervention is now being piloted in 4 mainstream primary schools in Addis Ababa for its evaluation through process indicators and qualitative data.

The intervention development has had four 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 DD and relevant interventions to include children with DD in community and education settings.

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

Social media:

Twitter – https://twitter.com/EliGenovesi LinkedIn 

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




https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9483198/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37535998/ https://psyarxiv.com/cgjvh/ https://psyarxiv.com/npk6r/