This research project develops the capacity of school leaders in three Global Partnership for Education (GPE) countries—Afghanistan, Nepal and Pakistan—to address local access and participation issues for girls and marginalized learner groups. School leaders are essential change agents—to motivate teachers and communities, to collect evidence, to adapt pedagogy and to create safe, inclusive conditions for all learners. The project seizes opportunities afforded by an increasing focus on the value of ‘bottom up’ change – through more decentralized and participatory structures — to explore how school leaders can be empowered to address inclusive access and participation in their institutions and communities through a focus on local constraints, barriers and constructs. Ultimately, the research is designed to identify factors for scaling the initiative in other schools and school districts in the three countries. Despite a number of policies in place to address inclusion, inclusion issues persisted in Afghanistan, including girls’ access to education and access for children with disabilities prior to the fall of the Government of Afghanistan in 2021.

This two-year project is administered by Canada’s International Development Research Centre and funded by GPE. The project is designed to be implemented in Afghanistan by CW4WAfghan, in Pakistan by Allama Iqbal Open University, and in Nepal by Kathmandu University, with technical leadership from the Open University UK, and management support from Foundation for Information Technology Education and Development, Inc. (FIT-ED) in the Philippines.

Since 15 August 2021, it has not been possible for CW4WAfghan to implement activities in Afghanistan. CW4WAfghan is working with a local partner in Pakistan to identify and support Afghan school leaders serving Afghan students in exile. This group of leaders will pilot the “KIX” initiative, and through the research study, CW4WAfghan will identify factors essential to scaling this initiative to other Afghan schools in exile in Pakistan and in the region. Meanwhile, CW4WAfghan is forging a formal relationship with Global School Leaders , an international organization supporting school leaders in low-income countries in SE Asia. GSL will promote the KIX initiative with school leaders in India, the Philippines and elsewhere in the region based on research findings from the pilot.

Read the highlights of our school leaders study here.