Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


ESRC - Bridging the Gap

ESRC - Bridging the Gap

Project title

Examining Disability and Development in Four African Countries

Principal Investigator

Prof. Nora Groce

Centre staff working on this project

Maria Kett 
Marcella Deluca
Mark Carew
Lydia Dance
Ellie Cole
Raymond Lang


Economic and Social Research Council and Department for International Development

Project duration

April 2015-March 2018


Bridging the Gap website for regular updates

Main objectives

This research programme aims to develop an in-depth, nuanced understanding of how persons with disabilities are at increased risk of being excluded as social and economic development increases. The research will focus on four low-income sub-Saharan African countries: Kenya, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia. 
The programme will examine the extent to which policies are actually addressing the unmet needs and rights of persons with disabilities and the level of financial and human resources required to ensure that these issues are addressed; identify ways to overcome challenges and promote improved monitoring and evaluation strategies to ensure inclusion in future. The research will explore the nexus between disability, lack of inclusion, barriers and multidimensional poverty; provide guidance as to how the data gaps can be filled; and identify ways of overcoming barriers.


External Collaborators


Sierra Leone

  • University of Sierra Leone, Institute of Public Administration and Management
  • University of Sierra Leone, Department of Sociology and Social Work
  • Sierra Leone Union on Disability Issues 



South Africa

United States of America

United Kingdom

Project Updates

The end of project conference "Insights from Africa: new perspectives on disability and development", will take place on the 12th and 13th of March at the QEll Building in London. Tickets will be open for the public soon.

The Bridging the Gap project comes to an end on 31st March 2018. Policy analysis, secondary data analysis and household survey analysis are all complete, whilst some analysis of key informant interviews, focus group discussions and data from the Levers of Success sub-project is ongoing.

The findings will be presented at the Bridging the Gap end of project conference on 12th and 13th March 2018.

Knowledge Transfer

UNICEF Putting Children First Conference, 23-25 October 2017
Professor Nora Groce presented the Keynote for the session: Reaching the Hardest to Reach” at the ESRC/DFID conference.

SIDA and Makerere University Partnership annual meeting, 2 September 2017 
Bridging the Gap preliminary findings were presented at the annual conference.

The African Network for Evidence-to-Action in Disability , 7-5 August 2017
LCDIDC presented findings from the Bridging the Gap research at the AfriNEAD conference in Ghana.

Great Lakes International Conference, 25 May 2017
"Disability trend, Characteristics, health, conservation and development in Uganda" by Prof. Groce and Julius Omona was presented at the conference

Disability Studies Conference, University of Lancaster, 6-8 September 2016
The Disability and Development Gap: examples from health and education.
Presented by Nora Groce and Ellie Cole.

Lessons from a Decade’s Research on Poverty: Innovation, Engagement and Impact - Pretoria, South Africa, 16-18 March 2016

  • Dr Maria Kett interviewed about how to achieve impact through research

    • Blog 'The key ingredients in getting from research to impact: top tips interviews' [link]

International Symposium Disability in the SDGs: Forming Alliances and Building Evidence for the 2030 Agenda - London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK, 18-19 February 2016

  • Professor Nora Groce presentation on project progress

    • Presentation [link]
    • Video of the session (from 14.00) [link]

Key publications

Research Brief. Bridging the Gap: Examining disability and development in four African countries. Leonard Cheshire Research Centre, June 2018.

Secondary Data Analyses

Policy Analyses

Policy Briefs

Journal Articles

Working Papers

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