IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Marginalisation and structural barriers in Africa

24 February 2022, 3:00 pm–4:30 pm

A person putting up clothes to dry in a poor african village with goats surrounding the cottage. Photo by Anze / Adobe Stock.

In this webinar, we will reflect on questions of social inclusion and exclusion through research and action with young people.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Simone Datzberger

Although positive developments in Africa hold promise, the continent still faces major challenges: from reducing poverty to overcoming fragility and managing the growing impacts of climate change. 

Where there have been development gains, many groups of people have not benefited from them. Who are these groups? Why have they not benefited equitably from progress and development? Why are they more likely to be poor or lack human capital? In many cases, the answer to these questions is social exclusion.

In this event, we will critically reflect on social in- and exclusion in international development practice and research in Africa.


  • Professor Moses Oketch (IOE)

Presentations and speakers

Inclusion Matters in Africa Report

Maitreyi Bordia Das and Sabina Anne Espinoza (World Bank)

In this presentation, we will define social inclusion in a development context and explain what it adds to discussions of poverty reduction and inequality.

We will discuss the different channels through which social exclusion is costly not only to individuals but to societies at large and provide key findings from the report on who has been left behind from development gains in Africa over the past decades.

Finally, we will highlight some examples of innovations towards social inclusion across the region and share some reflections on the road ahead.

Lost in transition? Modernisation, formal education and violence in Karamoja (Uganda)

Simone Datzberger (IOE)

There is a shift from pastoralism towards agro-pastoralism and systematized agricultural production in Karamoja. At the same time, aid agencies and the government want to formally educate the Karamojong in alignment with global education norms and policies.

This creates a lot of ambiguities and in-betweens for the Karamojong as formal education impels sedentarization and socio-economic division. Formal education has not only been to the benefit of the Karamojong but also led to multiple forms of violence, aid paradoxes and dead ends.

The Karamojong’s relationship with formal education is shaped by resistance, cultural repression, irrelevance and structural violence. There is an urgency to rethink the purpose and potential of education in the region.

Narratives of unintended pregnancy in the pandemic among young people in Uganda 

Jenny Parkes (IOE) and Rehema Nagawa (UVRI/Medical Research Council, Uganda)

Concerns about the gendered effects of the pandemic in Africa have included predicted surges in adolescent pregnancies, with global organisations highlighting how COVID-19 threatens to reverse progress towards reducing early marriage and adolescent pregnancy.

Drawing on qualitative data from CoVAC, an ongoing longitudinal study in Uganda, we will discuss narratives collected with young people whose lives have been ruptured by unintended pregnancies during the pandemic.

With a feminist narrative analysis, we will reflect on the multiple layers of exclusion and marginalisation they face, and the ways intersecting identities and relationships support and constrain actions at this time of crisis. 

The Good Schools Toolkit & SASA! Lessons and best practices on inclusive programme design and implementation in Uganda.

Hope Wambi (Raising Voices, Uganda)

Social norm and behavior change work require systemic interventions. Systemic interventions require opportunities for, and leadership of a wide range of participants for them to be effective.

Drawing on 15 years of work, we will discuss how Raising Voices has been experimenting with a systemic intervention to prevent violence against children at school. We will also discuss how they developed the approach for creating inclusion and opportunities for participation and what have been some of the sustained outcomes of the intervention.

This webinar will be particularly useful for those interested in international development, social justice, social inclusion, education and sub-Saharan Africa.

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