Breaking down barriers to exclusion. Building capacity for lobby and advocacy for children with disabilities

Despite higher levels of economic growth and wealth in several African countries, large numbers of children with disabilities remain excluded and their caretakers face severe difficulties in coping with their children’s disabilities and exclusion. Civil society organizations can and do play an important role in promoting the rights of children with disabilities through lobby and advocacy. However, the success factors of lobby and advocacy in this area are as yet poorly understood. In addition, there is much uncertainty about how international civil society organisations can best support their local partners in lobby and advocacy work. The Liliane Foundation has sought cooperation with the ASCL to build the knowledge and capacity of its partners and of itself within the field of lobby & advocacy.

For this project, Dr Willem Elbers will do research into the lobby and advocacy processes of civil society organisations within the field of children with a disability. The research will focus on Sierra Leone and Cameroon. The main question will be: what factors enable and constrain local civil society organizations to promote the rights of children with disabilities and their caretakers through lobby & advocacy? And how can the results of the research be put into practice by both the local organisations and the Liliane Foundation?

The academic goals of the four-year research cooperation between the ASCL and the Liliane Foundation are to produce and publish academic papers on lobby & advocacy in peer reviewed journals. Local African academic institutions will act as sparring partners of the Liliane Foundation’s local partners, contribute to their capacity building and play a role in the local dissemination of research findings.

Visit the project website.

Research project
2015 to 2020

Senior researchers

Funding and cooperation


Additional information

Research output: 

Learning events have been organized in Sierra Leone and Cameroon with the aim of capacity strengthening of local stakeholders. During these events preliminary research findings have been presented and their practical implications discussed.

On 21 March 2016, the first learning event in Cameroon took place. Read the report.

On 24 August 2016, the first learning event in Sierra Leone took place. Read the report.

On 14 December 2017, the second learning event in Sierra Leone took place. Read the report.

On 28 March 2018, the first learning event in Zambia took place. Read the report.