Timeline and Roadmap - Pacific INDIE project - Developing and testing indicators for inclusive education in the Pacific

Pacific Indicators for Disability Inclusive Education (Pacific INDIE) project

Timeline and Roadmap

Phase 1

April 2013 – March 2014

Systematic Literature

We conducted three systematic literature reviews and a document analysis of key Pacific and international frameworks and policies:

1. International Literature Review

The question guiding this review was: What themes are apparent in the international literature for developing indicators of disability-inclusive education? This study validated 13 themes that should be considered in the development of a set of indicators of disability-inclusive education, and produced one extra thematic area for consideration. Special schools will continue to play a critical role in providing support to regular schools to become inclusive.

Measuring indicators of inclusive education: A systematic review of the literature
International Perspectives on Inclusive Education, Volume 3, 2014, pp.165 - 187
Loreman, T., Forlin, C., Sharma, U.

2. Pacific Literature Review

A review of literature from Pacific island countries of policies and research highlighted 10 themes. While indicators for measuring disability-inclusive education within the Pacific are very limited at present, strategies, government recommendations and objectives from across the region were identified in the literature which were useful in informing the development of indicators. This review further supported the finding that existing special schools can play a key role in supporting implementation of disability-inclusive education.

Developing disability-inclusive indicators in the Pacific islands.
Forlin, C., Sharma, U., Loreman, T. & Sprunt, B. (2015)

3. Out of School Children with Disability Literature Review

The literature review identified a number of strategies that could be effective for supporting access to education for Out-of-School Children with Disability. Some of these strategies included providing alternative education, providing incentives to families to enrol their children with disabilities (CWD) in school s and community awareness programs.

What has worked for Bringing Out-of-school Children with Disabilities into Regular Schools? A Literature Review
Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 25(2), 2014, 57-74.
Umesh Sharma, Olivia Ng


The survey was designed to gain an understanding of indicators and systems already being used to monitor and evaluate education in the 14 Pacific Island countries. Data collected from a range of stakeholders provided an insight into what information the Pacific stakeholders are already collecting. It also provided a wish list of indicators that would be most appropriate across their country contexts to measure disability-inclusive education.

Possible indicators based on the key findings:

  • There is financial commitment by governments to implement disability-inclusive education.
  • There is strong collaboration between regular and special schools (or service providers).
  • All students should be given opportunity to participate.
  • Students have all resources to ensure equity with regular schools.

Identifying disability-inclusive indicators currently employed to monitor and evaluate education in the Pacific Island countries.
Cogent Education, 3, 1170754
Sharma, U., Forlin, C., Sprunt, B., Merumeru, L. (2016).

Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis

Key informant interviews and focus group discussions were held in the four case countries. Stakeholders included Disabled Persons Organisation representatives, Parents of children with disability, primary and early childhood teachers, secondary teachers, disability service providers, and representatives from ministries of education, health, community development, social welfare, and other key education or disability stakeholders. The qualitative data provided great depth and breadth in understanding what Pacific islanders valued in terms of approaches to education of children/youth with disability.

Key Findings:

  • There is a need to improve access to disability-inclusive education in regular schools for children with disability (CWD). Access for this group is generally poor; many CWD are either not sent to school by parents, cannot attend because of lack of appropriate transport or physical accessibility of the school, or are denied entry by schools.
  • There is a need for community awareness programs to support better understanding, advocacy and the protection of rights for children and youth with disabilities.
  • There is a need for pre-service and in-service teacher education to develop high quality pedagogy and positive responses for a diversity of children.
  • There is a need for disability-inclusive education policies to be supported by the provision of appropriate financial and human resources and infrastructure.
  • Equally, disability-inclusive education is unlikely to be achieved through a checklist approach; the development and implementation of policies is a process which should draw on global lessons and principles but must allow for contextual differences at the country level, school level, community, family and individual level.

Stakeholder perspectives on barriers and facilitators of inclusive education in the Solomon Islands.
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs
Sharma, U.​,​ Loreman, T. & Simi, J. (accepted).

Parental perspective about inclusive education in the Pacific. In K. Scorgie and D. Sobsey (Eds).
Working with Families for inclusive education. Emerald Publishers, UK.
Sharma, U. & Michael, S. (2016).

Development of Draft Indicators

Findings from each of the three Phase 1 methods were reviewed in a 3 day workshop in Melbourne and the first draft of indicators was developed.

Indicators were categorized as Macro, Meso or Micro based on whether they were at systems level, community level, or school and child.

Analysis and synthesis of indicators across the methods resulted in the emergence of 18 themes (eg. teacher education, policy and legislation, role of special schools).

“Developing and testing indicators for inclusive education in the Pacific: Nothing about us without us.” A symposium presented at Disability Studies in Education​​ ​Conference hosted in July 2014 by the Victoria University, Melbourne. - Special Interest Group of American Educational Researchers Association.

Phase 2

March 2014 – October 2014

Regional Workshop in Fiji

The workshop was attended by invited members from Ministries in the four countries, parents of children with disability, Disabled Persons Organisation representatives, non-government education providers, senior staff from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Pacific Disability Forum, and the entire research team. The indicators were discussed and debated in country and regional groups over three days, with consideration given to relevance, feasibility and priority.

In a two day post-workshop meeting the draft indicators were revised, incorporating various suggestions made by the four country level groups and the regional group.

The regional workshop resulted in merging and renaming themes, revised wording and reduction in the number of indicators.

Developing and testing indicators for inclusive education in the Pacific. A presentation made at Disability in Development: shaping policy and practice conference hosted by Australian Disability and Development Consortium, Canberra, 28-29 August, 2014.

International Review Panel

An International Review Panel consisting of high level academics, practitioners and representatives of organisations (e.g. UNESCO, European Union) is reviewing the indicators to ensure that each iteration of the draft indicators meets standards in terms of relevance, feasibility and priority. The Panel will review the indicators three times during the development and refinement of indicators.

Reference group:

  • Professor Lani Florian
  • Professor Richard Rose
  • Professor Spence Salend
  • Professor Martyn Rouse
  • (Late) Frederick Miller
  • Dr Susie Miles
  • Colin Connelly
  • Rick Frost
  • Alan Parkes
  • Dr Amanda Watkins
  • UNICEF Pacific
  • UNESCO Pacific
  • AusAID Education program representative
  • AusAID Pacific program representative
  • Karen Underwood

Phase 3

October 2014 – April 2016

Pilot Testing of indicators

Pilot testing of indicators will take place in the four Pacific countries. Key activities during this phase will include:

  • Testing the use of the indicators in the four case countries.
  • Training master trainers in use of the indicators
  • Collection of data from a variety of stakeholders to examine their experience of applying the indicators – useability and usefulness, validity and reliability.
  • Refinement of list of indicators and guidelines based on the testing phase.

Factors contributing to the implementation of inclusive education in Pacific Island countries
International Journal of Inclusive Education
Sharma, U. Loreman, T. & Macanawai, S. (2015)

Inclusive education and cultural (dis)connect in the Pacific Islands: Conclusions from a 3-year collection of studies. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, May 28th to 3rd June, 2016.
Presenters: Tim Loreman, Umesh Sharma, Filipe Jitoko and Setareki Macanawai

Disability-Inclusive Education Indicators and Manual for their application

A total of 48 indicators have been identified that are listed under 10 dimensions which form the the Pacific Indicators for Disability-Inclusive Education (Pacific-INDIE). The dimensions are:

  • Policy & Legislation
  • Awareness
  • Education, Training, & Professional Development
  • Presence and Achievement
  • Physical Environment and Transport
  • Identification
  • Early Intervention & Services
  • Collaboration and Shared Responsibility
  • Curriculum and Assessment Practices
  • Transition Pathways

Developing and testing indicators for inclusive education in the Pacific. A presentation made at Disability in Development: shaping policy and practice conference hosted by Australian Disability and Development Consortium, Canberra, 28-29 August, 2014.
Presenters: Umesh Sharma (Monash University), Setareki Macanawa (Pacific Disability Forum), Beth Sprunt (Nossal-CBM).

Pacific Indicators for Disability Inclusive Education.
A presentation made at Pacific Disability Research Symposium, February, 17th, 2015, Nadi Fiji.
Presenters: Mr. Kitione Ravulo (Associate Investigator- Fiji), Ms. Savaira (Associate Investigator –Fiji), Mr. Setareki Macanawai (Pacific Disability Forum- Fiji), Mr. Lai Merumeru (Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS, Fiji), Umesh Sharma (Monash University).

Using indicators as a catalyst to inclusive education in the Pacific.
International Journal of Inclusive Education
Sharma, U., Forlin, C., Marella, M.& Jitoko, F. (accepted).

Validating the WG/UNICEF Module on Child Functioning and Disability for Fijian schools to identify seeing, hearing and walking difficulties.
Disability and Rehabilitation
Sprunt, B. Hoq, M. Sharma, U. & Marella, M.  (accepted).

Disability disaggregation of Educational Management Information Systems (EMIS) in the Pacific – a review of system capacity.
Special Issue of Knowledge for Disability Inclusive Development, Knowledge Management for Development Journal.
Sprunt, B. Marella, M. & Sharma, U (accepted).