Despite calls for equitable and high-quality education for all children and youth by the UN, USAID, and all other major donor organizations, marginalized children and youth remain underrepresented in schools throughout the world. This underrepresentation is particularly pronounced among children and youth with disabilities. In order to monitor progress and identify ways to strengthen the quality of education for these learners, reliable, accurate, and comparable data is needed. USAID’s Center for Education is committed to collecting, analyzing, and using disability data in USAID education programming to ensure that efforts are inclusive of learners with disabilities and meet the Agency’s Education Policy priority of “expanding access to quality education for all, particularly marginalized and vulnerable groups.”
This brief summarizes best practices in collecting data on learners with disabilities that USAID’s Data and Evidence for Education Programs (DEEP) project gleaned through a tool mapping study and expert and implementing partner consultations. The selection of appropriate data collection tools and the use of appropriate protocols in their application affect the quality and relevance of any resulting data. Given the sensitive nature of individuals’ disability status data, additional considerations must be born in mind when collecting and using them.