Disability Data in Schools in Emergency and Protracted Crisis

From May 2022 to December 2023, Humanity & Inclusion implemented a research project to identify a practical and reliable methodology to produce data on learners with disability in schools in emergencies and protracted crises. As part of this project, the Child Functioning Module – Teacher Version (CFM-TV) was tested and assessed for programming and monitoring use in humanitarian response. The findings were used to develop an evidence based operational package to explain to education field practitioners and stakeholders what the CFM-TV is, when and how to use it.


Collection of data is of critical importance in addressing social challenges and ensuring that individuals with disabilities are ‘not left behind’, at all levels (for example policy planning or project programming and monitoring). Collecting accurate disability data remains challenging, often expensive, and inaccurate. Choosing the most reliable data collection tool, relevant to the targets, respondents and use of the generated data, is one of the most challenging aspects of disability data collection.



The Washington Group on Disability Statistics was established in 2001 under the UN Statistical Commission. Its goal is to develop, validate and share tools to collect internationally comparable disability statistics and to help actors better identify persons with disabilities.

Several sets of questions have been developed and made available. The Short Set (SS) is a widely used tool for collecting disability data in adults. It includes 6 questions but has limitations when used with children. The Child Functioning Module (CFM), designed with UNICEF, aims to identify children with functional difficulties that may limit their participation in daily life. Primary caregivers answer questions as proxies. However, for education projects in emergencies, summoning parents to schools to ask 24 questions about each of their enrolled children can be challenging, especially in emergencies and protracted crises. The Child Functioning Module – Teacher Version (CFM-TV) was then designed.


The CFM-TV allows teachers to be proxy respondents. It comprises 13 questions covering 12 functional domains, enabling teachers to assess their students' abilities and challenges. This questionnaire was first tested in Senegal in 2018 (if you are interested, more information here). The results were promising but needed to be explored more in-depth and confirmed.

That’s why Humanity & Inclusion, with the support of Education Cannot Wait, implemented the DiDa Schools project - Disability Data in schools in Emergencies and protracted crises to explore the reliability of this set of questions for programming and project monitoring use in the refugee settlement of Kyaka II in Uganda.

From evidence to action

The DiDa Schools project is based on rigorous operational research, ground based, completed by a strong knowledge translation component– to ensure the continuum from evidence to action by producing useful and relevant material for field actors.

Download infographic of the project



The DiDa Schools project aims to contribute to the production of dependable data on disability in school settings in fragile contexts, by:

  • Assessing the comprehensibility of the CFM-TV by the target respondents;
  • Assessing the reliability of the CFM-TV: the project assesses the consistency of results when repeated in identical conditions (same teachers assessing the same learners, three weeks apart) and the degree to which it agreed with other data collection methods by other respondents (CFM by caregivers and self-report)
  • Evaluating the feasibility and practicability of the CFM-TV in real school/classroom situations.

This research employs a mixed-methods approach, based on cognitive interviews, surveys and focus groups discussions. Research findings are presented in a variety of formats to suit different audiences.

Download Report

For more information and other materials available soon, please check the project page.

Key Area
Data & Evidence
learners with disabilities
humanitarian emergencies
humanitarian response


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