Our projectsInclusive Transitions through Early Years & Beyond

Sustainable Development Goal targets

  • Quality Education (SDG 4)
  • Gender Equality (SDG 5)
  • Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10)
  • Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG 3)
Project leads
  • Eleni Karagiannidou (Education)
  • Zinnia Mevawalla (Education)
  • Helen Marwick (Education)
  • undergraduate years 2 and 4
  • postgraduate taught
  • Education

Please note: availability can vary between degrees. Please contact your advisor of studies and the project lead for more information.

How to apply

To apply for this project please complete our application form.

Project overview

The project will involve student-led research to develop equitable and inclusive approaches to access and participation in high-quality Early Childhood Education, Care and Development (ECECD) programs for children and families/caregivers in The Gambia and Scotland whose experiences of existing vulnerability have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 has resulted in significant disruptions to children’s access to, re/enrolment and participation in, ECECD programs – particularly in developing countries such as Gambia. For children and families/caregivers with existing vulnerabilities, disruptions to early intervention and high-quality education programmes further increases existing disparities.

This VIP4SD project focuses on The Gambia and Scotland. Research shows that there is a significant need to improve inclusive education, accessibility and to raise awareness in combating discrimination and stigma faced by vulnerable children in The Gambia (Nabaneh, 2018). Similarly, research indicates that children experiencing forms of vulnerability in Scotland (e.g. disability, poverty) continue to experience exclusion from educational settings (Scottish Government, 2020). As emergencies such as COVID-19 cause a further strain on the availability of resources and supports, there is an urgent need to develop solution-focused transition processes that enable ALL children and families/caregivers to be included in high-quality ECECD initiatives in Scotland, Gambia and beyond.

The project is underpinned by three aims:

  1. To examine and address the nature and extent of emerging and existing barriers to inclusive, equitable, high-quality ECECD initiatives experienced by vulnerable children in emergency situations.
  2. To understand and mitigate the nature and extent of increased disparities and inequities in access to ECECD initiatives experienced by vulnerable children in emergency situations.
  3. To investigate inclusive, equitable and sustainable solutions for transitions to high-quality ECECD initiatives for vulnerable children.

What will students be doing

Students will develop research under 4 inter-related themes around transitions into ECECD (supporting: children/ families & caregivers/ practitioners / communities) and to co-design tools/approaches/mechanisms to address the increasing disparities faced by vulnerable children. It is anticipated that these processes will support students to develop capacities for facilitating inclusive transitions for vulnerable children/families/caregivers/practitioners/communities into and through ECECD initiatives during/post COVID-19 in Gambia and Scotland and beyond.

The project aims to support students to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  1. Understand the cultural, political, economic and socio-historical nature and extent of vulnerability experienced by certain groups of children (Students in Year 2, 4, 5 and PGR).
  2. Examine contextually relevant and inclusive approaches to supporting children and families/caregivers who experience vulnerability (Students in Year 4, 5 & PGR).
  3. Examine approaches to identifying and supporting the needs and strengths of ALL children and families/caregivers in emergency situations (Students in Year 2, 4, 5 & PGR).
  4. Develop strategies for working in family-centered and transdisciplinary ways when supporting children who experience vulnerability that is exacerbated by an emergency (Students in Year 5 & PGR).

Have more questions, or want to get involved?

Contact eleni.karagiannidou@strath.ac.uk, zinnia.mevawalla@strath.ac.uk, and helen.marwick@strath.ac.uk.

4: Quality Education.
3: Good health and well-being.
5: Gender Equality.