Innovative Practice 2020 on Inclusive Education and ICT

A broad, low-cost, and comprehensive model to create accessible schools

Save the Children is an international NGO with the mission to improve the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities. In 2016, the organization started its HOPE programme in three rural districts of Bangladesh, a low-cost model to ensure and increase the enrolment of out-of-school children – including children with disabilities. This is done through improving school accessibility and by establishing community-based rehabilitation centres, which offer rehabilitation and therapy. Between 2016 and 2019, school enrolment rate of children with disabilities has increased from 52 per cent to 74 per cent.

“My daughter improved significantly through the services of Union Disability Service Centre. Priyanka is now going to school.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:HOPE
Organisation:Save the Children International
of Implementation
Bangladesh/ Dhaka and other disctricts
Start Year2016


  • Between 2016 and 2019, 709 children with disabilities were enrolled in school under the HOPE programme.
  • In 2019, there are 45 schools in three rural districts participating in the Programme.


Despite progress in access to primary education, 4 million school-aged children, including children with disabilities, are still out of school in Bangladesh.


The success of HOPE is the result of two key mechanisms. First, the programme works closely with local governments to ensure sufficient budgets are allocated for improving school accessibility, for example, by building ramps and accessible bathrooms, and by providing assistive devices and transportation to schools.
In addition, HOPE offers teacher training and awareness campaigns for parents, including information about support possibilities.

The second mechanism is the establishment of the Union Disability Service Centre, where children with disabilities who are out of school are readied for school through rehabilitation therapy and counselling services.
When creating the project, Save the Children involved out-of-school children, children already attending school, and children with disabilities.

The HOPE model is currently implemented in 45 schools, located in three rural districts, targeting children between 6 and 14 years. Between 2016 and 2019, around 1,400 children with disabilities were prepared for enrolment.

A boy plays with his peers in uniforms outside.

Inclusion in progress at the Union Disability Service Centre.


The initial budget of $1.5 million was provided by the IKEA Foundation. The annual operational budget of $500,000, which covers school accessibility measures, teacher training, monitoring, and evaluation, is funded by the local government. The original phase of the project was three years, and although this has now ended, the approach continues in the region thanks to its ownership being transferred to the local government. This includes the Union Disability Service Centre, which continues to offer services.

HOPE is a replicable model, and Save the Children intends to expand it to more districts going forward. The HOPE approach has influenced the Directorate of Primary Education under the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, resulting in an inclusive teacher-training curriculum in the three districts.



Download factsheet as accessible word