10.2 Key elements for success Copy

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Information about the programme and stakeholders’ opinions have been collected through ongoing monitoring and the 2019 learning review. This evidence suggests the following key elements are important for successful programme planning and management:

Have a clear vision and plan

From the start we had a long-term vision. We did not just think about how we would carry out short-term in-service training on inclusive education at local level. From the start, we thought about how in-service training could be sustained over many years and rolled out on a larger scale, beyond the duration of NAD’s funding. We also thought carefully about how we would influence and change pre-service training at the national level in order to support more sustained change across the whole education system.

The Principal Trainers are central to the long-term vision. Listen to Duncan explain how investing in high quality Principal Trainers is a vital ingredient for sustainability. You can read a transcript of what Duncan says.

You can download a transcript of the video here.

Work with key stakeholders

We identified and started working with key stakeholders from the start. Principal Trainers, the Ministry of General Education (MoGE) and the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) were involved in the planning process and therefore developed ownership of the programme, which is vital for sustained success.

Here is what one of NAD  Zambia’s managers says about how they built and maintained strategic relationships.

“We meet them first, the Ministry decision makers, such as the Chief Curriculum Specialists, Director of Curriculum. We carefully find those with understanding and passion. They are willing to agree to do things differently. Then we invite them to accompany us in the field. We pay for their transport and accommodation for three days. We introduce them to strong Head Teachers from selected Pilot Schools, District level Resource Centres, members of our rich and diverse strong group. We carefully draw up our agenda. We have a clear and deliberate strategy for the programme’s implementation and success.”

NAD Senior Manager

Prioritise relationships and teamwork

The 2019 learning review found that “stakeholders including MoGE officials at District and Provincial level, teachers and head teachers as well as principal trainers, acknowledged that the teams were strong, worked well together”. NAD Zambia has invested substantial time and effort to build a network of volunteers and promote teamwork and positive relationships within our own organisation and across our stakeholder partnerships. This sort of investment in relationships needs to be sustained long term because developing inclusive education is a long-term process.

Here are some stakeholder opinions about the importance of relationships in this programme:

“They work so hard to help us. They know our needs and have built close relationships with us and our members.”

Parents organisation

“They (Zambian NAD team) have to be on the ground, face-to-face until they (schools, MoGE, pre-service institutions and SITs) grasp it (inclusive education). They must be on their doorstep like a bush fire. It’s only when it comes to your front door that you do anything.”


We also ensured that the concepts of collaboration and teamwork were built into the teacher training messages and methods from the start, so that teachers, parents/families, schools and communities would pull together to identify and address inclusion challenges.

Watch the next video to find out about various examples of team work and collaboration in Zambia.

You can read a transcript of this video.

Document and monitor continuously

There is no ready-made formula for inclusive education that works everywhere, so we have to keep reflecting on and learning from our own experiences, from our successes and mistakes. To do this we need to document everything, so we can regularly monitor activities, progress and challenges and critically analyse what we could do differently.

Principal Trainers prepare a report after they have facilitated each module in schools. They include quantitative data on teachers’ participation in the training and record teachers’ feedback on the training. They also reflect on how the pilot schools are making progress towards becoming more inclusive. Any action-based research findings are also reported, as are improvements made by SITs.

Observers from the Ministry of General Education (MoGE), disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) and other partners visit the schools, usually annually. They monitor whether the teacher training is leading to changes, whether inclusion barriers are being overcome.

All of these reports are collated and shared with key partners and funders for collaborative reflection on successes and challenges, to inform strategic planning.

Further reading

McKinney (2019) Learning review of the NAD-supported inclusive education teacher training pilot programme in Zambia.

This is a detailed report analysing evidence from the recent programme review. It includes many practical recommendations that you will find useful when developing your own programme.

This was the end of section 10.2.
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