Research and Evidence on Children with Disabilities using ADT
Collaboration with Innocenti- Office of Research and Foresight
The implementation research process and plans for expansion of ADT research to achieve the following results:
1. Track process of the ADT implementation to improve positive outcomes for children with and without disabilities, instead of waiting for a final evaluation when it is too late for adjustments to be made.
2. Provide evidence and a business case on how to sustain ADT in various ecosystems and how to scale-up accessible digital learning in and across countries.
Implementation research led by the UNICEF Innocenti - Global Office of Research and Foresight is embedded throughout the development and implementation of the ADT initiative in each country. This iterative process where data and evidence are collected from the design and prototyping of an ADT, to teacher training, piloting, and scale-up is used to inform improvements in the ADT over time. Research is done in close collaboration with the UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean Regional office (LACRO) and each implementing UNICEF country office (CO) including Paraguay, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic (DR), and Colombia.
Implementation research is initiated through a co-creation approach where implementation and research plans are built together with UNICEF Country Offices (COs), Regional Offices (ROs), governments and other partners at country level.
The ADT research is embedded into the different stages of the implementation process:
STAGE 1. Planning: Co-creation of implementation research plans (3 months).
- One co-creation workshop in-person per country for Country Offices, Ministry of Education (MoE), and Partners (facilitated by Innocenti) and continuous remote technical support to produce:
- Landscape readiness analysis, which are carried out in each country jointly with LACRO to understand their readiness to implement accessible digital learning initiatives.
- Convening an expert technical committee comprised of key stakeholders from MoEs, UNICEF, Civil Service Organizations, and disability rights groups to co-creating:
- Implementation and research plans. Innocenti supports the technical committee with guidance and input on all research, data analysis, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities.
STAGE 2. Implementation Science: Development and field testing of an ADT (6-9 months)
- Once a book has been selected to start the ADT process, a first prototype of the digital tool is developed and adapted and content validated with:
- The Accessible Digital Content Checklist is a tool to help editors and developers ensure that each digital textbook follows the minimum accessibility features for all learners based on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles.
2. Once the prototype is developed, countries test its use in real-world classrooms to gather feedback and develop contextualized plans for further implementation and scale-up.
- Implementation research and user experience testing. The research combines data from implementing schools with user experience data, classroom observations, focus group discussions, and interviews with key stakeholders.
STAGE 3. Scale-up: Mixed-methods impact evaluation during staged scale up (12-18 months)
- After field-testing the prototype, improvements are made in teacher training, the development of additional textbooks and scale up of the programme to additional schools.
- Experimental or quasi-experimental methods are used to estimate the programmes’ impact on learning and inclusion outcomes in the classroom. Methods used are co-created jointly between research and implementation teams.
- Assess the cost-effectiveness of the ADT to boost learning and inclusion, by comparing implementation costs to outcomes measured through quantitative and qualitative data.
For more information, visit the Innocenti-Office of Research and Foresight on Digital learning: