Disability disaggregation of Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) in the Pacific: A review of system capacity.

Beth Sprunt, Manjula Marella, Umesh Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Pacific Island governments have to report against an increasing number and range of global and regional education indicators that require disability-disaggregated data for monitoring disability-inclusive education. Given the effort required to adapt data systems and build capacity for disability disaggregation, it is imperative that indicators provide optimal information to inform policy and planning. This paper reviews current approaches to disability data collection and disaggregation within Education Management Information Systems (EMISs) across 14 Pacific Island countries. It compares disability-related education indicators from the Sustainable Development Goals, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Incheon Strategy, and the Pacific Education Development Framework in relation to current capacity of Pacific EMISs to report against these. Amongst the countries studied, the most common approach to EMIS disability disaggregation is to categorise children based on impairments, which is less reliable and comparable as a measure than categories based on difficulties in functioning. Data on school accessibility,human resources related to inclusion and learning support needs is rarely included in EMISs and then only sparsely. Measurement of regional and global disability indicators requires minor to substantial adaptations to the EMISs, outlined in the paper at a country-specific level. ‘Granular’ EMISs, which are based on individual student electronic files, are increasingly common in the Pacific and offer greater capacity for disability disaggregation and analysis of data. A range of recommendations are discussed for enhancing the data systems to enable reporting against the indicators and a more useful evidence base for disability-inclusive education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-68
Number of pages28
JournalKnowledge Management for Development Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • disability disaggregation
  • education management information system (EMIS)
  • disability-inclusive education
  • indicators
  • Pacific islands

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