Colleen Howell (Gender and Disability Expert,) holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Cape Town. She has been extensively involved over the last 20 years in research and policy work around issues of equity and diversity and the building of inclusive societies (here). A central focus of her work and expertise is the positioning of inclusivity as a critical element in the development of a post-apartheid South Africa. This has included researching and understanding those patterns of inequality that heighten, often in complex and subtle ways, the vulnerability and marginalisation of particular groups of people in our society, especially people with disabilities, women and children. Most importantly, her work has focused on translating these understandings into enabling policy frameworks and institutional practices that seek to transform rather than assimilate into unchanged environments. Colleen has worked on these concerns for national government, within the university sector, for NGOs and international donor agencies.

She is presently employed by the University College London, in the Institute of Education in the Centre for International Education and Development (CEID) working as a Research Associate on a large ESRC/Newton Fund project on Higher Education and the Public Good in four African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa (here), and works closely with researchers and stakeholders in each of the countries. She is also undertaking some consultancy work for the World Bank around the development of inclusive education in Africa and recently completed a project with a colleague at CEID for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) on gender equality in education. Her work involved mapping research on gender and education in the low-income countries that GPE works with.