We have a mammoth task at hand, let’s get to work as year 2030 is not too far away………..

Eradicating extreme poverty by year 2030 is the ambitious goal that World Bank Group has adopted[1]. For this to become reality all development initiatives should be focused on creating sustainable programs for the people who are at the bottom 40% of the income earners of developing countries. It would be safe to say that most of previously mentioned 40% is made up of persons with disabilities who make up of 15% of the Global population[2]. Persons with disabilities are more likely to experience adverse socioeconomic outcomes than a person without a disability[3].

We could start the journey by understanding why development programs continue be implemented, whilst excluding persons with disabilities. Here’s what I think could be partly responsible;

  • Selection of funding priorities by individual countries’/donors’ are influenced by economic and political gain
  • Disability inclusion plan is not specified (or mandated) as a requirement in Request for Proposals for funding
  • Even if it is included, the donor does not have a mechanism, experts or allocated resources to measure, monitor, enforce and evaluate the level of inclusion
  • Global Disability Inclusion Compliant Standards have not been developed (nor have commenced the development)  to measure the level of inclusion
  • The disability inclusion standards should be adopted (from Global Disability Inclusion Compliant standards) to fit the size, resources, culture of the context
  • Lack of buy-in from the program implementers as their priorities vary,  they lack knowledge to manage disability inclusion element and the program becomes more complex to administer
  • Lack of trained experts in Disability Inclusion to consult, plan, implement, measure, monitor, enforce and evaluate the level of inclusion
  • Persons with disabilities are preoccupied with other primary concerns such as basic healthcare, mobility, assistive devices, rehabilitation and basic human rights therefore economic independence becomes a secondary concern
  • Persons with disabilities are unaware of their rights and benefits of independent living and their civic rights.

Let’s find solutions together!


[1] Statement from the World Bank Group at the UN High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Disability

[2] World Report on Disability 2012

[3] Statement from the World Bank Group at the UN High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Disability

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