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Social protection measures for persons with disabilities and their families in response to the COVID-19 crisis: An updated overview of trends June 2021

UNPRPD
INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION (ILO)
June 2021

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An overview of social protection measures announced in response to COVID-19 that have made specific reference to persons with disabilities. Rather than seeking to provide an exhaustive survey of measures, it identifies the main characteristics and trends for social protection responses that specifically sought to support persons with disabilities during the crisis. This brief focuses on specific crisis response measures adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, acknowledging that persons with disabilities also benefited from access to health care and income support provided through pre-existing social protection schemes and programmes. The document provides an update to an initial analysis in May 2020 (UNPRPD, 2020).

 

This overview draws on a database of social protection measures specifically relating to disability, which is provided as an Annex to this paper. 

Taking a Disability-Inclusive Approach to Pandemic Responses

WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
SHAW, Jackie
2021

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The Covid-19 pandemic has affected communities globally, yet the impact has not been equal. People with disabilities were already often living with severe disadvantage and marginalisation and, as predicted by many disability-focused agencies, Covid-19 has exacerbated these inequalities. Emerging evidence from Inclusive Futures, a UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)-funded programme, highlights the catastrophic emotional and material impacts on people with disabilities in Nepal and Bangladesh. To respond to and plan for future crises, decision makers should consult inclusively with both organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs) and people with disabilities themselves.
 

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in social protection for COVID-19 recovery and beyond

COTE, Alex
BALASUBRAMANIAN, Meenakshi
WANGARE, Fatma
HUDA. Karishma
DOS SANTOS, Joaozito
O'BRIEN, Felicity
September 2020

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The COVID-19 crisis has magnified the barriers and inequalities faced by persons with disabilities. Consultation with organisations representing persons with disabilities across regions highlighted the limitation of social protection systems in LMICs to provide adequate support due to lack of social protection schemes, low coverage, and inadequacy of existing schemes. There is little in the way of publicly funded community support services and in some contexts an overreliance on residential institutions, whose users have been disproportionally represented among COVID-19 fatalities. 

In the midst of the crisis, countries have been struggling with inaccessible information (e.g sign language), the lack of universal schemes, and national disability registry for broad outreach and fast relief.

The webinar aimed at providing a global overview of the social protection response for persons with disabilities and their families as well as the different key social protection issues to consider for an inclusive COVID-19 recover

Disability inclusion in Nigeria : A rapid assessment

WORLD BANK
June 2020

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According to the World Health Organization, in 2018, about 29 million of the 195 million people who comprise Nigeria’s national population were living with a disability. Data from the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey reveal that an estimated 7 percent of household members above the age of five (as well as 9 percent of those 60 or older) have some level of difficulty in at least one functional domain, seeing, hearing, communication, cognition, walking, or self-care; and 1 percent either have a lot of difficulty or cannot function at all in at least one domain. These estimated rates, while significant, are probably even higher because currently available data likely underestimate the prevalence. This rapid social assessment was undertaken to document the current socioeconomic status of persons with disabilities in Nigeria. Findings indicate that persons with disabilities lack access to basic services and that attitudinal barriers represent a major impediment to their socioeconomic inclusion. Inclusive policies are either nonexistent, weak, or inadequately implemented. 

The impact of an inclusive education intervention on learning outcomes for girls with disabilities within a resource-poor setting

CAREW, Mark
DELUCA, Marcella
GROCE, Nora
FWAGA, Sammy
KETT, Maria
May 2020

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Background: Despite a global commitment to the right to education for persons with disabilities, little is known about how to achieve inclusive education in practice, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where the majority of the world’s people with disabilities reside. Moreover, although exclusion from education is magnified by intersecting gender and socioeconomic inequalities, there is especially little knowledge regarding what approaches to inclusive education are effective amongst girls with disabilities living in resource-poor settings.

 

Objectives: The objective of this article was to assess the impact of an inclusive education intervention led by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) on the educational attainment of girls with disabilities in the resource-poor Lakes region of Kenya.

 

Method: A quasi-experimental design was employed, where the literacy and numeracy educational attainment of the intervention and control groups was compared over two time points a year apart (Time 1 and Time 2; total matched N = 353). During this period, activities pertaining to six core components of a holistic inclusive education model were implemented.

 

Results: Relative to the control group, girls with disabilities in the intervention group reported a greater increase in literacy and numeracy attainment, adjusted for grade and level of functional difficulty.

 

Conclusion: Findings suggest that the intervention was successful in engendering additional improvements in the educational attainment of girls with disabilities from the resource-poor Lakes region of Kenya. Results highlight both the applicability of NGO-led interventions in settings, where national implementation of inclusive education is constrained, and the potential of taking such interventions to scale.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020

Poverty and social exclusion of persons with disabilities (2020) - European Human Rights Report Issue 4

HAMMERSLEY, Hayden
2020

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The extent of the effect of poverty and social exclusion on persons with disabilities in the EU was examined

The report shows how, in all EU countries, persons with disabilities are more likely to be poor and unemployed than persons without disabilities. It presents actions that the EU, it's Member States and other European Countries should take to improve the situation.

Every learner matters: Unpacking the learning crisis for children with disabilities

McCLAIN-NHLAPO, Charlotte
et al
June 2019

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This paper was developed by the World Bank in partnership with Leonard Cheshire and Inclusion International. It is an attempt to add knowledge to the current understanding of the importance of learning achievements, with a focus on children with disabilities. While the premise is that inclusive education refers to the inclusion of all children, the focus of this paper is on children with disabilities.

The aim of the paper is to:

  • Provide an evidence-based review of educational participation of children with disabilities.
  • Establish a case for focusing on learning achievements for students with disabilities.
  • Take stock of current mechanisms of measurement of learning outcomes and review their inclusivity.
  • Explore evidence of practice and systems which promote disability-inclusive learning for all. 

Four case studies are provided - from Pakistan, South Africa, Canada and UK.

Shaping health systems to include people with disabilities. K4D emerging issues report

DEAN, Laura
et al
November 2018

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People with disabilities are at a heightened risk of communicable and non-communicable diseases and these diseases can cause debility and disability. Health needs of these people often extend beyond requiring continual longterm medical support to addressing broader social inequities. Key areas that are likely to be critical in re-orientating health systems from a biomedical approach towards inclusive health systems that are more responsive to the needs of people with debility and disability in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are offered in this report and cover the following:

 

  • 1. Nothing about us without us: prioritising person-centred health systems
  • 2. Responding to issues of access in mainstreaming disability within health systems
  • 3. Ensuring the provision of specialised services
  • 4. Community based rehabilitation 
  • 5. Improving the collection and use of disability related data against modified legal and policy frameworks
  • 6. Partnerships are paramount
  • 7. Financing and social protection 

Case studies are provided from Sudan, India, Liberia, Uganda and Nigeria

Exploring the concerns of persons with disabilities in Western Zambia

CLEAVER, Shaun
POLATAJKO, Helene
BOND, Virginia
MAGALHÃES, Lilian
NIXON, Stephanie
2018

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Background: Understandings of disability are rooted in contexts. Despite the world’s significant contextual diversity, postcolonial power dynamics allow influential actors from the global North to imagine that most people across the global South understand disability in one generalised way. When it informs programmes and services for persons with disabilities in the global South, this imagining of a single generalised view could reduce effectiveness while further marginalising the people for whom the programmes and services were designed.

 

Objectives: In the interest of better understanding a contextually grounded meaning of disability, we explored the expressed concerns of two organisations of persons with disabilities and their members in Western Zambia.

 

Method: In this qualitative constructionist study, data collection focused upon life with a disability and servicesavailable to persons with disabilities. Data were collected through 39 individual interviews and eight focus group discussions with 81 members of organisations of persons with disabilities. Data were analysed thematically.

 

Results: The participants’ main expressed concern was poverty. This concern was articulated in terms of a life of suffering and a need for material resources. Participants linked poverty to disability in two ways. Some participants identified how impairments limited resource acquisition, resulting in suffering. Others considered poverty to be an integral part of the experience of disability.

 

Conclusion: This study contributes to literature on disability theory by providing a contextually grounded account of a particular understanding of disability and poverty. The study also contributes to disability practice and policymaking through the demonstration of poverty as the main concern of persons with disabilities in this context.

Austerity and the lives of people with learning disabilities. A thematic synthesis of current literature

MALLI, Melina Aikaterini
SAMS, Lara
FORRESTER-JONES, Rachel
MURPHY, Glynis
HENWOOD, Melanie
2018

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The Financial Crisis of 2008 resulted in many western economies implementing cuts in health and social care. This systematic review provides a holistic picture of the impact of austerity policy on the lives of people with learn- ing disabilities (LD) and the collateral effects on the people who support them. Our review suggests that in the current climate of economic austerity, available funding to support people with LD is no longer aligned to their care needs. Cuts in disability services have adversely affected the well- being both of people with LD and their informal carers. Individuals with LD have lost social support and are experi- encing increased social isolation. Heightened demands on family carers’ time have negatively influenced their wider roles, including parental functioning, and labour market participation. Our review provides the foundations for fur- ther discourse and research on the effects of austerity on people with LD and their family carers.

Being disabled in Britain: a journey less equal

EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
April 2017

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"Being disabled in Britain is a review into disability inequality in Great Britain. It builds on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s statutory five-yearly report on equality and human rights progress in England, Scotland and Wales, Is Britain Fairer?.

We want this report to be used by UK and devolved governments to make improvements to law and policies, by local government to ensure services meet the needs of disabled people, and by disability groups to strengthen their case for change.

The report includes chapters on six areas of life, including education, work, health, justice and participation in politics, looking at where there has been progress and where there are still serious issues to be tackled. It also looks the experiences of those with different impairments and how these impact on people’s life chances"

Evaluating the impact of a community–based parent training programme for children with cerebral palsy in Ghana

ZUURMOND, Maria
et al
January 2017

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"Cerebral palsy is the most common cause of physical disability in children worldwide, and yet in most low resource settings there are few services available to support children with cerebral palsy or their families. Research is required to understand the effectiveness of community and/or home based programmes to address this gap. This 2-year study aimed to evaluate a participatory caregiver training programme called ‘Getting to know cerebral palsy’ in Ghana. The training programme consisted of a monthly half-day support group with training, and a home visit, delivered across eight sites in Ghana over 10 months. A total of 76 families and children were included at baseline and 64 families followed up one year later at endline. Children were aged between 18months and 12 years with a mean of 3.8 years and a range of severity of cerebral palsy. Nearly all (97%) the caregivers were female and the father was absent in 51% of families. The study was a pre-post intervention design using mixed methods to evaluate the impact. A baseline and endline quantitative survey was conducted to assess caregiver quality of life (QoL) and knowledge about cerebral palsy and child feeding, health, and nutrition outcomes. Qualitative data was collected to explore the impact and experiences of the training programme in more depth".

Assessing fiscal policies from a human rights perspective

Center for Economic and Social Rights
July 2016

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"The study undertaken by the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) and the Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Fiscales (ICEFI) aimed to contribute to a broader reflection on the role of fiscal policy in complying with a state’s economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) obligations. Despite being a middle-income country with the largest economy in Central America, Guatemala’s social indicators were alarming; with more than half the population living below the national poverty line and one in seven Guatemalans living in extreme poverty. The persistence of systemic inequality and discrimination could be partially explained by the legacy of almost 40 years of armed conflict, which did not end until the signing of the Peace Accords in 1996. Nevertheless, the stark contrasts between rich and poor suggested that the dismal state of ESC rights could not be attributed to limited state resources, but to the way in which they were distributed, this highlighted the need to hold the state accountable for its efforts to generate and manage resources equitably and in accordance with its human rights obligations.... Methodological case study on the use of available resources to realize economic, social and cultural rights in Guatemala

Ensuring that no one is left behind. High-level political forum (HLPF) 2016 position paper by Persons with Disabilities.

INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE (IDA)
2016

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This position paper states that "only by utilising the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as a guiding framework in implementing the SDGs, will it be ensured that exclusion and inequality are not created or perpetuated". Proposals are made and background presented on the topics of: the unfinished work of the MDGs; realising, through an enabling environment, the full potential of persons with disabilities; working together to protect our planet; and reaching the farthest behind first

WORLD ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL SURVEY - 2016 Climate Change Resilience: an opportunity for reducing inequalities

United Nations Secretariat, Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)
2016

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This survey contributes to the debate on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In addressing the specific challenge of building resilience to climate change, the Survey focuses on population groups and communities that are disproportionately affected by climate hazards, whose frequency and intensity are increasing with climate change. It argues that, in the absence of a continuum of policies designed to reduce the exposure and vulnerability of people to climate change, poverty and inequalities will only worsen. To the extent that the differential impact of climate hazards on people and communities is determined largely by the prevalence of multiple inequalities in respect of the access to resources and opportunities, policies aimed at building climate resilience provide an opportunity to address the structural determinants of poverty and inequality in their multiple dimensions.

Hear my voice: old age and disability are not a curse. A community-based participatory study gathering the lived experiences of persons with disabilities and older people in Tanzania

MRISHO, Mwifadhi
FAKIH, Bakar
GREENWOOD, Margo
STEFF, Marion
2016

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Community based participatory research (CBPR) was used to provide evidence on the specific nature and experiences of persons with disabilities and older people from their own perspectives in Tanzania, through the lens of social, political, economic and cultural inclusion. The aim was to strengthen efforts to provide services for and improve the lives of people living in the rural and urban settings of Nachingwea and Kibaha Urban Municipal Council. Twenty-nine peer researchers (nine persons with disabilities, 10 older people and 10 Tanzanian Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) members working in these communities) were involved in the study. A total of 106 stories were collected. Eight priority areas emerged and were chosen by peer researchers for further discussion in groups: access to education and quality learning; access to health services; issues fed back from NGOs; poverty relating to income and dependence; attitudes towards witchcraft and albinism; relationship difficulties and marriage breakdowns; sexual violence and gender issues; poor treatment from family
 

Disability inclusion : topic guide

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
November 2015

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This topic guide summarises evidence on the key debates and challenges of disability inclusion in development and humanitarian response. Disability does not necessary imply limited wellbeing and poverty. Yet there is growing evidence that the estimated one billion people with disabilities face attitudinal, physical and institutional barriers that result in multi-dimensional poverty, exclusion and marginalisation. Disability inclusion could increase earnings, tax revenues, and individual and societal wellbeing. It need not be costly or complicated. Inclusive approaches are more cost-effective than piecemeal disability interventions. GSDRC Topic Guides aim to provide a clear, concise and objective report on findings from rigorous research on critical areas of development policy. Their purpose is to inform policymakers and practitioners of the key debates and evidence on the topic of focus, to support informed decision-making

Available in both pdf and online versions

Leave no one behind : the real bottom billion

BHATKAL, Tanvi
SAMMAN, Emma
STUART, Elizabeth
September 2015

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"This paper sets out why the ‘leave no one behind’ agenda should be a key priority (i) in implementing the SDGs in all countries and (ii) in assessing whether or not governments have met them. It underlines how deeply entrenched marginalisation is, how vulnerabilities often overlap to amplify multiple disadvantages, and just how little we know about some groups that are likely to be deprived"

Development for all 2015-2020 : strategy for strengthening disability-inclusive development in Australia’s aid program

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE (DFAT)
May 2015

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The objective of Australia’s work in disability-inclusive development is to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities in developing countries by enhancing participation and empowerment of people with disabilities, reducing poverty among people with disabilities and improving equality for people with disabilities in all areas of public life. This strategy document “provides guidance for DFAT’s strategic decision making by articulating key opportunities for strengthening disability-inclusive development where DFAT can make the most difference—addressing the key challenges of disability-inclusive development in the Indo-Pacific, using Australia’s expertise, and aligning our efforts with the priorities of Australia’s aid program. For external stakeholders, this strategy is a non-binding public articulation of the Australian Government’s continued commitment to disability-inclusive development and highlights our approach, principles and priorities”

 

Applied research concerning inclusion of persons with disabilities in systems of social protection - social protection policy analysis, Peru

VASQUEZ, Alberto
GOTELLI, Veronica
BLANCHET, Karl
WALSHAM, Matthew
May 2015

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The effect of mainstream social protection policies in Peru on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in Peruvian society are explored in the both economic and social context.  The policy analysis was conducted to understand past successes and failures and to plan for future policy implementation and the research took place alongside a similar analysis in Tanzania.  A policy research guideline was developed allowing cross-country comparison between the two studies. A literature review was carried out to identify social protection policies and programmes in Peru. In addition, 22 interviews were held with key stakeholders, including organisations of persons with disabilities, to explore more in-depth information on the impact of major policies. Social protection policies, health, education and employment issues for people with disabilities are covered. Associated qualitative and quantitative reports are available.

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