Access to Social Protection Among People with Disabilities: Mixed Methods Research from Tanahun, Nepal

Peer-reviewed article
(2019 Apr) The European Journal of Development Research, 31 929-956


Lena Morgon Banks, Matthew Walsham, Shailes Neupane, Saurav Neupane, Yogendra Pradhananga, Mahesh Maharjan, Karl Blanchet & Hannah Kuper


While people with disabilities are often targeted as key beneficiaries of social protection, there is little evidence available on their participation in existing programmes. This study uses mixed methods to explore access to disability-targeted and non-targeted social protection programmes in Nepal, particularly the District of Tanahun. In total, 31% of people with disabilities had Disability Identification Cards, which entitles them to a range of different social protection benefits depending on the card level, including disability-targeted social assistance (received by 13% of people with disabilities). Overall, 37% of people with disabilities received social assistance, which was higher than for people without disabilities (21%). The most commonly accessed form of social assistance was the Old Age Allowance, which had universally high coverage amongst both people with and without disabilities. Uptake of disability-targeted social protection entitlements other than social assistance (e.g. scholarships, discounted transportation and health services) was generally low. Factors impacting upon access included the geographic and financial accessibility of the application process, procedures for determining eligibility and compliance of service providers.

Livelihood & Social Protection