Facilitating Disability Inclusive Development in Lao PDR by Improving Access to Social and Economic Services: A Scoping Review of Contexts and Concepts

Peer-reviewed article
(2014 Feb) Ratchasuda International Conference on Disability 13-23


Thoresen, S. and Fielding, A. and Gillieatt, S. and Campbell, N.


People with disability are among the most vulnerable in the world. Regardless of context, people with disability are at higher risk of social and economic exclusion; have lower levels of education attainment; poorer employment prospects and outcomes; experience discrimination and stigmatization; and have poorer health status, overall wellbeing, and quality of life than people without disability. There is also a risk of multiple disadvantages related to gender, ethnicity, religion, and social background. The international community has recognized the vulnerability of people with disability and new programs and policies to facilitate disability inclusive development are being implemented in many countries. This paper provides an overview of the literature about disability in Lao PDR related to the inclusive-development agenda. This scoping review of the formal literature supports a larger research project identifying barriers and facilitators to social and economic participation for people with disability in Lao PDR, and is complemented by additional hand searches of both formal and informal or grey literature. A systematic search related to disability in Lao PDR was carried out in November 2013 in Medline, Psychlnfo, and ScienceDirect. A total of 1,746 publications of potential interest were identified. After title and abstract review, 20 publications were selected. This paper discusses disability-inclusive development in Lao PDR in the context of both the formal and informal literature. Our findings suggest that there are very few empirical studies related to disability inclusive development in Lao PDR. This paper will summarize areas and themes covered in both the formal and informal literature and propose areas requiring further investigation.