Supported Decision Making in South America: Analysis of Three Countries' Experiences.

Peer-reviewed article
(2021 May) Int J Environ Res Public Health, 18


Vásquez Encalada A, Bialik K, Stober K


. Following the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, there has been increased interest in supported decision making (SDM) as a strategy to realize the right to legal capacity of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities. Support for decision making has been delivered formally through SDM services as well as informally through interpersonal networks. Various SDM programs have made efforts to systematize informal support, showcasing a variety of SDM delivery models that could benefit SDM implementation in low- and middle-income countries. This article examines and discusses three SDM projects in South America (Colombia, Peru, and Argentina) that have been directly implemented by civil society organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities and their families. Analyzed program components include person-centered planning, the nature of support relationships, the presence of supporter training, community involvement, and the utilization of quality assurance measures such as monitoring and program evaluation. The results and learning from these initiatives constitute a valuable source of information for legislators and policymakers for the future development of supported decision-making programs, which are an essential form of support and a mechanism for fulfilling the right to legal capacity in low resource settings.