Evidence briefs

8 results

How can social protection responses to COVID-19 be made disability inclusive?

The COVID-19 pandemic and strategies essential for its containment are resulting in severe strains on economies, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). These impacts will be felt most by groups already in or at risk of poverty, including the estimated 1 billion people with disabilities globally. Interventions to address the short- and long-term economic effects of the pandemic are urgently needed. Some countries have begun implementing or announced plans for interventions addressing the economic impacts of COVID-19, such as food assistance, emergency cash transfers, unemployment assistance or expansions to existing social protection programmes. As these programmes are developed, it is important to consider the extent to which their design and delivery is inclusive of people with disabilities. Failure to adequately include people with disabilities in this process will lead to widening inequalities.

  • Livelihood & Social Protection
  • COVID-19
  • Eligibility criteria should be reviewed to avoid the widespread exclusion of people with disabilities in need of support during COVID-19.
  • Application procedures and facilities for social protection and relief interventions must be accessible to people with all types of disabilities.
  • Mechanisms for delivering social protection and other must be accessible and support the agency of people with disabilities
  • The content of COVID-19 economic responses must be relevant to people with disabilities and adequate to meet their needs.
  • Social protection should be coordinated with other sectors and actors to develop complementary interventions

How can we overcome barriers to accessing rehabilitation for persons with disabilities in LMIC?

Rehabilitation is described as a set of measures to optimise the functioning of individuals, and is important for wellbeing, participation and quality of life. Rehabilitation includes diagnosis, treatments, surgeries, assistive devices and therapies. Not all people who need rehabilitation are people with disabilities, and not all people with disabilities need rehabilitation. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently estimated that 1 in 3 people globally (2.41 billion people) would benefit from rehabilitation: this number has increased nearly two thirds since 1990, due to population growth and increase in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). In contrast, there are estimated to be less than 10 skilled rehabilitation practitioners per million population in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs), and only 5 – 15% of people in need of assistive devices are thought to have received them.

  • Livelihood & Social Protection
  • Health
  • Use updated WHO guidance to strengthen and better integrate rehabilitation services into health systems
  • Build the capacity of an indigenous rehabilitation workforce to better meet population rehabilitation needs
  • Identify context-relevant approaches to tackle key barriers to accessing rehabilitation among people with disabilities in LMICs
  • Collect, strengthen and share evidence on what works to improve access to rehabilitation for people with disabilities

What progress has been made to operationalise the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) framework to promote inclusive employment?

Employment contributes to well-being and dignity. Additionally, it can break the vicious cycle of poverty and the resulting negative mental health. However, nearly two-thirds of persons with disabilities aged 15 years and over are unemployed in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The ratio of persons with disabilities in employment compared to the general population in employment is almost half. Furthermore, among people with disabilities who are employed, two-thirds continue to experience workplace barriers. Inequality and discrimination in employment deprive persons with disabilities of their rights. Goal 8 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development explicitly calls for “promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.” The United Nations’ ‘Disability and Development’ report highlights the international frameworks relevant to optimize opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in employment, to achieve Goal 8.  This brief will provide an overview of the available literature on LMICs’ efforts to promote inclusive employment underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) framework.

  • Livelihood & Social Protection
  • Cross-cutting
  • National legal and policy frameworks should reflect the rights of persons with disabilities and be aligned with the CRPD principles
  • Adopt a multi-sectoral approach to formulate and implement policies and programmes for inclusive employment
  • Develop clear guidelines to mandate the implementation of policies that promote inclusive employment
  • Ensure adequate financial resources are available to support inclusive employment
  • Use established tools and strategies to monitor and evaluate the policy implementation
  • Invest in future research to inform evidence-based disability related policies

What are the core principles that should be considered in the development of policies and programmes related to persons with disabilities in LMICs?

Globally, over a billion people live with a disability. Nearly 80% live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Disability is associated with lower educational attainment, lower employment rates, and limited access to health services. The United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is a landmark global treaty, that came into force in May 2008, to realise the rights of persons with disabilities. The UNCRPD brought a paradigm shift in recognising the need to address barriers affecting persons with disabilities across all spheres of life. The purpose of the Convention, as stated in Article 1, is “to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.” However, despite development in some areas, persons with disabilities continue to experience numerous barriers to their full inclusion and participation, especially in LMICs. In this brief, we reflect on literature reviewed across the Disability Evidence Portal to summarise the core principles that need to be considered in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes that promote inclusion of persons with disabilities in LMICs.

  • Cross-cutting
  • Health
  • Livelihood & Social Protection
  • Enhance disability inclusion by reducing or eliminating the barriers and/or providing additional required measures to facilitate participation and inclusion.
  • Align national policies and programmes on disability with the UNCRPD framework.
  • Take a collaborative approach to realising the rights of persons with disabilities, and invest in capacity development to achieve the Sustainable Development Agenda of ‘Leave no one behind.’
  • Recognise the influence of intersectionality, and adopt a twin-track approach to promoting disability-inclusive development in all areas including education, health, employment, and social activities.
  • Improve and harmonise data collection to inform appropriate programme design and implementation as well as evaluate the impact of policies and programmes, using standardised approaches that allow disaggregated data by disability status.
  • Further develop the evidence base to inform and guide policy making.

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