More than 40 years of war, ethnic conflict, violence and poverty have made Afghanistan a country where at least one in five live with a serious physical, sensory, intellectual, or psychosocial disability. Women with disabilities in Afghanistan are considered to be ‘doubly stigmatized’ due to gender inequality and disability stigmatization, and are often hidden from the social and political aspects of life. Although in the post-Taliban era, development interventions backed by international aid have been designed to include women with disabilities, their intersectionalities cutting across class, ethnicity, region, different types of impairments and other positionalities have not been explored to address different needs, barriers and inequalities across various regions. In this context, the Covid 19 crisis has made the lives of Afghan women with disabilities harder due to gender discrimination, stigma and shame, unemployment, lack of mobility, lack of awareness, and insufficient institutional support and infrastructure coupled with widespread feelings of insecurity resulting from conflict and terrorist attacks. Based on both primary and secondary data, this paper will shed a feminist intersectional insight into the plight of women with dis/abled experience during the Covid 19 pandemic in the complex political and social terrain of Afghanistan. The paper will also explore visions for designing interventions aimed at integrating women with disabilities in post Covid development plans.
A brief overview is given of the set up and work of the ICRC's orthopaedic programme in Afghanistan and the life's work of it's head, Alberto Cairo. The impact of COVID-19 and the importance of sport are highlighted.
Led by The Asia Foundation (the Foundation) in Kabul, Afghanistan, the WHO’s and World Banks’ Model Disability Survey (MDS) was implemented in Afghanistan in 2019 to provide rigorous and current data for policy and action. Using an adapted MDS, the MDSA 2019 was designed and implemented to generate representative data at nationally and regionally representative levels.
A complex survey using multistage sampling was administered respectively to adult (18+ years) and child (2–17 years) populations; a total of 14,290 households were surveyed, representing 111,641 Afghans across the country. Separate survey tools were implemented for adults (157 questions) and children (53 questions). Three core tools were developed covering: 1) household characteristics; 2) adult disabilities (related to functioning, health conditions, personal assistance, assistive products and facilitators, health care utilization, well-being and empowerment); 3) child disabilities (related to functioning and health conditions)
Everyday barriers that Afghan women and girls with disabilities face are described. Decades of conflict have decimated government institutions and development efforts have failed to reach many communities most in need. Obtaining access to health care, education, and employment, along with other basic rights, is particularly difficult for Afghan women and girls with disabilities, who face both gender discrimination and stigma and barriers associated with their disability.
This report is based primarily on research by Human Rights Watch researchers from April 2018 through January 2020 in Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif, and Herat, Afghanistan. 23 interviews with women with disabilities and 3 interviews with family members of women and girls with disabilities were conducted. 14 healthcare and education professionals were interviewed, including representatives from the United Nations and international and local nongovernmental organizations providing services to persons with disabilities in Afghanistan
Research articles are:
- Stereotypes about Adults with Learning Disabilities: Are Professionals a Cut Above the Rest?
- Perceptions of Primary Caregivers about Causes and Risk Factors of Cerebral Palsy in Ashanti Region, Ghana
- Changes in Social Participation of Persons Affected by Leprosy, Before and After Multidrug Therapy, in an Endemic State in Eastern India
- Users’ Satisfaction with Assistive Devices in Afghanistan
- Perceived Benefits and Barriers to Exercise among Physically Active and Non-Active Elderly People
Brief reports are:
- The GRID Network: A Community of Practice for Disability Inclusive Development
- A Preliminary Report of the Audiological Profile of Hearing Impaired Pupils in Inclusive Schools in Lagos State, Nigeria
An experiential report is given:
- MAANASI - A Sustained, Innovative, Integrated Mental Healthcare Model in South India
Purpose: The objective of this study was to assess users’ satisfaction and effectiveness of assistive devices in four regions of Afghanistan, namely Mazar-e-Sharif, Ghazni, Jalalabad and Taloqan.
Method: A random sample of 785 users, who were provided with 874 mobility and assistive devices in four regional prosthetic and orthotic workshops of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), participated in the study.
Results: The study revealed that the majority of the participants rated the assistive devices as very useful. While 45% of respondents even described them as excellent, 49% expressed a good level of satisfaction with the services they received at treatment centres. Similarly, the majority of respondents (67%) mentioned a maximum level of improvement, while 15% claimed to have witnessed some improvement in their physical condition. Fitting, comfort, and ease of use, along with durability, weight and appearance were rated as the most important factors of assistive devices. On the other hand, slow service and limited access to maintenance and repair facilities were identified as reasons for dissatisfaction.
Conclusion: The study provided continuous and valuable information to rehabilitation professionals regarding device effectiveness and satisfaction. The findings also recommended a stronger focus on comfort and usefulness of mobility and assistive devices. Lastly, the study suggested that lack of local device-repair service needs to be addressed by rehabilitation professionals.
In light of the importance of disability data collection and the disaggregation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) outcome indicators by disability status, the Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG) undertook an exercise to review, among WG member countries, the extent to which data on SDG indicators currently available can be disaggregated by disability status. Requests for disaggregated SDG data for 13 selected indicators were sent to 146 member countries. 48 countries responded and 39 provided data. Response data is tabulated and discussed.
This report presents research about efforts to meet the needs and uphold the rights of persons with disabilities in four thematic areas: health care, rehabilitation, work and employment, and accessibility and enabling environments. Research findings are drawn from the experiences of landmine and cluster munition survivors and other persons with similar needs in 33 countries experiencing armed conflict or emerging from armed conflict or political or economic transition. Findings are placed within the context of relevant articles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the World Report on Disability
This framework and toolkit have been designed to support practitioners in challenging and deepening inclusiveness in their work. They have been designed in simple language, so the resource should be easy to adapt for the use of field staff as a complement to existing manuals and operational resources on DRM. The practical framework contains the following sections:introduction, framework for inclusive DRM, levels of achievements, and assessing inclusiveness, using the framework for, annexes and Q&A. Throughout the resource, related resources and checklists are provided and the toolbox features cartoons, tools catalogue, learning pills, case studies, poster and 4D lenses. These resources are useful for practitioners who want to develop an understanding of inclusive DRM framework and to learn how to practically assess inclusiveness in in ongoing DRM situations
This toolkit, developed as part of Handicap International’s project ‘Make community-based disaster risk management inclusive in South Asia,’ addresses issues faced by persons with disability and attempts to ensure that services and systems are adapted to meet the diverse needs of the community in reducing risk. It has been designed for use by disaster risk management practitioners and policy makers who wish to understand more about how to make community based disaster risk management (CBDRM) inclusive of persons with disabilities.
The first part establishes the rationale for taking an inclusive approach, firmly establishing the links between disability and disasters and the need for action on inclusion. Part Two provides practical guidance on how to make core CBDRM activities inclusive. Separated into eight individual booklets, it takes each activity in turn and highlights what needs to be taken into account both in planning and in implementation. The Toolbox contains a number of tools to complement the advice given in Part Two and support good practices in implementation. These tools can be taken and used as provided or adapted for use as necessary
"This report is the result of an external and independent evaluation of the Norwe¬gian Support to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the last 11 years. The intention of the evaluation is to analyse the results of targeted and mainstreamed initiatives towards achieving the rights of persons with disabilities...The methodology included field visits in the four case countries: Malawi, Nepal, the Palestinian territory and Uganda to obtain a deeper understanding of how the rights of persons with disabilities have been promoted, and estimate the possible contributions of the Norwegian support. Afghanistan was included as a desk study"
Note: The report is available electronically and in printed version. A braille copy can be downloaded from the web. The four country reports, written in English, are available electronically. The summaries of the country studies are made available electronically, with translations to the relevant local languages Nepali, Arabic and Chewa. In addition an easy-read version in English and Norwegian of the main report is available electronically
This paper discusses the participation of children in school based on disability surveys completed in Afghanistan and Cambodia. Using the model of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), the results of the surveys are analysed and general findings are highlighted. The paper concludes that the ICF can be used as a framework for disability research and acknowledges that cultural differences may impact results
Working Paper Series No 11
This report surveys landmine survivors’ opinions on assistance. The survey includes questionnaires and data from 1,645 survivors in 25 affected countries. The report finds that survivors are rarely included in decisions and activities destined to benefit them and subsequently more than two-thirds think that their needs are not taken into account when their governments makes plans to assist them. This document is useful for people interested in landmine survivor's opinions about governments supporting and reintegrating landmine survivors into society
This article examines the methodology of measuring the prevalence rate of disability through a population based survey using the Capabilities Framework. It presents an example of the methodology used in the National Disability Survey in Afghanistan (NDSA) and discusses the general limitations and political implications involved. This paper is interesting for academics, practitioners and policy makers who are interested in disability prevalence
Working Paper Series No 4
This paper argues that a household cross-sectional survey can provide useful information for policy planning albeit some methodological constraints must be dealt with and some limits are intrinsic to the tool. Despite the need for data on disability in developing countries for policy planning and mainstreaming persons with disability in existing programs of development, very few reliable data collection processes are available, and until the launch of a National Disability Survey in Afghanistan in 2005, stakeholders (Government, NGOs, UN agencies) were basing their programmes on unreliable estimates of prevalence and very few research based analyses
This report, part of the National Disability Survey, presents findings on education for people with disability in Afghanistan. It provides a general profile on the situation of children with disabilities and to a lesser degree, adults. This work also provides insights into the differences in educational opportunities according to the gender and age at which the person became disabled, in addition to urban and rural breakdowns. This resource would be useful for anyone with an interest in Afghanistan, inclusive education and disability and development
This report outlines a series of reports in the National Disability Survey in Afghanistan (NDSA) undertaken by Handicap International on behalf of the government of Afghanistan. The NDSA aims to bridge the knowledge gap regarding the numbers, health, educational and employment situation, livelihoods and social integration of Afghans with disabilities. The Executive summary report presents a brief view of the methodology and results of the NDSA. The first section discusses the methods and field realities. The other sections discuss health, education, livelihood and employment in more detail
This publication provides "...disability-related data and policy-related information so that readers are able to see in detail how a particular country or area defines disability and collects related statistics, and implements the Biwako Millennium Framework, in particular, with regard to the establishment of a relevant institutional framework and policies." It is intended "...that this publication will serve as a basis for continuing dialogue amongst the stakeholders on reviewing current status of Government commitments on disability and serve as an impetus for further actions"
This report , written in a clear, accessible style, aims to identify the main priorities to be followed to improve livelihoods for disabled people and other vulnerable groups in Afghanistan. It pays particular attention to approaches that promote empowerment, mainstreaming and equalisation of opportunities. One aim of this work is to highlight the disability movement in Afghanistan and advocate for government labour laws that encourage the employment of disabled people. This work would be useful for anyone with an interest in livelihoods, disability and development
This comprehensive toolkit gives the basis for the design and implementation of household surveys. It is designed for those interested in understanding disability within a specific social, political, cultural and religious context. The six sections of this document outline how to design, conduct and analyse a survey which focuses on similar issues. Topics in these sections include: understanding the socio-economic context in order to determine the survey objectives, training the interviewers team and conducting field operations to collect the data. This work would be useful for anyone with an interest in data collection, surveys and disability and development
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