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The Functions of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) in Low and Middle-income Countries: a Literature Review

YOUNG, Rebekah
REEVE, Mathew
GRILLS, Nathan
December 2016

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Purpose: The aim of this study was to review peer-reviewed literature on the roles and functions of Disabled Peoples’ Organisations (DPOs) in low and middle-income countries, and their outputs and outcomes for people with disabilities.

Method: Online databases were searched without date or language limiters (Medline, CINAHL, Scopus, Embase and Cochrane), using a combination of two key word search strategies. Eleven studies were selected for inclusion in this review on the basis of predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Included studies underwent quality assessment using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) and Downs and Black’asss criteria for quality assessment. Data for thematic analysis was then grouped under the broad themes of: participation and factors that facilitate participation; development of partnerships and connections; and self-development and self-help.

Results: There was some evidence within the included studies to suggest that DPOs can produce significant, positive outcomes for persons with disability in terms of factors such as employment rates, access to microfinance and bank loans, accessibility of housing, acquisition of orthopaedic devices, involvement in civil society, development of friendships and networks, and participation in training programmes. Although the studies under review largely did not investigate the long-term impact of the reported DPO functions and outputs, some of the short-term outputs may be considered proximal indicators of outcomes such as increased empowerment and well-being. Conclusion: The 11 studies in this review suggested that DPOs can be effective in achieving their stated aims of promoting well-being, participation and rights of people with disabilities in low and middle- income countries.
 

What works? Promoting the rights of disabled children : guidelines for action

LANSDOWN, Gerison
2003

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The human rights of disabled children are violated in many ways. These guidelines lay out how they are excluded, abused and neglected. The first part of the publication looks at the stories of disabled children themselves. The second part explains how an effective framework can be developed, how the role of civil society can be strengthened and how the needs of children can be met. The guidelines are useful for disabled peoples' organisations, advocacy organisations and disability non-governmental organisations

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