Beyond visibility: A learning Brief on Vulnerability Focal Point Approach

Humanity and Inclusion
January 2023

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This fact sheet presents the main lessons learned and the factors that helped and hindered the use of the intervention called the Vulnerability Focal Point (VFP) approach to improve access to and use of SRH services by people with disabilities.

The lessons learned from the VFP approach provide a reflection on what has worked and what has not. In addition, this note recommends ways to further improve the approach based on the experience and reflections of key stakeholders, including project beneficiaries (people with disabilities in the selected sites), VFPs, respective local government representatives, Humanity & Inclusion (HI) and its partners, and donors. The lessons learned will be crucial for making informed decisions about the continuation, scaling up, replication and sustainability of the VFP approach in the future.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Equalizing access to the labor market for persons with disabilities

International Disability Alliance
August 2022

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A technical paper on implementing Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The paper draws on an extensive range of primary and secondary data, generated within the Inclusive Futures consortium. Data include focus group discussions with organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) in Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, as well as key informant interviews conducted with Inclusion Works partners and stakeholders from each of the countries. In addition, the report and the recommendations were enriched by the Learning and Exchange Workshop on Access to Employment and Inclusive Programming in May 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya, jointly organized by IDA, Inclusive Futures consortium, the African Disability Forum and United Disabled Persons of Kenya.

Journal for International Development: Dilemmas and Developments in Disability Inclusive Employment with a focus on low and middle income settings

Institute of Development Studies, Inclusion International and other various authors
August 2022

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This is a special edition of the Journal of International Development focusing on the dilemmas and developments in disability inclusive employment with a focus on low and middle income settings. This collection of papers provides a rich and diverse set of perspectives and insights regarding the current state of play for disability inclusive employment as a global aspiration.

Inclusive Workplaces Toolkit

Inclusion International
June 2022

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The Inclusive Workplaces toolkit shows employers how to make their workplaces inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities. It includes clear guidance on taking action for accessible recruitment, hiring, communication at work, organisational policies, and more, and includes templates and useful resources for employers to implement in their workplaces.

Through the Inclusion Works project, Inclusion International asked employers what help and information they needed to make their workplaces more inclusive. Employers told us that they needed tools and resources to ensure that they would have the knowledge and information to deliver good support to people with intellectual disabilities in their workplace.

People with intellectual disabilities told us what employers need to do differently to make their workplaces more inclusive. The Inclusive Workplaces guide builds on these recommendations and call for inclusion from self-advocates to create a practical tool for employers on how they can take action to create workplaces that are fully inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities.

Qualitative Study Exploring access to learning opportunities for children with disabilities during school closures of COVID-19 in Bangladesh

Mrittika Barua, Sayema Akter, Shamsul Kabir, Faria Binte Arif, Abdul Mannan, Protyasha Ghosh, Jannatul Hridhi, Sumata Chakma, Kamrul Hasan
April 2022

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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant challenges to education globally, as schools were closed, and alternative means had to be sought to enable students to continue with their studies. In the resource-constrained setting of Bangladesh, the pandemic impacted on the education of 37 million children (UNICEF 2021), of whom children with disabilities have been amongst the most severely affected. Already disadvantaged compared to children without disabilities in terms of access to education, the pandemic and the challenges of accessing remote learning have deepened inequalities between children with disabilities and their able-bodied peers. This study was undertaken as part of DID Task Order 13 Bangladesh, the goal of which is for girls and boys with disabilities to have equal access to quality education and support. Interventions are based in the two districts of Narsingdi and Siranjganj and the subdistricts of Narsingdi Sadar, Tarash and Sirajganj Sadar. The aim of this research was to explore the experiences of children with disabilities, their parents and teachers in respect of access to learning opportunities during school closures and beyond. Its findings inform the interventions of the project, specifically the support required for individual learners with disabilities and their families as well as for the schools where they are enrolled. Method: This qualitative study was carried out in the three sub-districts of Bangladesh mentioned above and based in schools denoted for project intervention. Children with disabilities were purposively selected from school records to represent a range of ages, grades, type of disability and different sexes. Screening was conducted using the UNICEF Child Functioning Module (CFM). Data was collected between October 2021 and February 2022 and included in-depth interviews with 22 children with disabilities, 23 caregivers and six teachers, as well as through household and school observations. Findings: Based on the CFM, 91% of the children interviewed have difficulties in more
than one functional domain, with the most common being difficulties in controlling behaviour, learning and communication. The study found the CFM to be more sensitive to identification of functional difficulties than the teachers’ assessments. Through the interviews, a range of challenges were raised regarding continuation of learning during the pandemic. Almost all the children mentioned that they missed their schools, and particularly their friends. Caregivers expressed concern about their children being out of touch with their studies, acknowledging that schools provide an environment that helps students learn. When movements were restricted, and children could not go to
coaching classes or be with their friends, some children displayed regressive behaviour such as increased agitation because of the social isolation. One of the most common supports that facilitated learning during school closures was the appointment of private tutors. In addition, family members helped their children study at home. Where teachers were able to visit children and provide structure and support for home learning (in the form of assignments), this significantly contributed to children’s motivation to continue with their education. While the caregivers tried to support their children as far as possible, several factors impacted negatively on learning viz. lack of motivation of children to continue with their studies, inadequate support from teachers and financial constraints undermining the ability of families to cover the costs of education. Especially challenging was the lack of access to technological support and limited time and skills of parents to support their children with disabilities, in addition to their household responsibilities and other children to look after. Although caregivers talked about the lack of support from teachers, the teachers, on the other hand, mentioned that they were not fully equipped with knowledge and skills to appropriately support learners with disabilities. In some instances, children with disabilities were kept behind a grade for not passing their class assessments or were allowed to progress to the next grade without achieving the required competencies. Observations of homes revealed that almost all of the children with disabilities interviewed were living in low-income households, with overcrowding, outside washrooms, minimal furniture and no conducive study areas. Some houses had mud flooring and tin rooves, posing multiple safety and physical barriers for children with disabilities. School visits enabled identification of inaccessible infrastructure, including access roads, entrances and washrooms. Although all of the schools visited had ramps, none of these were fully usable and none had rails. As schools reopen, interviewees identified various strategies that would contribute to encouraging learners with disabilities to return to school and participate effectively in learning. These include specific focus on learners with disabilities by teachers in order to
provide targeted support; ending discrimination against those who do not perform well academically; and differentiation of the curriculum and assessments for learners with intellectual disabilities. These interventions, together with ensuring accessible school infrastructure, will contribute to creating a more enabling environment for learners with disabilities.
Recommendations: The COVID-19 pandemic has further deepened vulnerability of low income families and exclusion of children with disabilities from education. In order to address the potential widening gap that could be created by a surge of dropouts following school closures, various interventions need to be prioritized. These include building on the strategies of resilience already developed by families to support learning of their children; and enhancing parents’ confidence in providing support themselves. In addition,linkages between home and school need to be strengthened and appropriate learning resources made available to children at home, taking cognizance of the inaccessibility of
technology and remote programmes for children with disabilities (both in terms of devices and connectivity). It is essential that teachers’ role in supporting learning at home for children with disabilities be strengthened; and that teachers are equipped with skills to cater for disability and diversity among learners. This needs to be accompanied by removal of barriers in the built environments of schools and their surrounds.

Global disability financing in the context of Covid-19

Development Initiatives
March 2022

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The main objective of this analysis is to track global financing towards disability in near real time, which is an extension of our work on real-time data on aid before and during Covid-19 and financial tracking on disability investments. The current analysis assesses changes in global disability aid financing in the context of Covid-19 between 2019 and the third quarter (Q3) of 2021. The review uses data from the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and considers full calendar years for 2019 and 2020 and three quarters in the year 2021.

Social protection for disability in Kenya and Uganda - synthesis report

Development Initiatives
January 2022

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In 2021, Development Initiatives analysed how existing social protection programmes benefit persons with disabilities in Uganda and Kenya and associated challenges. The two country reports synthesised in this report interrogate policy frameworks, existing social protection schemes and institutional setups, and track public investment towards disability-specific and mainstream social protection programmes. 

Accessibility audits and improvement of COVID-19 treatment centres in Nigeria

Sightsavers
January 2022

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A learning review was conducted between November 2020 and January 2021 to assess the implementation process and contribute to the evidence of what does and does not work in undertaking accessibility audits in emergency response situations, such as COVID-19, deploying Sightsavers’ accessibility audit methodology and toolkit under the Disability Inclusive Development (DID) programme, Inclusive Futures.

Social protection for disability inclusion in Uganda

Development Initiatives
December 2021

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Investing in disability-inclusive social protection programmes is critical for addressing the diverse risks, poverty, inequalities and exclusion that are often associated with disability. Moreover, persons with disabilities and their families live with lifelong consequences that are exacerbated by disability-related costs and barriers that exclude or limit their active participation in community engagements and socioeconomic spheres.

This paper provides an in-depth assessment of the progress that the Uganda government has made to establish disability-inclusive social protection programmes. The paper reviews the legal and policy frameworks and the institutional arrangement for social protection in Uganda. It also assesses the investment in disability-specific and mainstream social protection programmes based on a budget tracking exercise covering the five financial years (FY) from 2016/17 to 2020/21.

Social protection for disability inclusion in Kenya

Development Initiatives
December 2021

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Disability and poverty are inextricably linked, with lifelong consequences for persons with disabilities and their families. Investing in a disability-inclusive social protection system, therefore, is critical for addressing the diverse risks, inequalities, disability-related costs and barriers that limit the participation of persons with disabilities in their communities.

This analysis provides an in-depth assessment of the progress that the national government of Kenya has made to establish disability-inclusive social protection programmes. It reviews the policy/legal framework and the institutional arrangements for social protection in Kenya. It also reviews public investments in disability-specific and mainstream social protection programmes based on a budget tracking exercise covering five financial years (FY) between 2017/18 and 2021/22.

Uganda's disability data landscape and the economic inclusion of persons with disabilities

Development Initiatives
November 2021

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This report looks at the landscape of data on disability in Uganda – summarising what data on persons with disabilities is available, who produces and uses it, and how – as well as what this means for the economic inclusion of persons with disabilities.

 

For persons with disabilities to benefit from and contribute to society and the economy there needs to be effective policies, programmes and services that support their inclusion, particularly in employment. Reliable information and data on persons with disabilities, known as ‘disability data’, is essential to planning and for decision-making. When it is of high quality, accessible and used effectively, disability data can help organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs), civil society, government and businesses better understand and prioritise interventions that are vital for supporting persons with disabilities and ensuring their inclusion.

 

OPDs, civil society and the government have an important role to play in strengthening the landscape of disability data. Developed as part of Development Initiatives’ work on data to support disability inclusion, in consultation with Uganda’s disability rights movement, this report presents an analysis of Uganda’s landscape of disability data. It highlights important data sources, challenges and recommendations, providing a valuable evidence base to inform efforts aimed at strengthening the enabling environment for disability inclusion.

A disability inclusive response to COVID-19 - four lessons learned about including people with disabilities in humanitarian aid

MORRIS, Lisa
ELLIOTT, Chris
PIERI, Susan
September 2021

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Inclusive Futures played a crucial role in supporting some of the most marginalised people with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper summarises what we learned and it can be used to include people with disabilities in future programming, particularly in contexts at risk of crisis.

Lives turned upside down in COVID-19 times: exploring disabled people's experiences in 5 low-and-middle income countries using narrative interviews

WICKENDEN, Mary
SHAW, Jackie
THOMPSON, Stephen
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
2021

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This article explores COVID-19 related experiences of disabled people in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal and Uganda. Narrative interviews generated storied responses, focussing on respondents' priorities, which enabled us to hear what was most significant for them and their families. 143 interviews were conducted online or by phone by 7 local researchers (3 disabled), with appropriate inclusive support. Nearly everyone was interviewed twice to capture the progression of impacts over time. The data was analysed thematically through a virtual participatory approach. An overarching 'subjective' theme of feelings experienced by the participants was labelled 'destabilisation, disorientation and uncertainty'. We also identified 'concrete' or material impacts. People experienced various dilemmas such as choosing between securing food and keeping safe, and tensions between receiving support and feeling increased vulnerability or dependence, with interplay between the emotions of fear, loss and hope. We found both the concept of liminality and grief models productive in understanding the progression of participants' experiences. Disabled people reported the same feelings, difficulties and impacts as others, reported in other literature, but often their pre-existing disadvantages have been exacerbated by the pandemic, including poverty, gender and impairment related stresses and discrimination, inaccessible services or relief, and exclusion from government initiatives.

Consequences of Exclusion: A Situation Report on Organisations of People with Disabilities and COVID-19 in Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe

September 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities and barriers to social inclusion for people with disabilities. These experiences of social exclusion have been feltto an even greater extent by women with disabilities and under-represented groups of people with disabilities, leading to a range of effects on the operations and priorities of OPDs. To address a critical gap in the evidence base, the Disability Inclusion Helpdesk carried out a rapid assessment of the role of OPDs during the pandemic, and how the pandemic has affected OPDs’ operations and priorities.

Labour Market Assessment: Uganda 2021 refresh

INCLUSIVE FUTURES
BROWN, SIMON
OBOSI, Shikuku
August 2021

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This Labour Market Assessment for Uganda is a refresh of the initial assessments done in 2019 for the Inclusion Works programme. The assessment adopts a Markets for Poor (M4P) approach to mapping demand for and supply of labour, supporting functions and regulatory frameworks; recognising that labour markets conditions will have evolved since 2019, especially in light of COVID-19. The perspectives of jobseekers, employers, and organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) are also included in this analysis. The report provides insights into market changes and recommendations to enable Inclusion Works programming to adapt and be more effective in their interventions.

Labour Market Assessment: Nigeria 2021 refresh

INCLUSIVE FUTURES
BROWN, Simon
August 2021

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This Labour Market Assessment for Nigeria is a refresh of the initial assessments done in 2019 for the Inclusion Works programme. The assessment adopts a Markets for Poor (M4P) approach to mapping demand for and supply of labour, supporting functions and regulatory frameworks; recognising that labour markets conditions will have evolved since 2019, especially in light of COVID-19. The perspectives of jobseekers, employers, and organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) are also included in this analysis. The report provides insights into market changes and recommendations to enable Inclusion Works programming to adapt and be more effective in their interventions.

Labour Market Assessment: Kenya 2021 refresh

INCLUSIVE FUTURES
BROWN, SIMON
OBOSI, Shikuku
August 2021

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This Labour Market Assessment for Kenya is a refresh of the initial assessments done in 2019 for the Inclusion Works programme. The assessment adopts a Markets for Poor (M4P) approach to mapping demand for and supply of labour, supporting functions and regulatory frameworks; recognising that labour markets conditions will have evolved since 2019, especially in light of COVID-19. The perspectives of jobseekers, employers, and organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) are also included in this analysis. The report provides insights into market changes and recommendations to enable Inclusion Works programming to adapt and be more effective in their interventions.

Labour Market Assessment: Bangladesh 2021 refresh

INCLUSIVE FUTURES
BROWN, SIMON
August 2021

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This Labour Market Assessment for Bangladesh is a refresh of the initial assessments done in 2019 for the Inclusion Works programme. The assessment adopts a Markets for Poor (M4P) approach to mapping demand for and supply of labour, supporting functions and regulatory frameworks; recognising that labour markets conditions will have evolved since 2019, especially in light of COVID-19. The perspectives of jobseekers, employers, and organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) are also included in this analysis. The report provides insights into market changes and recommendations to enable Inclusion Works programming to adapt and be more effective in their interventions.

Disability Inclusion Helpdesk, July 2021 Evidence digest: disability-inclusive education in focus

SDDirect
July 2021

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Disability Inclusion Helpdesk evidence digest highlights the latest evidence, guidance, and programme learning on inclusive education. Within it you’ll also find the latest evidence, guidance and policy news on a range of other disability inclusion topics including stigma, discrimination, and violence; poverty, social protection, and employment; inclusive health systems; and disability inclusion in humanitarian settings.

How much do counties in Kenya invest in disability inclusion? A synthesis report

DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
July 2021

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This synthesis report summarise the major findings from those five briefings, and provide context and supplementary information. It first discusses the disability prevalence rates at national and county level, and reasons for the discrepancies between the last two censuses. It then examines policy, governance and institutional set up for inclusions of persons with disabilities. Then it presents the major findings from the five budget-tracking exercises. The report ends with general conclusions and recommendations.

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