Bridging the Gap: Examining Disability and Development in Four African Countries

Lead Research Organisation: Leonard Cheshire Disability
Department Name: Research Centre

Abstract

Disabled people are among the poorest and most socially excluded groups in every society (World Bank, 2011). They are disproportionately represented in lower income countries and it has long been argued that poverty and disability are both a cause and a consequence of each other (DFID 2000; Yeo and Moore 2003). Despite some attempts to include disabled people in global development and poverty alleviation strategies, overall these have not been done in a systematic or sustainable way This research builds upon previous work undertaken by the Centre, including in the DFID-funded Cross-Cutting Disability Research Programme, which identified a series of common systemic barriers that disabled people encounter when accessing services, ranging from attitudinal, financial and non-financial resources, and lack information and inclusion in national level poverty reduction strategies. This research will build upon this work to inform understanding of the correlation that between these barriers, disability, and multidimensional poverty

It must be recognised that in settings where everyone is poor, where few people access wage labour, where school attendance is paltry, healthcare access is limited and social protection is almost non-existent then disabled people are not necessarily very different from their neighbours. Yet, as countries develop, there is emerging evidence of a 'development gap' (Groce and Kett, 2013; Groce et al., 2011; Lang and Murangira, 2009), whereby disabled people fall behind. Building on the World Report on Disability (2011), this study will contribute to understanding how this development gap occurs, and what can be done to bridge the gap - a key and original theme of this study

The research will focus on 4 low-income Sub-Saharan African countries: Kenya, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia. All have shown some development over the past decades, but there is still variation within their rankings in the Human Development Index (HDI) to enable cross-country comparisons to be made and provide an in-depth, nuanced understanding of how disabled people are more at risk of being excluded as social and economic development increases.

The research will undertake comprehensive policy analysis that explores the apparent gaps between policy formulation and implementation, which may be a result of contradictions or overlap. It will examine the extent to which policies are actually addressing unmet needs and rights of disabled people and the level of financial and human resources required to ensure they are addressed. It will identify ways to overcome challenges and promote improved monitoring and evaluation strategies. This implies the need to maximise the quality of data governments obtain from census and national surveys. Consequently, in addition to policy and programme analysis, secondary analysis of existing data in the 4 countries will be conducted to highlight the lack of disability-specific information as it relates to multidimensional poverty and barriers to inclusion. To address this expected gap, a household level survey will be piloted to test the "disability and development gap" hypothesis, taking into account age, sex, location and impairment status, comparing disabled and non-disabled people. This will be supplemented by qualitative research with communities and individuals to provide in-depth context

The research will explore the nexus between disability, lack of inclusion, barriers and multidimensional poverty; provide guidance as to how the data gaps can be filled; and identify ways of overcoming barriers. The results will be of primary benefit to disabled people and their families as the direct targets of policies and practices that can be improved as a result of the research, and indirectly through the expected impact of the research on governments, policymakers, national statistics offices, researchers, disabled people's organisations, and other stakeholders working to alleviate poverty in Africa

Planned Impact

The Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre has a global reputation in disability and international development research, regularly undertaking consultancies for UN agencies, and bilateral and multilateral donors. The research is timely as the negotiations of the post-2015 agenda will take place during the programme's lifecycle, and thus the results that are generated have the potential for global impact, by feeding directly into UN policy and programming. The Centre is in a unique position to maximise the impact of this programme, having on-going interactions and significant influence at the UN level.

The primary beneficiaries of the programme will include disabled people and their representation organisations, and National Disability Commissions in the four countries, who are well positioned to utilise the findings in policy, programming, advocacy and campaigning. The research will provide an invaluable and rich data resource - one currently lacking - to engage and negotiate with national governments and donor agencies.

The results of research exploring the 'disability and development gap' have the potential to make a significant contribution to discussions around multidimensional poverty to academics and practitioners in Africa and beyond. The knowledge generated through this research will enable international development policy-makers and practitioners, including donor agencies to prioritise and implement programmes that most efficiently and effectively reduce poverty among disabled adults and children. It will generate new knowledge about the interactions between disability, multidimensional poverty and barriers, and provide guidance to national governments, policy makers, and statistics offices to ensure the specific inclusion of disabled people in national surveys. There is growing momentum in mainstreaming a disability component within national policies in these countries, but many ministries are grappling with the practicalities implementation. The on-going engagement with ministries throughout the lifecycle of this project has the potential to enhance their capacities to effectively design, implement and monitor progressive, human rights-based policies and programmes and that directly address the needs of disabled people. It will also facilitate stronger communication across and between ministries and other key stakeholders through its multidisciplinary approach.

Key stakeholder workshops, including representatives from government ministries, UN agencies, DPOs, NGOs and others identified by national partners, will be held in each country at the outset of the programme to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of, have engaged with, and input into the research programme. Following these inception meetings, a pan-African follow up meeting will be held to ensure maximum impact by promoting effective South-South communication from the outset. There will also be regular in-country dialogue through face-to-face meetings, as well as briefing papers, policy briefs and research summaries and other outputs during the course of the research to ensure continued engagement. These will be disseminated widely through national and international forums, as well as through a dedicated webpage.

A workshop will be held in each country, the end of programme bringing together key stakeholders to present and discuss the findings and policy implications of the research. These will be of interest to all key stakeholders, including DPOs, government officials, donor agencies academics and mainstream and disability-focused development partners. A regional end of programme workshop will be held to discuss pan-African implications of the research.

Finally, an end of programme conference (likely in the UK) will showcase key research findings, lessons learned and policy recommendations. In the long-term, it is anticipated that these can be replicated in other low-income countries throughout Africa and globally
 
Description People with disabilities - 15% of the world's population, are disproportionately poorer and more marginalized than their non-disabled peers. While there has been great advances in
education, health, employment and social support systems that are improving the lives of millions over the past decade, there has been little study of how people with disabilities have fared. We believed - and in this study researched whether there exists a 'disability and development gap'. We argued based on previous observations, that unless people with disabilities are systematically included in initiatives in education, health, employment and social support systems, their status remains stationary while that of their non-disabled peers moves ahead. Looking at 4 African countries at different points on the Human Development Index (HDI), all of whom have passed, although not necessarily enforced - the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, we found that a 'disability and development gap' does exist. As hypothesized, in the very poorest country - (Sierra Leone) - the lives of people with disabilities was not very different from that of their non-disabled peers. In those countries that were ranked higher on the HDI - (Uganda, Kenya and Zambia) - where the opportunities for education, employment and social support increased for the general population, people with disabilities did not routinely benefit from the growing prosperity. Their opportunities and options remained stationary, while those of their non-disabled peers surged ahead. (Health was the exception). We take from these findings the fact that governments and civil society must make greater efforts to systematically include people with disabilities in all development efforts - a twin track approach that is both disability-inclusive and disability-specific, if people with disabilities and their families are to benefit to the same degree as all other members of their societies. We can no longer simply assume that people with disabilities will benefit from general progress at the national or community level. Just as development outreach efforts both include and where needed target women or member of ethnic or minority communities, people with disabilities need to also be specifically included - (and their progress regularly monitored and evaluated) - to make sure they will benefit as much as the general population in all development activities.
Exploitation Route This project has given us a wealth of data - and while we've written up some of the findings already, we are currently continuing to work on a number of different publications and presentations for both the academic and policy/public (at DFID, in-country, at UN meetings, in academic settings) presentations to bring the findings - and our argument regarding a 'disability and development gap' - forward. We are developing a new round of research with our in-country and international partners based on findings from this project and are using components of the data for MSc and PhD dissertation materials.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice

 
Description Year 3: A major international two-day conference was held on the 12-13 March in London at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. Professor Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Advisor at DFID, opened the conference, and results from the project were presented and disseminated to an audience of over 150 people from more than 40 countries. Speakers and discussants at the conference came from a broad range of sectors, including academia, but also UN agencies, the business sector, civil society and many DFID representatives. The audience was similarly broad, and also included DPO representatives, donor organisations, NGOs, international High Commissions, academics and students. Results from the programme are also being disseminated in each focus country. Results will be presented in the districts where research was undertaken, to audiences including people with disabilities who were part of the research, as well as local government officials and other key stakeholders. At the national level, audiences will include ministry officials, representatives from NGOs, civil society and DPOs, as well as academia. Results of the programme are being developed into a series of academic journal articles. The first of these has been accepted and will form a special issue of the African Journal of Disability. This is an open source journal and will therefore make the results usable by the largest possible audience, particularly by academics and civil society organisations (including DPOs) based in Africa. We are informed that partnership on this project has informed policy changes in country. For example, our partner Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD) reports that information and insight gained from being a research partner in this Bridging the Gap project significantly informed their new 'Strategic Plan 2017-2021.' www.daily-mail.co.zm/strategic-plan-launched-for-euqal-opportunities/ . Our Kenya partners also inform us that work on this project has been directly relevant to the advice and guidance they are providing their ministers with on disability and development at the national level. Collaboration between partnerships is also an outcome of this project. Our University of Zambia colleagues, working with Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities reports that they have just received a $10,000 'development' grant from the Zambia office of the International Labour Organisation to take forward research questions the collaborated on under Bridging the Gap. Participation by in-country colleagues has also contributed to inclusion of disability on academic curriculums. For example, in-country partners at Makerere University in Uganda have developed and beginning next year, will be requiring all graduate Social Work students to take a semester long course as part of their core curriculum training. Professor Tom Shakespeare presented results from the research to a public audience at the World Bank in Washington DC, as well as talks at the University of Durham, the University of Leeds and Uppsala University. A workshop on writing for academia and strategies for academic publication for African partners, which was initially presented in Ghana by Professor Leslie Swartz has been recorded and will be made available online to a public audience. A series of publications and presentations at national and international meetings are now in preparation for dissemination this coming year. Year I - activities to get the grant up and running have been successful. In this first project year we have participated in: 1. Cambridge Disability Impact Initiative workshop (29 February-1 March). Professor Groce was joined by Mr Anderson Gitonga (UDPK, Kenya) and Mr Edson Ngirabakunzi (NUDIPU, Uganda) and they gave a joint presentation on project progress to-date. There were in-depth discussions on ways in which findings can be communicated to ensuring the greatest positive impact on the lives of persons with disabilities within the wider framework of the SDGs . 2. ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research in Pretoria, 16-18 March. Professor Groce and Professor Andrew State (Makerere University, Uganda) will attend the conference in Pretoria, a key opportunity to raise awareness of the project with other ESRC grant holders and develop key linkages and networks to increase its impact. 3. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Symposium on Disability and the SDGs (Feb 18-19th) - a conference attended by a mixed disciplinary audience, including non-academics from the NGO sector. Professor Groce presented an update on the research, which was well received 4. Press Coverage in project countries. The official project launches were well attended by a variety of stakeholders. These have led to a series of follow up discussions and networking opportunities. Year 2: 5. Presentation of Project, Interim Findings, Ministry of Education (Directorate of Special Education), Kenya, These have led to a series of follow up discussions and networking opportunities. 6. Presentation of Project, Interim Findings, University of Zambia. These have led to a series of follow up discussions and networking opportunities. Year 3 - and beyond Final presentations/ conferences summarizing the project and presenting data related to the project were presented by our in-country partners in Kenya, Zambia and Uganda to audiences composed of academics, government representatives - including from a range of ministries - (education, employment), NGO and advocacy groups (Disabled Peoples' Organizations). Presentations of findings made in a range of academic settings in UK, US, Zambia, Uganda and Kenya. Presentations at Conference of States Partners (CoSP) United Nations, New York; UNICEF and WHO in Geneva. We are currently in the midst of preparing a range of publications that will be reported on further in the next submission periods - but these are intended for a range of academic, social and advocacy audiences.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Presentation to Ministry of Education officials, Kenya (Feb 2017)
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
Impact On Monday 20th February 2017, our research partner United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK) in collaboration with the Directorate of Special Needs Education, Government of Kenya, convened a meeting of stakeholders in Special Needs Education to engage and propose areas of improvement in regard to education of learners with disabilities, particularly in the light of ongoing reforms in the education sector, including the new draft National Policy On Provision of Education and Training for Learners with Disabilities, and the new Directorate of Special Education. Representatives from UDPK and the University of Nairobi presented the (preliminary) education findings from the Bridging the Gap research in Kenya to a range of stakeholders, including the Director and the Assistant Director of the Directorate. These findings are in line with current GoK thinking, and as such, the presentation generated a great deal of interest as the findings will really inform the work of the Directorate and help them identify policy direction. According to representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Services who were at the meeting, they will also be holding a similar forum, so there will also be opportunities in the near future to share findings in the area of social protection and livelihoods.
 
Description QUY TRÌNH XÁC Ð?NH KHUY?T T?T TRONG KHUÔN KH? CHUONG TRÌNH B?O TR? XÃ H?I ? CÁC QU?C GIA THU NH?P TH?P VÀ THU NH?P TRUNG BÌNH: TRU?NG H?P C?A VI?T NAM - (Improving Social Protection Services for People with Disabilities in Vietnam. Co-Published with MOLISA - Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Assistance, Government of Vietnam.
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact In a follow up project funded by Australia's DFAT, we worked in collaboration with the Government of Vietnam's Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, to improve information/ generate greater insights into current practices regarding the assessment qualification system for people with disabilities to national social protection systems. This publication was done in collaboration with the Ministry and has been distributed to over 1000 government offices to help improve service/social protection deliver and increase the voice of people with disabilities themselves in the process. An English version will go up on line within the next month - the Vietnamese version was distributed in Feb 2018. Accompanied by a series of in-country workshops for Government officials and Vietnamese disability rights advocates, undertaken by the original research team - (Groce/Mont/Palmer/Mistra) assembled through this ESRC grant. We continue to work together - 2 academic articles currently in process based on follow up research in-country initially begun under the ESRC project. (Again, thanks for your support!)
 
Title Household Survey 
Description As part of this award, a new Household Survey is being developed and will be implemented in the next few months - (Year 2 of the award). Building on the work undertaken in Year 1 - a review of existing policies, and review and analysis of existing data sets, a survey tool has been developed, tested and will be implemented over the coming three months. Translated into 7 local langugages, the survey will collect data from 1200 housholds in each country (4800 households total) - in the four domains (health, educaiton, employment, social protection) - that will allow us to better understand how persons with disabilites are faring and to comare this with their non-disabled peers and adjoining households with no disabled members. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Survey will be implemented over the coming 2 months in country - at this point, we cannot estimate impact - although it is hoped that this tool will be an important addition to the available body of research tools related to persons with disabilities 
 
Description Addressing global disabling barriers: some issues and challenges from a psychological perspective. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited talk at the School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology, Canterbury, United Kingdom. Talk given by Dr Mark Carew
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Bridging the Gap: Examining Disability and Development in Four African Countries 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Oral presentation at Alter conference, Lille, France by Dr Mark Carew and Prof Nora Groce.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Bridging the Gap: Research Impact. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Oral presentation at the ESRC-DFID Power of Partnerships Grantholder conference, New Delhi, India

Presentation given by Dr Mark Carew and Prof Nora Groce
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Disability Studies Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presentation at the conference, to 50 attendees on "The Disability and Development Gap: examples from health and education."
Presented by Nora Groce and Ellie Cole.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Disability and poverty: a complex and nuanced issue 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A blog discussing key issues and themes related to the project. Published on project website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://gap.leonardcheshire.org/2017/02/08/disability-and-poverty-a-complex-and-nuanced-issue/
 
Description In country policy dialogue, Kenya 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact On Monday 20th February 2017, our research partner United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK) in collaboration with the Directorate of Special Needs Education, Government of Kenya, convened a meeting of stakeholders in Special Needs Education to engage and propose areas of improvement in regard to education of learners with disabilities, particularly in the light of ongoing reforms in the education sector, including the new draft National Policy On Provision of Education and Training for Learners with Disabilities, and the new Directorate of Special Education of Special (SNE).
Representatives from UDPK and the University of Nairobi presented the (preliminary) education findings from the Bridging the Gap research in Kenya to a range of stakeholders, including the Director and the Assistant Director of the Directorate. These findings are in line with current GoK thinking, and as such, the presentation generated a great deal of interest as the findings will really inform the work of the Directorate and help them identify policy direction.
According to representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Services who were at the meeting, they will also be holding a similar forum, so there will also be opportunities in the near future to share findings in the area of social protection and livelihoods.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Lessons from a Decade's Research on Poverty: Innovation, Engagement and Impact 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Dr Maria Kett interviewed about how to achieve impact through research
Blog written from this interview and posted on The Impact Initiative 'The key ingredients in getting from research to impact: top tips interviews'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Levers of success: persons with disabilities doing well in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact n/a
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Levers of success: persons with disabilities doing well in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact n/a
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Opportunities for better data about disability in Liberia? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Blog relating to themes and research areas of this project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://gap.leonardcheshire.org/2017/01/23/opportunities-for-better-data-about-disability-in-liberia/
 
Description Persons with Down syndrome: the unheard voices of caregivers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact A blog on key project themes. Published on project website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://gap.leonardcheshire.org/2017/03/06/persons-with-down-syndrome-the-unheard-voices-of-caregiver...
 
Description Talks about 'Levers of success' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact n/a
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description The challenges for persons with disability in higher education institutions in Uganda: the case of Makerere University 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact A blog, published by a partner for publication on the project website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://gap.leonardcheshire.org/2016/12/16/the-challenges-for-persons-with-disability-in-higher-educa...
 
Description The disability and development gap 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Project PI wrote a blog for Oxfam charity highlighting the project, and why the project is important for development and poverty alleviation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/blog/2015/07/the-disability-and-development-gap
 
Description The impact of Ebola on persons with disabilities in Liberia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Oral presentation to audience at Alter (European Socety for Disability Reseach) in Lille, France (July 2018).based on work by:

Carew M.T, Colbourn, T., Ngufuan, R., Beato, L., Nyehn, B., Cole, E., & Kett, M.'The impact of Ebola on persons with disabilities in Liberi'a.

Approximate audience 150 persons - good discussion and related linkages
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://alterconf2018.sciencesconf.org/
 
Description What contribution can institutions of higher learning make to improving the lives of people with disabilities in sub-Saharan Africa? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact A blog written by project PI, published on the Bridging the Gap website and distributed via social media.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://gap.leonardcheshire.org/2016/12/02/what-contribution-can-institutions-of-higher-learning-make...
 
Description Where are the disabled researchers? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Blog to raise awareness of key issues and themes of the research. Published on project website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://gap.leonardcheshire.org/2017/01/04/where-are-the-disabled-researchers/