Disability inclusion in social protection (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1069)

Abstract

Query

Identify any examples of integration of disability issues within cash transfer and broader social protection programmes, strategies and policies, in low-income contexts.

Key findings

The literature suggests that the key rationale behind disability inclusive social protection policies and strategies is the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), along with the susceptibility of persons with disabilities to chronic poverty and social exclusion. Examples are provided from Kenya, Rwanda and Indonesia.

Disability inclusive social protection programmes are designed to alleviate the additional cost of the barriers faced by people with disabilities. The implementation of disability inclusive social protection policies faces a number of problems as social protection programmes do not reach the vast majority of people with disabilities. They face physical barriers, communication barriers, attitudinal barriers, and a lack of sensitivity or awareness.

  • Types of programmes: (i) targeted specifically at people with disabilities; (ii) mainstream programmes; and (iii) targeted mainstream programmes explicitly including people with disabilities.
  • Targeting: programmes can target all disabled people, or be means tested for a particular level or type of disability, or targeted at children with disabilities. This tends to be medically focused but targeting on the basis of a combination of medical and social criteria is best as this recognises people’s capabilities if given the right opportunities. Examples of disability inclusive social protection programmes are provided from Zambia, Uganda, India, Afghanistan, and Indonesia, amongst others.
  • Challenges for disability inclusive social protection programmes include: lack of data, costly monitoring systems, costs outweighing the benefits, lack of awareness and access, insufficient budgets, and a disincentive to work.

Social protection programmes on their own will not eliminate the vulnerabilities persons with disabilities face. Therefore complementary programmes are needed to create an enabling environment for people with disabilities, such as adaptations to the built environment, inclusive education, rehabilitation and vocational training services, and the enactment and enforcement of disability legislation.

Citation

Rohwerder, B. Disability inclusion in social protection (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1069). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2014) 12 pp.

Disability inclusion in social protection (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1069)

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