NEWS: Disability Inclusion in Poverty Reduction Strategy in Mozambique

Posted on 24 February 2009. Filed under: Case Studies, Inclusion, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), News, Poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Note from We Can Do editor: Many developing countries are required to develop a “Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper” (PRSP) as a condition for receiving debt relief from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This strategy paper is meant to describe how the country will reduce poverty among its citizens. A country’s PRSP can have a profound impact on the policies and programs it implements to fight poverty. But not all PRSPs are fully inclusive of people with disabilities. This can mean they are left behind while others are gaining new opportunities to lift themselves out of poverty. Rosangela Berman Bieler, at the Inter-American Institute on Disability recently circulated the following email on the mailing list for the Global Partnership on Disability and Development describing how people with disabilities were included in the process of developing the PRSP in Mozambique.]

by Rosangela Berman Bieler

Dear Colleagues:

This message is to share a brief report on the Inclusive Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper project in Mozambique, launched in January in Maputo. Our civil society counterparts in Mozambique are FAMOD (Forum of Disability Organizations) and Handicap International. Maria Reina and Deepti Samant of the Global Partnership on Disability and Development Secretariat also joint us for part of the mission.

During the mission, we could establish many alliances with local and international agencies and government officials. Among the various activities that we were involved, we had a very good and participatory DPO training with 25 leaders of FAMOD. Following the meeting, FAMOD is constituting a working group, composed by civil society organizations, to follow up on country Projects like the FTI on Education for All, the Mozambique Tourism Anchor Program (IFC), School Health (MoE), HIV-AIDS and other possible entry points.

We also had a presentation meeting for general stakeholders, held at the World Bank Office in MZ. The activity was a success – full house and many potential partners from all sectors, very interested in working with inclusive approaches for the next cycle of the Country’s poverty reduction plan that may follow the current PARPA, finishing in 2009.

Besides other Inclusive PRSP training and activities to be held in MZ during 2009, we are also planning with GPDD, an International Seminar on Accessibility and Inclusive Tourism in Maputo, in June, and we are looking forward to be able to work in alliance with all the agencies working in the field as well. Inclusive approaches in Tourism can generate local accessibility and development for those who live in the country. Mozambique can really benefit from such an initiative.

In the field of Education, we are very excited with the possibility of having the local NGOs and Networks – such as the Education for All Network that accompanied us during the events – to interact and influence the school construction that will happen now, for the FTI, to make sure they are built accessible.

We are also working in synchrony with the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities, that will go on until 2019. It is possible that MZ hosts the launching of the African Campaign on HIV-AIDS and Disability in October. There are two major FAMOD projects going on in the field and hopefully this can also generate good mainstreaming opportunities.

Our plan is to involve other Portuguese Speaking Countries in most of these activities, as language is on other important cause of exclusion from participation. Hopefully Development Agencies working in other Lusophone countries in Africa (Angola, Cape Verde, Guiné Bissau, Sao Tomé and Prince), and also in East Timor, will be able to partner with this initiative and facilitate this process as well.

All the best,

Rosangela Berman Bieler
Inclusive Development Specialist

Inter-American Institute on Disability & Inclusive Development
– Doing our part on the construction of a society for all –

Rosangela Berman Bieler
Executive Director
Inter-American Institute on Disability & Inclusive Development
Website: www.iidi.org

[Another Note from We Can Do editor: People who wish to learn more about the PRSP process, and how it can be more inclusive of people with disabilities, are encouraged to consult the on-line manual, “Making PRSP Inclusive” at http://www.making-prsp-inclusive.org/]



I received Rosangela Berman Bieler’s note via the GPDD mailing list.

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JOB Post: Education Specialist, Fast Track Initiative, World Bank

Posted on 24 February 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Education, HIV/AIDS, Jobs & Internships, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

ob # 090252
Job Title Education Spec.
Job Family Education
Location: Washington, DC
Appointment International Hire
Job Posted 17-Feb-2009
Closing Date 03-Mar-2009
Language Requirements
English [Essential]
Appointment Type Term (Duration: 2 yrs)
Background / General description
THIS IS A 2 YEAR TERM POSITION WITH POSSIBLE EXTENSION TO 3 YEARS.
To apply go to http://extjobs.worldbank.org/external/default/main?pagePK=64273552&piPK=64273556&theSitePK=1058433&JobNo=090252&order=descending&sortBy=job-req-num&location=ALL&menuPK=64262364

The Fast Track Initiative (FTI) is a global partnership launched in 2002 to accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of universal quality primary education by 2015. All low-income countries which demonstrate serious commitment to achieving universal primary completion can receive support from FTI. The FTI is a high visibility and politically sensitive aid platform which currently provides technical and financial support to over 50 countries, with the majority in Africa. The FTI provides direct financial support to countries with endorsed education sector plans through a multi-donor Catalytic Fund which currently has over $1,400 million in commitments through 2009, making it the second largest source of financing for basic education in low income countries. It will also provide support to conflict-affected and other fragile states through the recently created Education Transition Fund managed by UNICEF. The FTI Partnership is supported by a Secretariat housed in the World Bank in Washington, DC.

Duties and Accountabilities
The Education Specialist will provide support to countries developing education sector plans and programs to reach the most vulnerable populations who constitute the majority of out-of-school children. S/he will also work with FTI Secretariat Staff, FTI partners, country donors, civil society organizations and the World Bank to provide substantive input and technical support on a range of education and development topics such as improving quality/learning outcomes; fragile states; strengthening in-country processes; donor harmonization; improving gaps in policy, financing, data, and capacity development; and FTI’s response to HIV/AIDS, gender, and disability issues. S/he will report to the Head of the FTI Secretariat and support and collaborate with the FTI Secretariats’ Senior Education Specialists who lead FTI’s work on learning outcomes and country level processes. Specific responsibilities will include:
1. Out of School/Vulnerable Children Coordinate partnership planning and processes to address key constraints for vulnerable populations to achieving the education MDG.
• Assist in designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating a targeted outreach program to reach the populations most at risk of not benefiting from EFA/FTI programs.
• Develop a results framework for working with vulnerable populations. Develop and monitor indicators and activities linked to specific marginalized populations (gender, poverty, rural/urban, disability, and child labor).
• Provide background research on education and development policies as appropriate.
• Strengthen the policy dialogue within the FTI partnership by researching the donor partners’ statements on policy (user fees, language of instruction, disability, gender, etc.) and identifying common principles and shared understandings.
• Liaise with the Interagency Task Team on HIV/AIDS and education and strengthen mechanisms to ensure that this collaboration between education and HIV/AIDS is brought down to the country level.
• Represent the FTI Secretariat on the INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility

2. Country Focal Point Serve as focal point for a select number of FTI endorsed and potential countries.
• Act as first line of contact for all FTI communications with coordinating agency.
• Provide and seek information on ESP development and implementation, including FTI trust fund issues, application procedures, and key events such as joint annual reviews.
• Ensure tools such as the capacity development, inclusion/equity, HIV/AIDs, School Health are utilized when LDGs are developing their ESPs.
• Conduct the FTI Secretariat’s support and advice on ‘Light Touch’ review of ESPs prior to endorsement.
• Monitor and provide guidance to fragile states as they progress through the single entry process.

3. Learning Outcomes Support the FTI Secretariat and Partnership’s work to develop its work plan and activities on learning outcomes within the FTI partnership.
• Provide research and other support for the FTI task team on education quality.
• Provide support for the coordination of partnership planning and processes for measuring learning outcomes in FTI countries.
• Assist in communicating with country Local Education Groups/Coordinating agencies (CA) to gauge interest in their participating in international assessments of learning/quality.

Selection Criteria
• Education: An advanced degree in education or related fields.

• A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience working in the education sector.

• Strong knowledge of and commitment to the principles and procedures of the FTI.

• Knowledge of fragile states policies and financing mechanisms.

• Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in the use of education data, and social and institutional research analytical tools.

• Knowledge of education operations in the World Bank or other major donor or UN agencies.

• Experience with dialogue with government and other partners, including bilateral donors, multilateral organizations, and NGOs.

• Proven ability to work with peers, managers, and a diverse range of partners including donors, civil society groups, governments, and academic institutions.

• Ability to work well in a small team, operate under pressure, deliver high quality work within deadlines, and meet team objectives.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

To apply go to http://extjobs.worldbank.org/external/default/main?pagePK=64273552&piPK=64273556&theSitePK=1058433&JobNo=090252&order=descending&sortBy=job-req-num&location=ALL&menuPK=64262364



I received this announcement via the Global Partnership on Disability and Development (GPDD) mailing list. For other jobs at the World Bank, consult the World Bank Employment page. Most jobs at the World Bank are not disability related, but a few are.

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Including Everybody: Website on Disability and MDGs Launched

Posted on 26 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Health, HIV/AIDS, Inclusion, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), News, Opinion, Policy & Legislation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
End poverty and hunger. Put all children in school. Empower women. Stop children from dying. Keep pregnant and birthing mothers healthy. Fight AIDS, malaria, and other disease. Create a sustainable environment. And promote global cooperation. These are the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)–an important set of goals agreed upon by key leaders and heads of state from around the world in September 2000. No, they don’t mention people with disabilities at all–and I will come back to this point in a few paragraphs. Or you can ignore me and go straight to the new website on disability and the MDGs. But in theory, the MDGs are meant to help everyone.

Each goal has a set of specific targets to be achieved, most with the deadline set for 2015. For example, the poverty goal includes a target to cut the number of people living on less than $1 a day in half by 2015. And the goal on child mortality includes a target to cut the child mortality rate by two-thirds among children below age 5. Many country governments, multi-lateral development banks, international development organizations, and donors have invested billions of dollars into projects meant to help more countries and regions meet the Millennium Development Goals.

What has the results been? Mixed. Some of the goals, such as the targets for reducing poverty and hunger, or in putting all children in primary school, have been met–and exceeded in many countries particularly in eastern Asia. Progress in southern Asia has helped also. But many countries in sub-Saharan Africa lag far behind in meeting many of the MDGs.

You can read more about the overall progress–or lack of it–at http://www.undp.org/mdg/basics_ontrack.shtml. Or if you only want to look up the progress in the country where you live, work, or care about the most, go to http://www.undp.org/mdg/tracking_countryreports2.shtml.

People with Disabilities and the MDGs
But what about people with disabilities? Unfortunately, they have been so invisible that most programs and governments don’t even count them. That means it’s hard to find reliable numbers that measure whether people with disabilities are included–or left behind–in the haphazard progress that has been made toward the MDGs. But, we can make some educated guesses.

For example, what limited numbers do exist estimate that possibly as many as 98% of children with disabilities in some developing countries never go to school. Personally, I doubt this number is universally true. For one thing, there is a great deal of variation from country to country in how proactive they are about finding creative ways to include children with disabilities in school. Read Making Schools Inclusive: How Change Can Happen: Save the Children’s Experience (PDF format, 4.14 Mb) for examples of progress.

Then, there is probably some variation depending on the disability. A child with a relatively mild walking-related disability, for example, might have only minor difficulty reaching school if it is not too far. Or a child with undiagnosed and unaccommodated dyslexia might sometimes make it through a few years of school, and even learn a little, before they quit in frustration.

But if that 98% figure is anywhere close to the mark, then it is safe to say that the MDG target on universal primary education has failed disabled children miserably. We do know that they are very disproportionately left behind: the UK Department of International Development (DFID) says that one-third of the 72 million children who are out of school have disabilities, even though people with disabilities are only an estimated 10 percent of the world population in general. And this only covers the education-related target of the MDGs; the new website on disability and the MDGs points out gaps in all the rest.

Disability Inclusion is Everyone’s Business
So what’s the answer to this problem? A thorough response to this question would fill a book. One thing, however, is clear: It will not be resolved by any one government or organization working in isolation. And it certainly will not happen if resource-strapped disability-oriented organizations are left to tackle the problem alone. It will take many governments, agencies, and organizations working together–including those that do not normally specialize in disability issues. In short, everybody who is doing anything to address the MDGs needs to identify better ways to include people with disabilities in the work they’re already doing.

This begins by increasing everyone’s awareness of the complex relationship between disability and the MDGs. By “everyone” I mean both disability advocates (so they can help advocate the issue) and also mainstream international development professionals (so they can find ways to ensure their programs are not inadvertently leaving disabled people behind). Either way, you can start learning at the new website on disability and the Millennium Development Goals, Include Everybody, at:

http://www.includeeverybody.org/

What Do I Think of “Include Everybody”?
When you consider that this website is brand new, I think it makes an excellent start at covering the issues. In the long run, as with any new endeavor, I see room for them to expand. For example, their page on achieving universal primary school education or the page on promoting gender equality and empowering women could usefully link to publications such as Education for All: a gender and disability perspective (PDF format, 151 Kb). Or their page on combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases could link to the on-line global survey on disability and HIV/AIDS.

They also could consider eventually developing a one to two page, attractive looking, factsheet on disability and the MDGs that advocates could print out and disseminate when educating others about the topic. They also could consider developing a similarly attractive, one-page factsheet for each of the MDGs individually. The latter could be useful, for example, for passing along to a specialist who only wants to read the information on child mortality without also having to wade through a lot of detail on environmental sustainability. Or vice versa.

But, for now, this web site is a good place to start learning.

http://www.includeeverybody.org/links.php



The Include Everybody website has been publicized in several different locations by now, including the GPDD mailing list, the Intl-Dev mailing list, Joan Durocher’s mailing list, and others.

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Disabled Girls in the Classroom: Finding What We Don’t Know

Posted on 25 August 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Reports, Violence, Women, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

A report entitled Education for All: a gender and disability perspective (PDF format, 151 Kb) discusses what we don’t know about girls with disabilities in relation to education, and what ought to be done about it.

Readers familiar with gender issues within education know that, in many countries, girls are still more likely to drop out of school–if they ever attend at all. They may be needed at home to fetch the water; they may be afraid of being sexually assaulted on the way to school; or they may be embarrassed about managing their menustration at schools where there is no separate bathroom for girls–or perhaps no bathrooms at all.

Regular We Can Do readers and others familiar with the education field may also recall that about 77 million primary school-aged children today are not enrolled in school–and about one-third of them have disabilities. Schools are reluctant to enroll disabled students; parents may fear subjecting children with disabilities to bullying from the community and thus keep them at home; or decision makers may simply assume that disabled students either cannot learn or would be unable to use their educational degree later on because “no one wants to hire disabled workers.”

But what of girls with disabilities? Being a double minority does tend to come with a triple whammy. Disabled girls are excluded because they have disabilities; they are excluded because they are girls; and then they are excluded yet again when programs might target girls without including disabled girls, or when programs might target children with disabilities without considering the impact of gender.

This would seem to imply that girls with disabilities may face a unique set of barriers when pursuing an education–barriers that neither non-disabled girls nor disabled boys need to consider. If a unique set of barriers, then surely a unique set of solutions would also be needed to ensure that the push to put the last 77 million children into school does not leave behind girls with disabilities. But, how can we tackle these barriers if we don’t have a clear picture of what they are?

The 35-page paper, Education for All: a gender and disability perspective (PDF format, 151 Kb), is an attempt to pull together what is known about girls in education with what is known about disability in education, coupled with anecdotcal information about how girls with disabilities are affected differently. It provides recommendations for areas researchers should be focusing on and gives a few ideas for things that can help.

This paper was published in 2003. But, unfortunately, I doubt it is significantly dated. I don’t pretend to be intensively familiar with the literature on education among students with disabilities internationally. But a quick skim through a more recent report on disability in education, Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb), suggests that advancements since 2003 have been far from dramatic.

Perhaps one of the most important purposes of Education for All: a gender and disability perspective (PDF format, 151 Kb) is to help remind gender specialists that girls with disabilities are first and foremost, girls–but will be inherently excluded if not consciously targeted. For We Can Do readers already working on disability issues in education, another purpose is to remind that barriers excluding women and girls from full participation in society impact disabled girls and women just as much–if not more so.

If issues impacting girls with disabilities interests you, then you might also be interested in some of the following We Can Do posts:

Equalizing Educational Opportunity for the Nigerian-Ghanaian Blind Girl Child
Violence Against Blind/VI Girls in Malawi
Report on Violence Against Disabled Children (which I include in this list because violence against girls is often cited as a reason why some girls quit school)
Education’s Missing Millions: Including Disabled Children
Report on Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (the referenced report includes brief references throughout to girls, including in the context of education)
Online discussion of inclusive education in Eastern Africa

Advocates working to promote more educational opportunities for girls with disabilities also may wish to consult, and cite, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), with particular attention to Article 6 (Women with Disabilities); Article 7 (Children with Disabilities); and Article 24 (Education).



I found this report by browsing the AskSource.info database.

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REPORT: Human-Rights Approach to Education for All

Posted on 30 January 2008. Filed under: Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Human Rights, Reports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has released a report on a human rights based approach to making education accessible to all children, entitled A Human Rights-Based Approach to Education for All: A framework for the realization of children’s right to education and rights within education (PDF format, 812 Kb). The report discusses current thinking and practice on human rights based approaches in the education sector. It presents key issues and challenges in rights-based approaches and provides a framework for developing policies and programs at the school, local, national, or international levels. It is targeted particularly at governments, civil society organizations, United Nations and bilateral agencies, and other development partners.

This report touches briefly on issues affecting disabled children in education throughout. A search for the word “disabilities” finds multiple short references in the text. For example, there is a mention of such issues as the fact that the birth of some children–but particularly disabled children–may not be registered in some countries, making it more difficult to accurately estimate the need for schooling. And the report asserts that attention must be paid to the communication needs of children with sensory impairments (Braille for blind students; sign language for deaf students).

There are some disappointments here. For instance, the introduction has the usual discussion of the 77 million children who are currently out of school but misses an opportunity to point out that disabled children are disproportionately represented among them. But the integration of disability related concerns into a broader discussion of educational issues is itself an important step in the right direction. Especially positive is seeing disability issues integrated into a report like this one that emphasizes education as a human right for all children–including children with disabilities.

The report can be downloaded in PDF format (812 Kb) at:

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0015/001548/154861E.pdf



We Can Do learned about this report via the Disabled People’s International on-line newsletter. DPI’s newsletter can be subscribed to, via email, for free.



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