RESOURCE: Manual on Mainstreaming Disability in Development Projects

Posted on 2 October 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Inclusion, Poverty, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Christian Blind Mission announces the publication of a new manual on including persons with disabilities in development projects. The manual is part of the “Mainstreaming Disability in Development Cooperation” project funded by the European Commission. The purpose of the manual is to give guidance and practical tools to operational staff to include a disability
perspective in the Project Cycle Management. [Note from We Can Do: Although this manual is written from a European perspective for European-based international development agencies and organizations, some of its content seems broadly relevant to mainstream international development organizations based outside of Europe.]

The manual aims to support the inclusion of the perspectives of persons with disabilities throughout the project management cycle, from program planning through evaluation. It contains examples of projects which include the perspectives of persons with disabilities, many of which are financed by the EC partnership with NGOs, including CBM. The manual is
accompanied by a web-based toolbox, which is available in September 2008.

To download the manual go to

This manual comes in two parts. The first part, entitled Make Development Inclusive: Concepts and Guiding Principles (PDF format, 750 Kb), discusses what disability is; why all poverty reduction projects should include a disability perspective; the degree of disability inclusion needed for different types of projects; and the legal and policy framework in Europe and internationally. It also includes a discussion of the “twin-track approach” to development, which explores the difference between disability-inclusive mainstream projects and disability-targeted initiatives–and why we need both.

The second part of the manual, entitled Make Development Inclusive: A Pratical Guide (PDF format, 2.8 Mb) advises mainstream development organizations in how they can make their projects more inclusive to the benefit of everyone–without bankrupting themselves or consuming staff time that just isn’t available. Case examples are described that highlight how disability inclusion has been done at every stage of programming, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating projects around the world.

More information on the project Make Development Inclusive can be found online at

CBM is an international disability and development organization with 100 years of expertise whose purpose is to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities and their families and prevent and treat those diseases which can lead to disability in the most marginalized societies
in the world. Working for and together with persons with disabilities, CBM advocates for meaningful and effective participation, equal opportunities and full inclusion in all spheres of society.

I learned of this resource from Joan Durocher, who learned about it from Karen Heinicke-Motsch. Most of the text in this blog post comes from an announcement from CBM; the text summarizing the content of the two parts of the manual is mine.

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Training Workshop on AIDS and Disability, 19-20 November 2008, Soesterberg, The Netherlands

Posted on 15 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Nominations or Applications, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Cross-Disability, Education and Training Opportunities, Events and Conferences, Health, HIV/AIDS, Inclusion, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The application deadline is October 1, 2008, to attend the training seminar November 19-20, 2008. Inquiries should be directed to Enablement, or to, NOT We Can Do.

The number of disabled people worldwide is considerable – the figure of 650 million is often quoted. People with a disability and their families also account for 20% of the world’s poorest people. But so far most HIV-AIDS programmes are not accessible to people with disabilities.
International attention to the rights of people with disabilities is increasing especially since May 2008, when the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities has come into effect. However governments and policy makers have generally yet to include disability issues in their AIDS strategic plans. Even within specific disability programmes it is not yet common to ensure that clients of such programmes do have access to appropriate information and services that are related to HIV-AIDS and reproductive health. Leaving disabled people out of HIV-AIDS prevention and care is shortsighted. Given the rapid growth of the epidemic and the size of the global disabled population (an estimated 10% of the world‘s citizens); the AIDS crisis cannot be addressed successfully unless individuals with disability are routinely included in all HIV-AIDS prevention, treatment and outreach efforts!

Local Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) teams, professionals, people with disabilities and their families share the same fears, misconceptions and risks as the rest of the general public with regard to the virus. They urgently need to receive accessible and appropriate information on HIV-AIDS. The launch of the new United Nations CBR Guidelines December 2008 in Bangkok will mean that information on HIV-AIDS will become more easily available for CBR teams as these guidelines pay specific attention to this subject. The goal of the section focusing on HIV-AIDS is to ensure ‘access for all’ to HIV-AIDS information, services and programmes. This goal involves three key areas: increasing individual knowledge, reducing stigma and discrimination and mitigating the impact HIV-AIDS has on families and communities.

During this 2-day workshop outstanding researchers and practitioners will ensure that participants will become sensitized towards the need for inclusion of disabled people within their mainstream HIV-AIDS programmes. They will also discuss strategies, tools and experiences in HIV/AIDS programmes that include disabled people and in CBR and disability programmes which integrate HIV-AIDS with their other activities.

Prospective participants are
• policy makers & planners as well as project staff working in the field of
development cooperation
• policy makers & planners as well as project staff of mainstream HIV¬AIDS organisations
• AIDS activists
• interested academic staff from various university faculties

Overall goal
Mainstream development and HIV¬AIDS organisations understand the importance of inclusion of disabled people in their HIV-AIDS programmes.

Participants have an increased awareness about the vulnerability of persons with disabilities to the risk and impact of HIV and AIDS;
Participants have tools and arguments for how to ensure inclusion of disability in HIV-AIDS policies, strategies and programs; Participants are able to advocate within their own organizations for equal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for persons with disabilities.

The following content is being discussed:
• Sexual and Reproductive Health: a right of disabled people
• The situation of HIV-AIDS among disabled people world wide
• Specific risk factors
• Inclusion of disabled people in mainstream HIV-AIDS programmes: why (not)?
• Inclusive HIV-AIDS programming
• Effectiveness of inclusive HIV-AIDS programmes
• Community Based Rehabilitation and HIV-AIDS

Lecturing methods
• Short lectures by experts,
• Discussions
• Small group work
• Case study analysis

Lecturing staff Dr. Nora Groce (USA) is a medical anthropologist, interested in the area of global health and international development with particular emphasis on cross-cultural systems of health care and health as human rights issues. Her research interests include issues of disability in international health and development, violence as a global public health problem and equity in access to health care in ethnic and minority communities. Current Research Projects of Nora Groce are:
• Disability and HIV/AIDS knowledge among Disabled Populations (and the Yale University/World Bank Global Survey on HIV/AIDS and Disability);
• World Bank Health Systems Assessment Project;
• Violence against Disabled Children; and
• HIV/AIDS Education in Indigenous Communities: Rites of Passage

George O. Obuya (Kenya) is project co-coordinator of the Deaf Social Counselling & HIV/AIDS Education Program. He is representing the Dar-es Salaam (Tanzania) based and recently formed African Deaf Union in the African Decade for Persons with Disability HIV/AIDS Steering Committee, as well as a senior board member of the Kenya National Association of the Deaf (KNAD).

Jessica de Ruijter is the advocacy officer at VSO Netherlands. She has much experience in the area of HIV prevention and started advocacy on HIV and disability since January 2008. She is also the co-chair of the DCDD working group HIV and Disability.

Dr Peter Rule is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Adult Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He recently completed a three-country study for the World Bank on HIV & AIDS and Disability. He has experience of working with NGOs in KwaZulu-Natal in the fields of adult literacy, disability, gender, HIV/AIDS and early childhood development.

Geert Vanneste is a health and rehabilitation consultant who worked for Christoffel BlindenMission (CBM) in Rwanda (1987-1994) and Tanzania (1994-2007). His main expertise is in the area of CBR but increasingly he became involved in Health and Hospital Management and HIV-AIDS issues. Currently he is Independent Consultant and living in Belgium.

The workshop will be conducted under the leadership of Roelie Wolting and Huib Cornielje and supported by the HIV-AIDS working group of the Dutch Coalition on Disability and Development.

19th and 20th of November 2008
(10.00 to 17.00 hours)

Kontakt der Kontinenten, Soesterberg, The Netherlands

Course fees
€ 500,00 (including tea/coffee, lunches and a course map)

Maximum number of participants

Application and Further Information
Interested people should apply well in advance (before the 1st of October 2008) by filling out the attached application form.

Huib Cornielje Enablement Langenhorst 36 2402PX Alphen aan den Rijn
Tel: +31-172-436953
Fax: +31-172-244976 E-mail: Internet:
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by CORDAID.

Interested participants should send the following information to, NOT to We Can Do.

Application form for Disability- HIV&AIDS training
19th and 20th of November 2008

This form to be submitted to: Enablement, Langenhorst 36, 2402PX, Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands. E-mail:

General Information participant

First name
Family Name
Postal code
Cell Phone
E-mail address
Profession or function within organisation
Organisation name (if different from information above)
Postal Address
Postal Code
Cell phone
E-mail address

Dietary requirements?
If any special requirements please specify

Signature of applicant

Again, send application form to

The above text was taken from an announcement being circulated by Enablement, an organization committed to disability and rehabilitation management, particularly in less developed nations.

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CALL FOR PAPERS: Disability and Inclusive Economic Development

Posted on 26 April 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Call for Papers, Education, Employment, Health, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Call for Papers for the Review of Disability Studies

Special Issue on Disability and Inclusive Economic Development.

The Review of Disability Studies is requesting papers for an upcoming special issue on Disability and Inclusive Development, to be edited by Rosangela Berman Bieler of the Inter-American Institute on Disability and Inclusive Development and Daniel Mont of The World Bank.

This issue is intended to highlight recent research on the links between disability and socio-economic outcomes in developing countries, as well as evaluate attempts to move towards a more inclusive model of development

In particular, we are soliciting papers about the developing world that answer questions such as:

What is the relationship between disability and poverty?

How does the presence of a disability affect people’s access to education, training, and employment?

What is the relationship between health status, disability, and mortality?

What are the key barriers that prevent access to public services such as education, healthcare, transportation, water and sanitation, etc.?

What are some examples of programs or policy interventions aimed at including disabled people, and how effective have they been?

We particularly encourage submissions from authors from developing countries. We also encourage submissions across all disciplines, as long as they are aimed at helping to build more effective inclusive policies.

Please send electronic copies of a 1-2 page abstract to both Daniel Mont at and Rosangela Berman Bieler at by August 1, 2008.

Completed articles should be approximately 3000-5000 words and should follow all RDS formatting guidelines found at Note that an invitation to (submit an abstract or) participate in the forum does not guarantee publication of that article in The Review of Disability Studies.

For more information about The Review of Disability Studies, please go to

Daniel Mont recently circulated this announcement on the Global Partnership for Disability and Development listserv.

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NEWS: Advocates urge UN Social Development Commission to Make Development Agenda Disability-Inclusive

Posted on 18 March 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Inclusion, News, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In February 2008, delegates urged the United Nations Social Development Commission to help ensure that people with disabilities are included in efforts to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in developing countries.

A panel of experts with disabilities pointed out that people who are poor are at higher risk for acquiring disabilities due to poor nutrition, health care, and living conditions. Meanwhile, people who have disabilities are at higher risk for poverty because they encounter barriers to education, employment, and public services.

The Commission also was reminded that people with disabilities have the same desire and rights as everyone else to feel needed and be part of society. This makes it critical to remove barriers to the participation of people with disabilities and mainstream their concern into overall development efforts in developing countries. Doing so improves the lives of people with disabilities and also improves society as a whole by increasing productivity.

A more detailed summary of each speaker’s remarks to the UN Social Development Commission, and the outcome, is available at

The information given in this blog post is summarized from the Media-Newswire press release referenced above. We Can Do first learned about this link from the RatifyNow email discussion group.

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PUBLICATION: Promoting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Posted on 26 February 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Employment, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Inclusion, Policy & Legislation, Rehabilitation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Rehabilitation International’s publication, International Rehabilitation Review, has published a special edition focused on promoting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). People with disabilities, advocates, disability experts, and human rights experts, all contributed 20 articles to the December 2007, 48-page edition.

The CRPD is the first comprehensive international legislation to focus on protecting the human rights of people with disabilities. It needs to be ratified by 20 countries before it will take full legal force; it has now been ratified by 17 countries.

Several of these articles celebrate the heavy involvement of the disability community and various disability and human rights organizations in promoting the CRPD. Other articles discuss the relevance of the CRPD to themes such as promoting inclusive education; including people with disabilities in programs to prevent HIV/AIDS; the importance of habilitation and rehabilitation to empowerment; and how the CRPD may help countries bring more people with disabilities into the work force.

Some more examples of articles included in the December 2007 issue of the International Rehabilitation Review include the following:

An article entitled “A Unified Disability Community: The Key to Effective Implementation of the Convention” by Maria Veronica Reina and Stefan Tromel highlights the importance of people with disabilities themselves being actively involved in ensuring that the CRPD actively protects the human rights of disabled people around the world.

Author Ann M. Veneman discusses the importance of children with disabilities in the CRPD in her article, “The UN Disability Rights Convention: Moving Children with Disabilities Center Stage.”

Of particular relevance to We Can Do readers in the international development field is the article “Toward Inclusive Development: The Implementation Challenge,” by Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo. This article calls for country governments and development organizations to incorporate the principles of the CRPD into their plans, programs, and policies, including those that fight poverty.

Anne Hawker and Sebenzile Matsebula discuss the importance of mobilizing women with disabilities to successfully implementing the CRPD in “Women with Disabilities: A Call to Action.”

In some countries, people with certain disabilities are denied the right to open their own bank account, or to say “no” to medical treatment that they don’t want. Article 12 of the CRPD can help, says Tina Minkowitz in her article, “Legal Capacity: Fundamental to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

Once the CRPD takes legal force, then what? Governments will need people with disabilities themselves to monitor how well the CRPD is implemented in their countries. The article “Interational Monitoring: The Right to Inclusion, The Obligation to Participate” by Kirsten Young and Shantha Rau, discusses how.

This special issue of Rehabiliation International’s International Rehabilitation Review can be downloaded in PDF format (1.8 Mb) at

Or you can downlaod it in Word format (233 Kb) at

We Can Do learned about this special issue through‘s email discussion list. This article is cross-posted at the web site with permission of author. See the RatifyNow website for more information on the CRPD and the global movement to ratify and implement it.

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Finding Resources, Toolkits, and Funding Sources

Posted on 15 January 2008. Filed under: Case Studies, Cross-Disability, Funding, Introduction to "We Can Do", Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Original publication at (We Can Do) at]

I have now created a new page, linked from the top navigation bar, entitled “Resources, Toolkits, and Funding. In this page, you can find the following types of materials:

I added this page to help readers quickly locate pragmatic resources, announced or linked from We Can Do, that you can use to help disability communities in developing countries access human rights and public services or escape poverty.

I want to continue improving this page. Please do share your feedback or suggestions in the comments area, either here or at the Resources, Toolkits, and Funding Sources page.

This new page joins other pages in the navigation bar that can help you

Still not sure how to find the materials you are looking for? See if the Navigating We Can Do page can help. I have recently revised and updated this page. I will probably continue to make further improvements in the Navigation page to make it easier to use. Please feel free to make suggestions or feedback.

Want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming resources, toolkits, funding sources, or other informative posts at We Can Do? Consider subscribing to We Can Do so you can receive an email alert when new material is posted here.

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NEWS: Disabled in India Celebrate World Disability Day

Posted on 11 December 2007. Filed under: Employment, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People in India recently celebrated World Disability Day. An article about their celebrations talks about the challenges that disabled people still face in finding employment. The story also quotes a blind man who works as a teacher and a deaf woman who works as a lab assistant in India:

Individuals interested in disabled people in India may also wish to read about a recent report from the World Bank on employment, education, health, social protection, and other issues related to people with disabilities in India.

For still more posts about disabled people in India or other South Asian countries, click on “South Asian Region” under “categories” in the right-hand navigation bar.

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