More practical lessons from five projects on disability-inclusive development

The present article follows on from the practical note in Development in Practice 20(7): 879–886 that looked at seven common early lessons learnt from the inclusion of disabled people in World Vision programming work across four countries, based on socially inclusive principles. Externally led evaluations and technical support work undertaken between December 2010 and July 2011 in Armenia, Ethiopia, India, Sierra Leone, and Senegal have yielded seven further common lessons. In summary: with intentional efforts, a ten-fold increase of disabled people being included can be quickly achieved; positive attitudinal change towards disabled children and adults is possible in a relatively short period; it is important to reinforce inclusion messages regularly with all stakeholders; adapting existing programming tools to be disability-inclusive is more effective than providing generic checklist tools; access by and inclusion of disabled people are not the same thing – each require a different strategy; active senior organisational champions significantly enhance and accelerate progress; and the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities currently offers fantastic opportunities for good progress because of the large number of countries that have now adopted it.

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