Since the launch of Development for All: Towards a disability-inclusive Australian aid program 2009–2014 strategy in 2008, Australia has provided over $8.4 m to support a range of disability specific research initiatives. Improved understanding of disability and development is one of the two enabling outcomes of the Development for All strategy. In 2012, under Australia’s Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework to 2015–16, one of the Australian aid program’s five strategic goals, ‘Promoting opportunities for all’, identifies ‘enhancing the lives of people with disabilities’ as one of the 10 development objectives.
Australian Development Research Awards Scheme 2012
The Australian Development Research Awards Scheme 2012 (ADRAS) is supporting nine proposals valued at $5.62 million, including:
- developing and testing indicators for the education of children with disability in the Pacific
- sexual and reproductive health of women with disability in the Philippines
- the exclusion of people with disability from disaster management in Indonesia
- achieving employment equality for people with disability in Cambodia
- implementing and monitoring education policy and practices for people with disability in the South Pacific
- improving access to social and economic services for people with disability in Laos
- evaluating the use of the Community Based Rehabilitation model to support people with disability
- reviewing approaches to education for children with disability in Papua New Guinea
- identifying the needs and priorities of children with disability in Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.
Australian Development Research Awards Scheme 2012 (ADRAS)
2008–09 Australian Development Research Awards (ADRA)
The 2008–09 Australian Development Research Awards (ADRA) supporting six proposals valued at $1.98 million including:
- economic costs of disability-related stigma in Vietnam: implications for disability-inclusive and poverty reduction policies
- improving access for people with disability through inclusive infrastructure development in rural and urban PNG
- Triple Jeopardy: gender based violence, disability, rights violations and access to related services among women in Cambodia
- an efficient means of measuring the effectiveness of development activities which target or include people with disabilities in Asia and the Pacific – testing a toolkit
- socio-cultural attitudes to disability in the Solomon Islands: Identifying culturally appropriate solutions to disadvantage
- analysis of the impact of international aid in rehabilitation in South-East Asia with a focus on prosthetics and orthotics.
More information on 2008–09 ADRA
The 2010 round of the Australian Development Research Awards Scheme (ADRAS) featured a call for systematic reviews of evidence addressing key development questions. Australia partnered with the UK Department of International Development (DFID) and the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation in administering the call. As the amount of new development research available is growing rapidly, consolidated but robust evidence that can be more readily applied to decision making in both developing countries and donor agencies is in high demand. Systematic reviews are an important way of ensuring that evidence can better inform policy. One of the successful applications funded under the Education Sector included the following task: What are the impacts of approaches to increase the accessibility to education for people with a disability across developed and developing countries and what is known about the cost effectiveness of different approaches? Aid funding for this activity is $59,910.
Other research supporting disability-inclusive development includes:
- research grants to the Pacific Disability Forum
- the Centre for Social Development in Africa at the University of Johannesburg
- mapping of disability policy and program frameworks in the Pacific
- 2012 World Health Organisation Non-Communicable Diseases related disability: Implications for Policy and Practice
- 2011 World Bank – World Health Organisation World Report on Disability
- preparation of the Development for All Companion Volume.
More information on how Australia funds research
The Capacity Development for Effective and Efficient Disabled People’s Organisations in Pacific Island Countries
Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) in collaboration with its partner, Australia Pacific Islands Disability Support (APIDS), in 2012 completed an 18 months research project in 12 Pacific Island countries, to develop a sound evidence base for efforts to support the capacity development of its members, Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs). The report was launched at the April 2013 PDF Conference.
The research identified that the combined principles associated with capacity building (particularly organisational strengthening), rights-based advocacy and development effectiveness as well as disability inclusion must be applied to the work of contributing to the capacity development of DPOs
Individual country research reports have been prepared and are available on the PDF and APIDS websites.
Aid funding for the research program was $282,167.
National study on the link between poverty and disability in South Africa
In South Africa, less than 1 per cent of all people employed are people with disability. Despite numerous policies aimed at promoting the rights of people with disability, this group remain amongst the poorest and most marginalised in South Africa. There is thus a need to generate greater understanding of the link between poverty and disability so as to correctly influence policy decision-making and implementation to benefit all people living with disability. This research aims to address this issue and will be undertaken in two phases:
- Analysing data collected through the National Income Dynamic Survey in order to understand disability in relation to poverty, class, gender and race in South Africa and to further establish links between poverty and disability (completed) and an upcoming analysis and assessment of disability and poverty using a non-income measure of poverty, a comparison between people with disabilities living in rural areas and those living in urban areas as well as a quality of life assessment.
- Undertake original research in rural areas in 2013 to collect household, individual and community data using geographic mapping, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions to understand the challenges facing those with a disability living in a rural area, as well as livelihood opportunities (completed). The research will generate statistically relevant data about disability and poverty at a national level, as well as information on both urban and rural areas to develop policy briefs on supporting people with disabilities.
The research is scheduled for completion in January 2014. Aid funding for this activity is $260,455.
More information from the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Social Development [external website].
World Health Organisation ‘Non-communicable diseases related disability: Implications for Policy and Practice’
In 2012, Australia supported the production of a report within the WHO Technical Report Series that will provide an overview of current evidence on the magnitude and scope of disability/difficulties in functioning—including impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions—by the four main non-communicable diseases. A series of qualitative case studies will be undertaken. The research will also inform the development of WHO Health-related rehabilitation guidelines. Aid funding for this activity is $250,000.
Mapping of the disability policy and program frameworks in the Pacific
In 2011, Australia supported ‘Mapping of the disability policy and program frameworks in the Pacific’ to assist Australia and partner countries understand what might be done to improve the access to and provision of disability-specific services to facilitate the participation of women, men and children with disability in social and economic life.
The purpose of the research is to provide a picture of the policy and resources context in the Pacific that may inform the strategies for improving access to, provision of and quality of disability-specific services and facilities in the region.
The data in the research report contributes to developing baseline information of what services and facilities exist and options for people with disability in accessing affordable and quality services and facilities. The report was undertaken in collaboration with the Pacific Disability Forum and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. This mapping report will inform ongoing programming in the Pacific. Aid funding for this activity is $9,300.
WHO World Report on Disability
In 2011, Australia supported the production of the first World Report on Disability [external website] launched by the World Health Organization and the World Bank. The report has assembled the best available evidence about the situation of people with and offers policy and practical recommendations for governments and other stakeholders which can help overcome exclusion for people experiencing disability.
The report also highlights Australia’s Development for All strategy as a good practice model of disability-inclusive development.
Development for All Companion volume
The Development for All Companion volume has been published and disseminated as a key resource. The Companion volume outlines priorities arising from strategy consultations, and analyses other donor approaches, international lessons learnt, activities to date in disability and development, and regional and international frameworks and their potential impact.