Ending Poverty for Everyone: Disability Inclusion in Development
Trickle Up works hard to include people with disabilities in our programs. Given that we focus on working with people living with ultrapoverty, this commitment makes sense. People with disabilities are over-represented among the poorest in the world, and under-represented among development projects worldwide (AusAID estimates that only 3-4% receive any kind of assistance from International Development organizations).
We are proud of our commitment to inclusion and, in 2012, 13% of the households we served had at least one family member with a disability. Our participants include people with disabilities who pursue livelihood activities with TU support and women who support a family member with a disability.
While all TU programming is now inclusive, last year we completed a project in Guatemala to enable 320 people with disabilities to develop livelihood activities, save actively in a group, and learn planning and business skills for the future. We worked together with four community-based NGOs and one municipal government to extend services to people with disabilities in this USAID-funded project. In November, in Guatemala City we held a workshop for partner staff, USAID staff, other funders, government representatives, and disability-focused organizations. TU participants from rural northern villages were invited to attend and share their own experiences of the project with others. One commented, raising his hands, “my life has changed and look how far I’ve come! I never thought I would be here talking to you all!”
We’re pleased to share the lessons from that project in a new publication called Disability, Poverty and Livelihoods, a guide to lessons learned during the project and suggestions for effectively incorporating people with disabilities in livelihood development programs. This is available in English and Spanish. We’ve shared this with economic development practitioners and the disability community.
Next week, on March 3rd, Trickle Up will host No Limits: An Expert Panel on Global Poverty and Disability in New York featuring Judith Heumann, Special Advisor for Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State, Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo, Coordinator for Disability and Inclusive Development at USAID and Jo Sanson, Trickle Up's Director of Monitoring, Evaluation and Research. We hope to encourage more economic development and humanitarian organizations to ensure people with disabilities are a part of their work. We hope you'll join the conversation on Twitter 3/3 from 6:45 to 7:45EST following @TrickleUpNYC and using #nolimits.
UPDATE: Due to severe weather conditions in Washington DC, it is impossible for two of our panelists—Judith Heumann and Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo—to be with us in person for No Limits: An Expert Panel on Global Poverty & Disability, originally scheduled for this evening (3/3) from 6-8 PM. We are postponing the event to May and will be in touch soon with the new date. We hope you will join us then, please stay tuned for details.