Inclusion Works Consortium Launches Global Initiative to Enable People With Disabilities to Find Meaningful Employment

By Benetech, posted on
Charles Ahumuza, who is partially sighted,works as an electrical engineer with Team Muttico,Technical Services Uganda. He is pictured in Kampala, working with his team to replace an old electrical pole.

Benetech believes in a world where people with disabilities are able to make their voices heard. We are proud to be a member of the Inclusion Works program, which launched today in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda to enable people with disabilities to find meaningful employment.

In a statement about the program launch, Sightsavers writes: “It is estimated that there are 800 million people with disabilities living in low and middle-income countries. In most countries around the world, people with disabilities face multiple barriers to employment, which means significant numbers remain unemployed.”

Vladimir Cuk from the International Disability Alliance says; “Reliable data about people with disabilities is often scarce and while we know employment rates are really low, most programmes tackling this have been on such a small scale that it hasn’t been possible to make a real dent on the wider system.”

Benetech’s Data for Inclusion platform, inclusive software to amplify individual voices through data and stories, will be used by members of the consortium to collect firsthand accounts from people with disabilities across the globe about barriers to employment. The result is primary-source data that can inform policy at the local, national, and global level.

Inclusion Works is a part of the Inclusive Futures initiative, ensuring people with disabilities are able to represent themselves and make their own decisions. The brand covers the Inclusion Works and Disability Inclusive Development programs, both of which are led by Sightsavers and funded by UK aid.

To learn more about Benetech’s Data for Inclusion platform, contact chiraga@benetech.org

The full release from Sightsavers is available below.

Innovative programme launched to enable people with disabilities to get decent jobs

One year on from the first Global Disability Summit, a groundbreaking programme funded by UK aid is now underway to address the barriers that prevent millions of people with disabilities from accessing mainstream job markets.

The programme, called Inclusion Works, represents one of the world’s most comprehensive attempts to date to redress the underrepresentation of people with disabilities in formal employment in developing countries.

UK aid announced its funding for the programme last year as it co-hosted the first Global Disability Summit in London.

As Inclusion Works moves to its next phase, the programme will pilot new approaches that create job opportunities for over 2,000 people with disabilities in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Bangladesh over the next three years.

Simon Brown, one of the key researchers who has been developing the programme says: “People with disabilities living in these countries play an integral role in helping us define what wide-scale success looks like in this programme and in helping us shape its objectives.” 

“At the same time, we have also been talking to major companies who clearly want to tap into this talent pool but need to overcome certain barriers themselves.”

It is estimated that there are 800 million people with disabilities living in low and middle-income countries. In most countries around the world, people with disabilities face multiple barriers to employment, which means significant numbers remain unemployed.

Low and middle-income countries are estimated to be collectively losing somewhere between US$218 and US$510 billion in lost production because people with disabilities are being excluded from the labour market.* This is more than three times bigger than the total amount spent on global development, which in 2018 stood at 149.3 billion US dollars.**

Vladimir Cuk from the International Disability Alliance says; “Reliable data about people with disabilities is often scarce and while we know employment rates are really low, most programmes tackling this have been on such a small scale that it hasn’t been possible to make a real dent on the wider system.”

“UK aid funding is expected to be game-changing in this respect. Inclusion Works is aiming to make a significant contribution towards greater compliance of the formal employment sector with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, changing the whole culture around recruiting and retaining people with disabilities to work and earn a living in equal conditions to others.”

Inclusion Works aims to work in partnership with over 100 employers to test new practices that are compliant with UN disability rights protocols. It will be designed to include people of a wide range of disabilities, including blind-deafness and intellectual disabilities.

The programme is being led by charity Sightsavers in a coalition that brings together the expertise of 11 partner organisations including ADD International, BBC Media Action, Benetech, Development Initiatives, Humanity and Inclusion UK, Inclusion International, the International Disability Alliance, the Institute of Development Studies, Standard Chartered Bank and the Youth Career Initiative.

This work is part of the Inclusive Futures initiative, a wider drive funded by UK aid to create an equal world for people with disabilities in developing countries.

Ends

For further details, interviews and case studies contact: Maria Fsadni, Sightsavers’ Senior PR and Media Officer on 01444 446677/ mfsadni@sightsavers.org

Notes to editor:

Sources:

* Collective lost production is a rough estimation. To work out these numbers we used a study by the International Labour Organization study that concluded that excluding people with disabilities from the labour market results in a significant loss of GDP falling into a band between 3 and 7% of GDP for 10 middle and low-income countries. (The Price of Exclusion, ILO, page 51) http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@ed_emp/@ifp_skills/documents/publication/wcms_119305.pdf.

We applied these percentages to the World Bank’s latest GDP figures showing collective GDP of low-income countries and lower-middle-income countries.

** Figure on total amount spent on global development for 2018: http://www.oecd.org/development/development-aid-drops-in-2018-especially-to-neediest-countries.htm

About Inclusion Works

Inclusion Works is a Consortium programme of 11 partners, led by Sightsavers, focussing on the economic empowerment of people with disabilities.

Inclusion Works consortium has disabled people’s organisations at its core and works directly with people with disabilities, other NGOs, and prospective private and public employers to demonstrate how people with disabilities can participate equally in the workplace.

It aims to create opportunities for people with all types of disability including those with deaf-blindness and intellectual disabilities.

The Inclusion Works programme is a part of the Inclusive Futures initiative. The brand covers the Inclusion Works and Disability Inclusive Development programmes, both of which are led by Sightsavers and funded by UK aid.