Mainstreaming disability rights in development cooperation
It is estimated that persons with disability constitute about 15 percent of the world population and that 80 percent of PWD live in developing countries. Estimations also show that more than 90 percent of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school and that only three percent of all adults with disabilities in the world are literate. Implementing the right to education for PWD in development cooperation is thus of significant importance. The present dissertation takes its stance in Swedish development cooperation policy which adapts a twin-tracked approach to disability. This means that specifically targeting initiatives are to be combined with a mainstreaming of disability which is to be applied in all development cooperation programs and projects. The research question focuses on the latter part of the approach: To which extent is disability mainstreamed into Swedish development cooperation projects related to the right to education? -Which are the barriers of implementing a disability-mainstreaming policy in Swedish development cooperation education projects? Interviews were conducted with representatives of Sida-funded projects relating to the right to education. The results show that disability is successfully not mainstreamed in the projects and that there is a large difference in policy and practice. Barriers that were identified were first that disability often-times become an invisible perspective in relation to other mainstreaming areas of Swedish policy. Second, the contextual significance was raised by the interviewees as important as to why a disability-perspective was to be applied in projects or not. Third, the organizational chain of Swedish development cooperation creates barriers in the transformation of policy to practice. A part of this issue concerns the way in which disability is understood by actors and practice suggests that disability is yet to be classified as a human rights issue at all levels. Finally, the lack of reporting mechanisms on disability limits organization’s incentives to approach disability.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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Copyright 2014 The Author(s)
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