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MPs announce new inquiry into Disability and development

14 November 2013

Over one billion people – 15% of the world’s population – are disabled.  Disability is closely linked with poverty: it is thought that over 50% of disabled people in low income countries cannot afford healthcare, and that almost 90% of disabled children in Africa do not go to school.

Inclusion in international development programmes is a human right, yet it is estimated that less than four per cent of disabled people benefit from international development assistance. The UN warns that, without a greater focus on disabled people, global targets will not be achievable.

The UK Government Department for International Development (DFID) has recently reasserted its commitment to disabled people in developing countries. It has announced that all new DFID-funded schools will be made accessible to disabled children. It is calling for improvements to global data on disability, and for an increased emphasis on disabled people in future development targets. DFID funds a range of partners that work with disabled beneficiaries.

Key issues

The International Development Committee is to launch an inquiry into Disability and Development. Key issues for the inquiry will include:

  • The adequacy of DFID’s current policy commitments on disability and development, and whether it needs a disability strategy
  • Integration of disability issues within DFID’s sector programmes (for example in health, education, sanitation, livelihoods, and empowerment) and its humanitarian work
  • The effectiveness of DFID’s approach to rehabilitation and service provision for disabled people
  • The strength of the evidence base on ‘what works’ in development programmes involving disability
  • The role of disabled beneficiaries in planning, managing and monitoring DFID policy and programmes
  • The financial costs and benefits of an increased emphasis on disability
  • The UK’s work with other development agencies and partner governments on disability
  • The UK’s role in ensuring post-2015 development goals consider disability issues

Written submissions

The Committee invites written submissions from interested organisations and individuals. The Committee would particularly welcome evidence from disabled people. The deadline for submissions is Friday 13 December 2013.

Alternative accessibility arrangements 

The Committee will consider requests for reasonable adjustments to its usual arrangements for taking evidence and publishing material, to make them more accessible: please contact or telephone 020 7219 1221.

Where to submit your written evidence

Written submissions for this inquiry should be submitted via the Disability and development inquiry page on the International Development Committee website.

The deadline is Friday 13 December 2013 As a guideline submissions should state clearly who the submission is from e.g. ‘Written evidence submitted by xxxx’ and be no longer than 3000 words, please contact the Committee staff if you wish to discuss this. 

Submissions must be a self-contained memorandum in Word or Rich Text Format (not PDFs). Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference and the document should, if possible, include an executive summary.
Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.
The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
The personal information you supply will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of attributing the evidence you submit and contacting you as necessary in connection with its processing. The Clerk of the House of Commons is the data controller for the purposes of the Act.

Further information