Today ICAI published a rapid review on disability in development.

The Department for International Development (DFID) created a disability framework in 2014, and renewed it in 2015, but a major change of emphasis only came in late 2016, when the secretary of state announced an aim to establish DFID as “the global leader in this neglected and under prioritised area”. Since then, DFID has moved more forcefully to mainstream disability inclusion across the department, and has called a global disability summit for July 2018.

DFID has taken a leadership role internationally, and has rightly focused investment on research and on filling a key data gap. But its own mainstreaming efforts have been proceeding slowly until recently. Although activities to integrate disability into programming have been scaled up considerably ahead of the global disability summit, DFID does not yet have a thorough plan to mainstream disability inclusion across the department in a manner consistent with its stated ambition.

ICAI has made the following recommendations:

  • DFID should adopt a more visible and systematic plan for mainstreaming disability inclusion.
  • DFID should increase the representation of staff with disabilities at all levels of the department, and increase the number of staff with significant previous experience in working on disability inclusion.
  • DFID country offices should develop theories of change for disability inclusion in their countries.
  • DFID should engage with disabled people’s organisations on country-level disability inclusion strategies, advocacy towards partner governments, capacity building, and the design of programmes.
  • DFID should increase its programming on tackling stigma and discrimination and inclusion of people with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities.
  • DFID should create a systematic learning programme, and a community of practice, on the experience of mainstreaming disability into DFID programmes.

Press coverage: Devex, Bond

Read the report