Disability Scoping Study for DFID Uganda

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This report attempts to provide a situational analysis of the current social economic and political status of people with disabilities within Uganda, by drawing upon material gathered during key informant interviews and focus groups discussions with key stakeholders within the disability sector. In addition, reference has been made to existing international and country specific research with regard to disability issues. The major impediment to the successful implementation of the National Policy on Disability (that will facilitate the sustained social inclusion of people with disabilities in contemporary Ugandan society) is a significant “implementation gap”. The report outlines:

  • a need for good governance structures and processes, to better align policy formulation with implementation and coordination between different Government Ministries on cross-cutting issues such as disability
  • there is a paucity of statistical data on disability in Uganda, particularly when disaggregated at District level
  • that the central government does not easily engage with its counterparts at the District level and below

The social and economic status of people with disabilities in Uganda is particularly precarious, with there being a high correlation between the incidence of poverty and disability. Furthermore, from the evidence gathered during the focus group discussions and the informant interviews conducted in this study, it very clear that people with disabilities encounter high-levels of social exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination. The vast majority of children with disabilities do not attend primary schools, and even for those who do; the vast majority do not complete their primary education.

In the Northern Region of the Uganda, many people with disabilities have spent their whole lives living in IDP camps, are unable to access humanitarian aid provided by mainstream agencies are often the last to leave the IDP camps, thereby creating “disability ghettos”.

Special issues, such as the need for sign language instruction compounds the forces driving social exclusion. If the teacher at a local community school is unable to speak sign language well, then his or her ability to effectively teach a deaf child is extremely limited.

This report makes 14 key recommendations for DFID Uganda, such as:

  • identify partners and mechanisms to undertake a baseline survey to determine the prevalence rates of children with disabilities and mechanisms to pilot inclusive education programmes in 2 Districts;
  • through its direct budget support, encourage the Government of
  • Uganda to develop a national inclusive education policy, in alignment with the UN Convention;
  • support the Uganda Bureau of Statistics and the National Council for Disability to develop input, output and outcome indicators that effectively monitor the extent to which disability has been mainstreamed and included in public services;
  • fund disability awareness training to senior civil servants in all line Ministries and District authorities in the next 5 years Northern Uganda.
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