Press release

IDS welcomes new UK government initiatives to improve lives of people with disabilities globally

Published on 24 July 2018

In response to the announcement by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Secretary of State Penny Mordaunt MP of a range of new initiatives to help improve the economic opportunities as well as health and education outcomes for people with disabilities living in low and middle-income countries, Mary Wickenden, IDS Research Fellow said:

“These new initiatives can hopefully bring about a step change in how people with disabilities are included and shape the critical decisions that affect their lives, and their rights and needs as citizens fully recognised.

The programmes will help ensure that the life chances of disabled people in countries including Bangladesh, Kenya, Lebanon, Nepal Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda are equal to everyone else in their communities.”

About the programmes

IDS is a member of the DFID-funded consortiums that will manage the UK Aid Connect and Disability Inclusive Development (DID) programmes that are being led by Sightsavers. Other consortium members on the UK Aid Connect programme include the International Disability Alliance and ADD International, and partners include Standard Chartered Bank, Youth Career Initiative, BBC Media Action, Development Initiatives, Benetech and Humanity and Inclusion UK. The consortium will focus on generating grassroots evidence; academic, analytical expertise in gender, poverty, participation and exclusion; and private sector know-how and commitment to investing in and employing people with disabilities.

DID partners include International Disability Alliance, ADD International, BBC Media Action, BRAC, Humanity & Inclusion, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Light for the World, Sense International and Social Development Direct. The programme will seek to achieve long-term improved wellbeing and inclusion for people with disabilities in low and middle-income countries, through increased equitable access to quality health services and health outcomes, increased equitable access to quality education and educational attainment, and increased equitable access to jobs/self-employment and improved livelihoods. The programmes form part of a broader area of work around participation, inclusion and social change at IDS.


For more information contact: Hannah Corbett, Head of Communications and Engagement, [email protected], 07701286978

Notes to Editors

  1. The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is a global research and learning organisation for equitable and sustainable change. 
  2. IDS undertakes a wide range of research on disability as part of a broader area of work around participation, inclusion and social change.  
  3. IDS’ Participation Cluster research specialises in the development of participatory research methods with particular emphasis on systematic social exclusion facing women, people living in extreme poverty, people with disabilities, slaves and bonded labourers and others. 

Key contacts

Hannah Corbett

Head of Communications and Engagement

+44 (0)1273 915640


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