Globally, disabled people are disproportionately excluded from the workforce. For the general population, it is recognised that having a job is closely linked to better health, wellbeing, self-esteem and to social inclusion. Disabled people are known to be disadvantaged in all these arenas and being employed may be a powerful route out of exclusion.
The Inclusion Works programme (2018–2022), funded by the UK Department for International Development, aims to improve employment rates for people with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. This Working Paper provides an overview of disability as a concept and relevant global treaties and statistics, including evidence of trends and complexities in promoting disability inclusive employment broadly and with some focus on formal employment specifically. We describe the current situation in each of the four focus countries, demonstrating the similarities and differences between them. We then discuss some promising interventions that have been tried, usually on a small scale, in diverse settings, and which may be applicable in our four focus countries. Finally, we present the potential interventions that will be trialled in the Inclusion Works programme, using an innovation-driven, adaptive management approach.