K4D Helpdesk Report 311

Strengthening Participation of People with Disabilities in Leadership Roles in Developing Countries

Published on 4 May 2018

People with disabilities have often been excluded from playing an active part and leadership roles in the political and social life in their own countries.

There remain serious gaps in the literature on successful strategies for increasing and promoting leadership roles of persons with disabilities in developing countries. Information gaps also remain on how best to provide support within the context of promoting inclusive leadership for persons with disabilities, and there is a need for additional research to understand how far people with disabilities have moved “beyond tokenism” and into authentic leadership roles (Beckwith et al, 2016).

Strategies are poorly documented and much of the existing literature is highly descriptive in nature, with little data on the effects of the legislation or programmes applied. Up to now, the different research projects have been rather isolated and often focused on specific subject areas or geared towards physical disabilities. The need for rigorous and timely evaluations of strategies implemented to improve political participation and inclusion of people with disabilities cannot be over stated. Without such evidence, this review cannot draw any definitive inferences on which strategies work effectively (as found in systematic reviews such as Virendrakumar et al, 2018 and Jolley et al, 2017).

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Price, R.A. (2018) Strengthening Participation of People with Disabilities in Leadership Roles in Developing Countries. K4D Helpdesk. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.

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Roz Price

Research Officer

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