The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on disabled people in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A literature review
Produced by Vera Kubenz and Dina Kiwan, University of Birmingham, as part of the GCRF Network+ “Disability Under Siege” project.
About the Project
The “Disability Under Siege – UNPRPD Analytical Framework” project has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to develop an analytical framework to promote and support the implementation of a disability-inclusive response and recovery from COVID-19. The project will run for a period of 12 months from September 2020 to August 2021.
The framework will cover the sectors of Health, Education, Economy/Employment, and Social/Community. It will be produced using participatory methods to ensure that it reflects the priority of disabled people from the Global South. The final framework will be disseminated by the United Nations Partnership for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) to governments, NGOs, Disabled People’s Organisations, and other key stakeholders in the countries where UNPRPD is currently running programmes. The framework will provide a comprehensive toolkit to complete a situational analysis of the impact of COVID-19 response and recovery measures on disabled people, as well as include recommendations for best practice examples and an evidence-based rationale for key measures to ensure disabled people are not marginalised or excluded further as a result of national and international responses to COVID-19.
The project team will be engaging with disabled people from the Global South throughout the production of the framework. In addition, research data from four separately commissioned case studies into the impact of COVID-19 on disabled people in UNRPRD countries will feed into the framework. The project team will also use the case studies to identify key disability activists and organisations for networking activities, including workshops and webinars to facilitate cooperation, learn from each other’s experiences, and build capacity for grassroots organisations involved in disability justice. The UNPRPD Analytical Framework report will be disseminated through local events, and the project team will additionally develop resources and toolkits to be disseminated to local grassroots organisations through the established network, in order to effectively support local activists in campaigning and affecting change.
Objectives and Activities
The rationale for this project is to lead on formulating this framework, ensuring that its development is research-informed using a participative methodology. Its objectives entail:
- Developing a research-informed multi-sectoral response to the increased challenges arising from the context of COVID-19
- Identifying future/emerging research priorities and gaps in research in order to ensure medium-long term disability-inclusive development in line with the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and meeting the relevant SDGs (“Building Back Better”)
- Informing future priorities for research collaboration between UK Research Innovation (including cross-Research Council remit) and UNPRPD
- Developing resilience to future challenges – at individual, community, national and global levels
- Developing equitable working relationships with the LMICs to foster long-term cross-disciplinary collaborations between LMICs, UK researchers, and UNPRPD.
The methodology for the development of the framework will consist of two key components:
- a ‘desk-based’ research review of the existing literature on the impact of crises, including pandemics, on the lives of persons with disabilities. It is envisioned that this will include previous research, ongoing research specifically on the impact of COVID-19, international organisation and national government documentation, disability-led organisations and other relevant grey literature. It is also anticipated that this will also include recently completed and/or ongoing situational analyses conducted in a number of countries in coordination with the UNPRPD
- Empirical data from separately commissioned case studies from UNRPRD countries (Ghana/Indonesia, Nepal, Palestine/Lebanon/Jordan, Peru, Uganda, Ukraine, Zimbabwe).
The project team will coordinate with the leads on each of the commissioned case studies to ensure approaches are consolidated and complementary. Any emerging findings will feed into the ongoing development of the framework over the period of the project.
UK-based and regional dissemination events with key stakeholders will take place in Months 11 and 12, along with an UN-based launch and dissemination event at the end of the project in Month 12.