Disability and Development

There is a clear link between Disability and Development. 

People with disabilities in developing countries make up the biggest definable disadvantaged group in the world: An estimated 600 million people worldwide live with a disability, and 400 million of those live in developing countries - and over 80% of them live below the poverty line. 

These chickens are helping Mourine – who is blind – start a small business. She’s not only lifting herself from poverty, she’s also changing the attitudes of her community about disability.

Many of the causes of disabilities are preventable and directly linked to poverty. Disabilities are caused by poor nutrition, dangerous working and living conditions, limited access to health care, maternity care and vaccination programmes, conflict and natural disasters, poor hygiene, bad sanitation or inadequate information about the causes of impairments.

People with disabilities are often excluded from participating in society, for example in education and work. The vast majority of children with disabilities in developing countries do not complete primary education. Women with disabilities are often doubly disadvantaged, through their status as women and as a person with a disability, and therefore represent one of the most marginalised groups in the world.

The resources below provide further information on how organisations working on international development are addressing Disability, and how Irish NGOs are working towards tackling the underlying causes of disability and including people with disabilities into all strategic areas of work.

Resources for NGOs 


Dóchas Disability and International Development Group

Other Resources