Once you have developed a sound understanding of the internal and external situation regarding disability and social inclusion within your organisation and the context in which it works, you can begin to plan an inclusive social protection programme. However, if you do not already have one you should first establish an organisational plan on mainstreaming disability before beginning to plan for a specific project. This section therefore briefly covers mainstreaming disability at an organisational level, before focusing specifically on planning inclusive social protection programmes.
Mainstream disability in your organisation
A key first step to mainstreaming disability and planning inclusive programmes is to make sure that all of your programme staff are fully committed to making your organisation inclusive. Prevailing attitudes and stigma towards disability can be very negative and very widespread, so take time to make sure that all staff participate in a disability awareness training before working together on making the organisation inclusive. It is important that all staff have a good knowledge of disability issues and a human rights approach to disability and inclusion.
The training is aimed at international development staff with no or minimum prior disability training, and it is recommended that employees of all levels from management to field staff be involved for the best outcome. The manual contains training activities and role plays as well as practical tips for conducting training, and can be used either as a stand-alone one-day training or in modules.
There are also a number of manuals and documents available which will help you to mainstream disability within your organisation and ensure that your policies and practices at an organisational level are inclusive. An organisational commitment to disability, including the recruitment of persons with disabilities, creating an accessible and inclusive work environment and a commitment to mainstreaming disability in all programmes (whether disability specific or not) is an important step to take before designing new inclusive programmes.
The manual below provides practical guidance on mainstreaming disability within your organisation and creating an inclusive action plan:
VSO Handbook on Mainstreaming Disability
Building the agenda for inclusion
In some countries there may be no legal and policy framework on persons with disabilities and social protection; or the existing one may be not enforced. In these cases, there is a need to strengthen knowledge about disability and ensure it is high on both public and government agendas – including the formal policy agenda of presidents, ministers, and parliamentarians – and to raise awareness about the importance of developing inclusive social protection laws, policies and programmes.
Stakeholders such as public officials, disabled people’s organisations and the disability sector can play an important role in engaging policy-makers and ensuring that the inclusion of persons with disabilities is formally addressed in social protection policies and schemes. It is only when issues become important topics among the general public, and individuals or groups begin to take actions with clear objectives and based on strong evidence, that decision-makers begin to address them as critical issues in the political and policy agenda. There are a variety of ways to raise awareness about the rights of persons with disabilities to social protection, including public-information campaigns, media coverage, public hearings, written submissions to policy consultations, and other direct actions. These will usually be more effective if they involve a broad coalition of organisations, including disabled people’s organisations and pro-disability organisations, development partners and broader civil society groups.
Further ideas and guidance on advocacy for disability rights that can be adapted for advocacy on the right to social protection is available in this manual from Action on Disability and Development:
Disability Rights Advocacy
Planning for an inclusive social protection project
When planning an inclusive social protection project, it is important to consider who to involve from outside of your organisation. It is crucial that you involve disabled people along with other key stakeholders in social protection (who can be identified through a stakeholder analysis as described in ‘analysis and preparation’). These include national and regional government officials, representatives from Disabled People’s Organisations and disability service providers.
A good way to begin is with a planning workshop, in which key stakeholders can participate and share ideas on how best to design a programme that meets community needs and priorities. Collaborative planning tools will help you to get the most out of a meeting, ensuring that everyone can contribute their expertise and experience.
The tool below (developed as part of the ‘Make Development Inclusive’ project on mainstreaming disability in development cooperation) can help you, in collaboration with persons with disabilities and other stakeholders, to identify specific needs and potential barriers faced by disabled people and other community stakeholders in a participatory way:
Inclusion Grows Toolkit on disability mainstreaming for the German Development Cooperation
You must ensure that any venue you use for the planning workshop is accessible and that information is shared in an accessible way with sign language interpreters or Braille versions as needed. The tool below provides straightforward guidance on inclusive and accessible meeting practices:
Handicap International Guide to Improve Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities: For Inclusive Meetings!
Remember that the barriers faced by disabled people are diverse and that the programme will not be truly inclusive if these are not considered from the outset. Moreover, budgeting for inclusion during project design has been shown to be much more cost-efficient than making adaptations once the project has begun. As a general rule, budgeting for inclusion should incur between 5-7% of operational costs and 1-3% of administrative costs. This brochure contains further guidance on budgeting for inclusion:
CBM Disability Inclusive Development Toolkit
It is crucial that you also specifically consider the gender dimension of inclusion, and in particular the “double burden” of barriers faced by women with disabilities. Women can often be marginalised from development processes, and women with disabilities can therefore face double discrimination. Empowering women in general, and women with disabilities in particular, and including them in all elements of a development project (from planning to implementation and results) is critical to achieving universal access and inclusion. The gender and disability mainstreaming analysis tool below provides a framework for gender and disability inclusion at the macro, meso and micro level.
DIWA Gender and disability Mainstreaming Analysis Tool
Based on the outcomes of your planning workshop, you should create a log frame to outline your goal, purpose, outcomes and activities. This will also help you develop indicators of achievement and identify potential risks. You should check through each stage of the log frame to make sure that it is inclusive. For example, if there is a public works component to the programme, could this exclude people with physical impairments? Where programmes are targeted, do the eligibility criteria for the programme take disability into account and, if so, how is this determined? If there are conditions for beneficiaries to meet, is additional support provided to assist persons with disabilities to meet them? Or, if you are planning a health insurance scheme, how will you provide information on the scheme to people with communication impairments and does the benefit package reflect their needs and those of other persons with disabilities?
The checklist below provides some key considerations to check as you create your log frame and finalise your plan for an inclusive social protection programme. This can also help to create a framework for developing inclusive Monitoring and Evaluation indicators, which is an important part of project planning.
Social Protection Checklist Adapted from CBM ‘Inclusion is easy’ doc – project output
Finally, if you or colleagues have experience with community-based rehabilitation (CBR) projects, or are interested in incorporating the principles of CBR into your social protection activities, the livelihood component of WHO’s CBR guidelines contains a whole chapter on social protection
Community-Based Rehabilitation Guidelines: Livelihood Component (WHO, 2010)
 Building an Inclusive Development Community: A manual on including persons with disabilities in international development programs, MIUSA 2003