Global Disability: Research and Evidence

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Explore how to conduct and interpret findings from global disability research.

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Understand why and how to do research in the field of global disability

Around 15% of the world’s population, or one billion people, live with some form of disability. With aging populations, the global number of people with disabilities will continue to grow over the coming decades. Disability often affects vulnerable groups and is more common among women, older people, and households that are poor. People with disabilities often have higher health care needs, but may find it difficult to access services. They face a range of exclusions, from employment, education, or other aspects of society.

These exclusions are contrary to the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which calls upon all countries to respect and ensure the equal rights and participation of all persons with disabilities in education, health care, employment, and inclusion in all aspects of society.

Evidence on disability is needed for a range of reasons – to measure the magnitude, highlight inequalities in access, and evaluate interventions that aim to improve the lives of people with disabilities. This evidence can be used to advocate, inform policy, plan services, and address the exclusions that people with disabilities face.

In this course, you will learn from researchers, persons with disabilities, and policymakers as we look to enhance our understanding of the importance of evidence, and how research can be conducted, interpreted, and used to inform policy and practice.

What topics will you cover?

  • What is a disability and why is it important
  • Why do we need evidence about global disability
  • Identification/measurement of disability in surveys
  • Measuring the impact of disability
  • Data disaggregation
  • Analysing qualitative and quantitative data
  • Interpreting findings of research studies
  • Assessing the quality of research studies
  • Including people with disabilities in research
  • Decolonizing global health
  • Disseminating data
  • Using evidence to inform practice

Who is the course for?

The target audience is researchers, NGO workers, disability advocates, and health professionals across a range of sectors who have an interest in gathering or interpreting evidence on disability.

No prior experience or qualifications are required; however, we will encourage people with some research experience who want to learn about disability or people who work in NGOs focussed on disability, or DPOs who want to learn about research. We will focus predominantly on research from low and middle-income country contexts, however, the themes are also applicable to learners from high-income countries.

Global Disability: Research and Evidence

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