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19 November 2020
13:00 UK / 08:00 EST

Country Capacity Assessments - supporting country governments to address AT access

Showcasing the need for and the importance of Assistive Technology (AT) the Country Capacity Assessments have identified current gaps in policy, procurement and provision - giving an overarching view on a national landscape in relation to AT and aiding decision-makers to understand what their AT priorities are.

Assessments have been carried out across 7 countries in Africa, as well as Mongolia and Indonesia, with further assessments ongoing in Viet Nam, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic. A new WHO tool has been used to collect the data - the AT Capacity Assessment tool (ATA-C). This project is part of Global Disability Innovation Hub’s UK aid funded AT2030 programme, and has been delivered alongside WHO, CHAI and UCL’s Development Planning Unit.

Hear from those that created the ATA-C tool and implemented the Country Capacity Assessments, exploring in more detail the insights and outcomes from Ethiopia, and the importance of stakeholders in driving health policy change. We’ll also find out more from Bolivia, where the assessment is just beginning, and how the ATA-C tool is being launched globally to support national governments to improve access to AT.

Read the lessons learned report of the Country Capacity Assessment

Vicki Austin smiling
Vicki Austin
CEO and Co-founder of the Global Disability Innovation Hub. Previously Head of London 2012 Paralympic Legacy for the Mayor of London, Vicki is an expert in disability and social justice. The Global Disability Innovation Hub is opperational in 33 countries gloablly.
Emma smiling and wearing eyeglasses

Emma Tebbutt

Emma works in the Assistive Technology Team at the World Health Organization and is responsible for developing a global model of integrated AT service provision, with practical tools to support countries to strengthen access to AT within health systems.
Maria Toro smiling

Maria L. Toro-Hernandez

Maria L. Toro-Hernandez serves as an assistive technology consultant to WHO regional office for the Americas, the PanAmerican Health Organization. Currently participating in the teams implementing a joined ATA-C with the Systematic Assessment of Rehabilitation Situation (STARS) in Bolivia and the ATA-C in the Dominican Republic. Her background is in biomedical engineering and holds a PhD in rehabilitation science.
Headshot of Julian

Julian Walker

Associate Professor and Co-Director of Gender Policy and Planning Programme, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL
Colour image of Eshetu

Eshetu Bekele Tadesse

M&E Coordinator, CHAI Ethiopia

Abas Hassen Yesuf

Director, Ministry of Health - Clinical Services Directorate, Ethiopia


The Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub), World Health Organization (WHO), and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) have been working since early 2019 to create and pilot a new tool for evaluating a country’s capacity to deliver appropriate assistive technology (AT), at scale, to people in need. The tool, called the Assistive Technology Capacity Assessment (ATA-C), has now been used to complete 11 country capacity assessments (CCAs), and five more are underway. The purpose of the CCAs is to “capture a high-level understanding of the often-fragmented AT sector in a country or region,” helping raise awareness about AT gaps and opportunities and contributing to advocacy and policy and program development. One year after the first CCAs began, GDI Hub commissioned research into lessons learned so far and recommendations for how the tool and process might be improved in the future.

The ATA-C tool

The ATA-C has had several key successes across the board, including:

  • It raised awareness about AT issues in every country where it has been implemented.
  • The CCA process led directly to a greater degree of coordination among AT actors in each country. In most cases, it led to the creation of new working groups that collaborate and share information across different government ministries and non-governmental partners.
  • In some countries, findings from the ATA-C have already helped form the basis for new policies and, in some countries, budget allocations. In others, the findings are informing ongoing policy development.

Find out more by reading the full Country Capacity Assessment lessons learnt innovation insight.

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