Domain: Programmes

Themes: Assistive & Accessible Technology

Innovation to Inclusion: i2i

Location: Kenya and Bangladesh

Group of wheelchair users and I2I project staff

Innovation to Inclusion (i2i) is a three-year programme focused on technological initiatives that directly improve access to paid private sector work for people with disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh. Funded by UK aid and managed by a consortium led by pan-disability charity Leonard Cheshire, i2i will improve access to waged employment for 10,000 women and men and benefit up to 50,000 family and community members.


i2i has been designed to show the impact that digital and tech-based solutions can have in strengthening disability inclusion.
The programme will reach 120 government personnel; 100 DPO representatives; 100 employer representatives; and 12,000 family and community members of people with disabilities, as well as directly benefit 10,000 people with disabilities of working age.

The i2i programme specifically emphasises digital and technological innovations along the DEP [Disability Employment Pathway] to increase persons with disabilities’ confidence, soft skills and digital literacy while finding solutions to address barriers in employment and retention such as additional cost of transportation, accommodation and lack of assistive technologies.

i2i will also work with DPOs to strengthen community support for women and men with disabilities seeking employment by addressing social and gender norms. Skilled women and men with disabilities will be supported to find waged employment through an inclusive employer hub which includes accessible online job matching platforms, job fairs and recruitment agencies.

Consortium partners

The i2i programme will bring together a diverse and complementary group of expert partners, led by Leonard Cheshire. Each organisation brings specific expertise towards the goal of creating inclusive employment opportunities for persons with disabilities in the formal sector in Kenya and Bangladesh.

  • Action Network for the Disabled Kenya (ANDY)
  • Bangladesh Business and Disability Network (BBDN)
  • CBM
  • European Disability Forum (EDF)
  • Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDIH)
  • International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  • London School of Tropical Health and Medicine (LSTHM)
  • Plan International UK (Plan)
  • World Bank (WB)

Included in the project delivery are at least 20 Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs), 80 private companies, government agencies and government staff in the implementing countries, technology-based recruitment companies and key academic institutions.

GDI Hub - innovation expertise

GDI Hub will identify and select innovative ideas through an innovation challenge call to support, develop and implement ideas that will address solutions to barriers for women and men with disabilities to access and retain waged employment in the private sector (specifically technology) in Kenya and Bangladesh.

Working papers

"Barriers to Access and Retain Formal Employment for Persons with Disabilities in Bangladesh and Kenya" - was written by GDI Hub's Nusrat Jahan and Professor Catherine Holloway to support the development of challenge statements for a GDI Hub innovation challenge fund call related to improving access to and retention of employment for persons with disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh.

Scoping report

Conducted in late 2018 and published in January 2019 the scoping report formed part of a wider approach of the UK Government Aid Connect Scoping Programme to research and understand innovative approaches to the provision of Assistive Technology for disabled people seeking employment in Kenya and Bangladesh. As the global development community moves to reduce the price and increase access to AT through markets and governments, this scoping study seeks to understand a little more about what can be done to enable persons with disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh to overcome barriers to formal sector employment through access to AT.

The report is a rapid assessment and was limited in scope to formal sector engagement. We note that for vast numbers of disabled people living in Bangladesh and Kenya, the informal sector is often where livelihoods are made; but that isn’t the focus of this work. The research has been prepared b GDI Hub to harness the synergies between Aid Connect and the AT2030 and ATscale global programmes and these opportunities drawn out throughout the report.