Barriers to Access and Retain Formal Employment for Persons with Disabilities in Bangladesh and Kenya
Globally persons with disabilities have lower employment rates compared to the general population due to systemic barriers particularly in the formal sector. In developing countries, 80 percent to 90 percent of people with disabilities of working age are unemployed. There has been limited research in low-income and middle-income countries focused on the barriers to access and retain formal employment for persons with disabilities.
In the current context where the global pandemic is breaking barriers to remote working one part of the solution will be to empower persons with disabilities with appropriate access to Information and Communication Technology, assistive devices and services, digital skills, creating more accessible and inclusive digital platforms for persons with disabilities which also hold the potential to improve working conditions and productivity for the whole workforce as well as enhancing resilience to potential future shocks.
This working paper was developed 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 and is written by GDI Hub's Nusrat Jahan and Professor Catherine Holloway.
The paper is part of Innovation to Inclusion (i2i), 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.
Within the consortium, 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.