An exploration of the involvement of people with disabilities in poverty-reduction strategies in Malawi

Massah, Bonface Ophiyah (2011-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Rehabilitation))-- University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The needs and rights of people with disabilities are often not adequately featured in national development strategies. Furthermore, their aspirations to participate in community activities are denied by socio-economic and cultural barriers in societies. Against this background, the aim of this study was to explore the involvement of people with disabilities in poverty-reduction strategies in Malawi. In particular, the study investigated the factors that promoted or hindered their participation in development strategies and showed how the contributions of people with disabilities were reflected in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS). This study could be a useful resource in bringing about an understanding of disability inclusion in the context of the MGDS in Malawi. The study was conducted in three main cities of Malawi, namely; Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu. Qualitative research methods were used employing an exploratory study design. Data was collected using two data collection methods, namely; key informant interviews and focus group discussions. A purposive sample of 15 people was selected to participate in key informant interviews. Using these key informants, a snowballing technique was used to identify 30 respondents that participated in three focus group discussions, each comprising 10 participants. Interviews were conducted until saturation point was reached and no new information was elicited. Interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim. A thematic content analysis was conducted following a systematic process of coding data and grouping codes into categories from which themes were generated. This study has shown that there was minimal participation of people with disabilities in consultation meetings of the MGDS formation process. Overall, the study found that people with disabilities have limited education and knowledge to effectively participate at policy-making level. The study also found that the process of including disability in all spheres of life is very slow because of societal stereotypes and negative attitudes towards disability. Although there are several disability legal frameworks, there is no Disability Act that is enforceable by law. Therefore, people with disabilities are not protected by law. This trend should be reversed to improve self-representation of people with disabilities throughout policy formation processes.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die behoeftes en regte van gestremde mense word dikwels nie voldoende ingesluit by nasionale ontwikkelingstrategieë nie. Meer nog, hierdie mense se strewe om deel te wees van aktiwiteite in die gemeenskap word deur sosio-ekonomiese en kulturele grense in gemeenskappe verhinder. In die lig hiervan is die doelwit van hierdie studie om die betrokkenheid van gestremde mense by armoedeverligtingstrategieë in Malawi te ondersoek. Dié studie fokus in die besonder op dié faktore wat gestremde mense se deelname aan ontwikkelingstrategieë bevorder of verhinder, en toon aan hoe die bydraes van gestremde mense in die Malawi Groei- en Ontwikkelingstrategie (MGOS) weerspieël word. Hierdie studie kan 'n nuttige instrument wees om begrip te vestig vir gestremde mense in die konteks van die MGOS. Die studie is uitgevoer in drie hoofstede van Malawi, naamlik Blantyre, Lilongwe en Mzuzu. Kwalitatiewe navorsingsmetodes is met behulp van 'n proefstudieontwerp gebruik. Inligting is verkry deur twee data-insamelingsmetodes te gebruik, naamlik onderhoude met segspersone en fokusgroepbesprekings. 'n Doelgerigte steekproef van 15 mense is gekies om aan die onderhoude met die belangrikste segspersone deel te neem. Tydens hierdie onderhoude is 'n sneeubaltegniek gebruik om 30 respondente te identifiseer, wat toe deelgeneem het aan 3 fokusgroepbesprekings wat elk uit 10 deelnemers bestaan het. Onderhoude is gevoer totdat 'n versadigingspunt bereik is en geen nuwe inligting ingewin kon word nie. Onderhoude is opgeneem en verbatim getranskribeer. 'n Tematiese inhoudsontleding is gedoen deur 'n sistematiese proses om inligting te kodeer en kodes in kategorieë te groepeer, waaruit temas dan geïdentifiseer is. Hierdie studie toon aan dat gestremde mense minimaal betrokke was by konsultasievergaderings oor die MGOS se vormingsproses. Oor die algemeen het die studie bevind dat gestremde mense te min opleiding en kennis het om op beleidsvormende vlak doeltreffend te kan deelneem. Die studie het ook bevind dat die proses om gestremde mense by alle sfere van die lewe in te sluit, baie stadig verloop weens die samelewing se stereotipes en negatiewe ingesteldheid teenoor gestremde mense. Al is daar verskeie regsplanne vir gestremde mense in plek, is daar geen Wet op Ongeskiktheid wat afgedwing kan word nie. Daarom word gestremde mense nie deur die wet beskerm nie. Hierdie neiging behoort omgekeer te word om selfverteenwoordiging van gestremde mense in al die beleidsvormingsprosesse te bevorder.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6519
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