In this fourth talk of our seminar series on ‘Building Capacity on disability in low- and middle-income countries’, Professor Nora Groce and Dr Maria Kett, Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre, UCL, will ask the question:
How can research contribute to building capacity on disability in the developing world?
Professor Groce and Dr Kett will discuss some of the ways in which they consider that research has actively contributed to building capacity on disability amongst researchers and practitioners in high and lower income countries. They will speak about their experiences of leading a number of disability-focused research grants, and how disability research has gradually come into the mainstream; as well as the ways in which researchers – as well as advocates and practitioners - have had to adapt to this inclusion. Thanks in part to a shifting global context, including a human rights-based agenda and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2008), disability issues have become more visible in mainstream development research. This is not without a number of challenges, not least an inherently politicised agenda on behalf of some groups; variations in social and cultural contexts and understandings of disability; lack of agreed or unified positions on definitions – all of which have led to challenges in data collection and a lack of data – or rather, a lack of evidence-based, robust data that is accepted and agreed by the range of impairment groups. These challenges themselves raise a number of questions. The presentation will discuss the challenges of building the capacity of researchers and other stakeholders to mainstream disability across a range of approaches and practices.