Excerpts from a review by Professor Lawrence Haddad
The Institute of Development Studies
University of Sussex
I have been a development researcher for the past 26 years. And yet
not until 2009 did I think about disability and development all that much.
There is much familiar about disability. We know that most of the poor
are excluded, marginalised, disempowered. So we can guess that the
disabled – defined in this way – are more likely to be poor. But I did not
know that so many of the poor were disabled. The book quotes some
statistics from the World Bank to suggest that one in five of the poor are
affected by disability. That is staggering.
It is doubly staggering that the international development community
has, for the most part, ignored this issue. This is shocking because
several of the papers in the volume note that when it is assessed,
disability is a greater excluder of participation than gender and ethnicity.
Despite being one of the more visible manifestations of exclusion, stigma
and lack of power, disability is hidden from sight, most of the time, in
development research discourses. And yet its study offers the potential
of so much learning for everyone working in development. This book
has raised the profile of this set of issues in a context that sadly is new
to many development researchers. I hope IDS can work with others in
the disability and development fields, to form new alliances to coconstruct
new knowledge to deconstruct disability as we know it.
In short, this book deserves to be the benchmark by which all future
books on disability and development are assessed.