RESOURCES

Voices of the Marginalized Persons with Disabilities, Older People, People with Mental Health Issues


Voices of the Marginalized Persons with Disabilities, Older People, People with Mental Health Issues

by Emma Cain, Consultant

Editors: Marion Steff, Sightsavers, Marc Wortmann, Alzheimer’s Disease International, Sylvia Beales, HelpAge International, Sylvie Cordier, ADD International

October 2012

Abstract: The growing consensus on the need to focus more directly on inequalities in order to achieve sustainable development which benefits all stems from the broad recognition that the poorest and most marginalized have not benefitted equitably from development efforts within the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) framework.

Drawing on the experience of four organizations (ADD International, Sightsavers, HelpAge International, Alzheimer’s Disease International), this paper argues the case for a greater focus on horizontal inequalities which relate to social factors of ‘difference’, and which contribute to marginalization. By focusing on the experience of persons with disabilities, older people and people with mental health issues, the paper explores the dynamics and mechanisms which marginalize individuals, and calls for a greater focus on these issues in current and future development frameworks. The paper highlights the importance of bringing the ‘lived experience’ in to the analysis and policymaking process through initiatives such as the ‘Voices of the Marginalized’ research project which promotes the voice and participation of persons with disabilities, older people and people with mental health issues.