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Developing Countries: Disabled

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the effects of its spending on education in developing countries on the education of disabled children in those countries. (289251)

The Department for International Development (DFID) is committed to the integration of disability policy and practice as set out in DFID’s policy “Reducing Poverty by Tackling Social Exclusion” (2005). The practice paper, “Working on Disability in Country Programmes” (2007), sets out DFID’s approach and commitments on disability which is main-streamed across all sectors, including education. These are available in the Library of the House and on the DFID website:

DFID’s country-led approach helps support partner countries’ plans, policies and programmes to ensure that children, including those with disabilities, benefit from quality education. This holistic approach includes working with partners to ensure that access to education by children with special needs is addressed.

The UK is spending £8.5 billion over the period 2006-07 to 2015-16 in support of education in developing countries. DFID’s new White Paper “Eliminating World Poverty: Building our Common Future” announced that a new Education Strategy will be launched. A public consultation process will be held up to end October, which will enable us to review how we support social inclusion issues and receive views from interested parties.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what account his Department takes of the twin-track approach to disability set out in his Department's paper, “Disability, poverty and development”, in the development of its work on education and disability. (289255)

The Department for International Development (DFID) is implementing the “twin-track” approach on its work on education and disability in the following ways:

The “How to note” on Working on Disability in Country Programmes is being disseminated to DFID programmes and to Civil Society partners. The note is available at: DFID.pdf

DFID requires all 22 priority countries to carry out a Country Governance Analysis (CGA) as part of the planning and design of new country strategies. This analysis includes an assessment of gender inequalities and of excluded groups, their interests and needs. To date, partner governments in Uganda and Ethiopia have explicitly targeted disabled children in their national strategies for education.

DFID supports civil society in shaping the design of national education systems and services, so that the interests of disabled people and other excluded groups are reflected in national planning processes. DFID also supports capacity building for disabled people's organisations, so that they can engage with government and others on the design of essential service provision.

DFID supports the global Disability Rights Fund (with a current contribution of £868,000 over 18 months) which provides grants to work with and help empower disabled people.

Starting in 2009-10, DFID will include disabled people when designing evaluation systems and other tools for building the evidence of good practice in reducing poverty, including through education.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much of his Department's expenditure on education was incurred in relation to (a) projects directly targeting disabled children and (b) broader projects on education with disability mainstreamed in (i) Nigeria, (ii) Tanzania, (iii) India and (iv) Pakistan in the most recent year for which figures are available. (289258)

The UK is spending £8.5 billion over the period 2006-07 to 2015-16 in support of education in developing countries. As the bulk of our support and engagement is provided through direct budget support and sector wide approaches, we are unable to put a specific global figure on the amount of money spent directly on disabled children. However, we encourage partner governments to ensure that their monitoring mechanisms can track the effects of national education sector spending on the most vulnerable children, including disabled children.

The estimated spend on projects where disability is either directly targeted or mainstreamed in the four countries listed is:

India—The DFID supported Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), National Education for All Programme, has helped reach over 1 million children with special needs since 2005-06. The programme has spent over £78 million of which it is estimated approximately £2.3 million supported special needs children.

Nigeria—DFID provides support to a set of State level sector programmes including education sector support through the Education Sector Support Programme. DFID Nigeria is increasing its support from £100 million in 2008-09 to £140 million in 2010-11. The increased allocation is being used to expand support to selected partner states for health and education over the next three years.

Pakistan—We do not have any ongoing or pipeline programmes that specifically target the disabled. Our support is mainly provided through sector budgets in support of provincial plans, within which issues relating to provision for disabled children is made.

Tanzania—DFID's support in Tanzania is aligned with the Government of Tanzania National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty. In 2007-08 DFID provided £105 million as budget support of which over £26 million went to the education sector. Of this, we estimate that more than £66,000 went on school places for disabled children.