Q&A on “Disability Inclusion in EIIP Stocktaking and way forward”

People with disabilities make up an estimated one billion, or 15 per cent of the world's population. Approximately 80 per cent are of working age. On International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PWD), the ILO has launched a new study providing guidance and recommendations on mainstreaming disability inclusion in employment intensive infrastructure investments.

Q: What is the main focus of this new publication, and what motivated the ILO to produce it?

The study focuses on the inclusion of persons with disabilities and making sure the workplace is equitable and accessible for these populations while ensuring fair treatment. Today, there are barriers to equal opportunity faced by persons with disabilities, and they are at a higher risk of insufficient social protection and unemployment.  

This new study by the ILO's Employment Intensive Investment Programme (EIIP), assesses the situation of disability inclusion and provides recommendations towards inclusive infrastructure development at the same time supporting ILO’s Disability Inclusion Policy and Strategy (2020-2023).

Q: Tell us about the approach used to gather the information presented in this study aimed at supporting ILO EIIP staff and practitioners during the process of disability inclusion.

This study was a joint undertaking by the Job Creation through Public Investment Unit (JCPI) of the Development and Investment Branch (DEVINVEST) and the Gender Equality and Disability Addition Branch (GED), to support EIIP staff and practitioners during the process of disability inclusion. The study was conducted through desk review and interviews with stakeholders, including organizations of persons with disabilities and partners, focusing on four country cases that provided a diverse scope and nature of employment intensive infrastructure works in Jordan, Philippines, Tanzania and Timor Leste.  

Q. What are some of the main findings?

The review identified a number of technical areas that are challenging in implementation and in securing inclusion of persons with disabilities as workers. The process of outreach, mobilization and securing decent working conditions raises a number of hurdles or requires  advice to be navigated. The issue of accessible infrastructure was one of the less explored areas of inclusion, and it also has its own challenges, especially where capacity on the issue of accessibility does not exist.

Q. What are some of the concrete recommendations offered in the publication that help promote disability inclusion in ILO projects and programmes? What good practices have emerged?

Recommendations at the programme level include:
  • Mainstreaming disability as a theme throughout research and technical products, and update EIIP documentation to reflect this priority to include persons with disabilities.
  • Developing research and technical advice on disability inclusion in EIIP.
  • Supporting projects to incorporate and operationalize disability inclusion.
  • Assessing how to develop a more systematic intersectional approach to inclusion in EIIP.

Another recommendation was that EIIP projects should anticipate budget and specific activities to further disability inclusion throughout the project cycle.

Q: For whom is this publication intended? And, how might it be used?

This publication is intended, initially, for the ILO’s Employment Intensive Investment Programme (EIIP) technical staff and all stakeholders working on the issue of disability inclusion and employment.  This may be used by constituents to raise awareness  of the issues of disability inclusion in the world of work, and then find solutions on how to mainstream and implement disability-inclusive policies in the workplace, community and society. This can also be used by researchers to design tools to support monitoring of disability inclusion, for wider reach and impact.