Article 32 of the UNCRPD requires that international aid programs are inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities. Myanmar is both a signatory to the UNCRPD and is also a major recipient of aid from signatory countries.
This study aimed to identify if the requirements of Article 32. 1 (a) are reflected in donor-funded aid programmes in Myanmar. The primary purpose was to analyse compliance along ‘the aid delivery chain’ understood to encompass policy commitment by donor agencies and in-country partners, identifying influencing factors on disability-inclusive development practices. The research used a multi-method design in a two-step approach involving purposive sampling of three bilateral donors active in Myanmar to analyse their policy commitment of disability inclusion. The second step involved interviews with aid and development stakeholders focusing on respondents’ experiences and understanding about disability inclusion in aid programs in Myanmar.
The findings demonstrate the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the aid delivery chain is not yet regarded as a key priority as prescribed by the UNCRPD. Yet, disability inclusion still occurred where a leader within an organization has commitment. The presence of an activist further strengthened disability inclusion. Employing persons with disabilities in organisations helped to raise awareness and understanding about disability in their own organisation and their network of stakeholders.
The outcome point to the need to identify policy compliance on the Article 32 by donors who are signatories to the UNCRPD and to recognise the key influencing factors on disability inclusion at all levels of the aid delivery chain. The findings of this study would lead to better understanding of the need to monitor compliance with UNCRPD by the government, donor agencies and disability advocates and activists for disability inclusion in international cooperation and aid and development programmes.