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Disability: Monitoring and Evaluation Considerations

Disability is NOT a health condition.

Disability results when persons with impairments face attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

In other words, the more a person is able to participate in society, the “less disabled” a person is. For instance, a person with a hearing impairment (e.g. cannot hear at all) is disabled only if they can’t participate in activities such as communicating with family members, accessing information or trading in a market.

However, if the same person can communicate with family members through sign language, can access information by reading it or use sign language in a market is not disabled as he is able to perform the activities the same as a person without a hearing impairment.

The functional theory of disability puts the burden of inclusion on the environment as opposed to a person’s medical condition. It is the combination of both the medical condition and the environment around that person which is responsible for disabling the person.

In Monitoring and Evaluation it is important to have indicators that measure how inclusive a programme is to persons with impairments. In the past there has been a lack of sufficient data and information on disability and the situation of persons with disabilities. This gap in the data contributes to the invisibility of persons with disabilities in official statistics, presenting an obstacle to achieving development planning and implementation that is inclusive of persons with disabilities.


Baloch, Jawwad (2020). Disability Inclusion Framework and Guidance – ELAN 1.2


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​​​Ann-Murray Brown

Monitoring, Evaluation and
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