Private Sector: Disability Inclusion in Market Development

The inclusion of people with disabilities in market driven development is a new and relatively poorly informed area of practice. Very little information is available about effective strategies that promote participation, contribution and benefits by people with disabilities in Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P). With the recent increased focus on economic development and recognition of the important role that the private sector plays in development, combined with the commitment of development agencies to inclusion (including people with disabilities), as articulated in the“leave no one behind” agenda (a key feature in the post-2015 agenda and is promoted through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)),[1] makes market development an important and growing area.  Initial findings from research published on social inclusion in market-based solutions published in late 2016 by a global partnership recommended that: “-- there are viable opportunities for a much greater use of market-based approaches that improve the livelihoods and incomes of people who are extremely poor and marginalized [including people with disabilities]. This can be done by changing the rules and norms, supporting functions, information or risk profiles that market actors experience, in order to incentivise new business models, structures, services or technology”[2]. [Extract from Disability Inclusion Strategy for the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Rural Economic Development (AIP-Rural)- 2016]

In late 2016 Sarah completed the consultation and design process of the first disability inclusive strategy for AIP - Rural an Australian Government partnership in Indonesia that is promoting and supporting market development for poor rural women and men farmers in Eastern Indonesia. She completed this piece of work with the Indonesian disability activist and consultant Joni Yulianto. 

Promoting disability inclusion in a market development program is a new and relatively unchartered area of practice. There are challenges in determining how to balance human rights that underpin disability inclusive practice with economic and market driven development objectives. The first stage of implementation of the new strategy will commence in mid 2017. Sarah and Joni will facilitate training to AIP-Rural staff on disability inclusive rights and development. They will also work with the program team and partners in identifying entry points for disability inclusion. This will include refining collection of monitoring and evaluation data to include disability indicators; seeking information about the presence and situation of people with disabilities and families with family members with disabilities in the target populations; and seeking and forming technical and program alliances with disabled peoples organisations in the locations where the activities are implemented. 

Updates on implementation, and progress made and lessons learned will be shared on this web site in the latter part of 2017. 



[1], May 2016, accessed 8th November 2016

[2], accessed 6th September 2016