No one left behind

No one left behind: a review of disability inclusive development efforts at the World Bank

Citation

Karr, V.L., J. Sims, C. Brusegaard and A. Coates. 2016. No one left behind: a review of disability inclusive development efforts at the World Bank. Knowledge Management for Development Journal 11(2): 27-42.

Preview

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a way that "no one is left behind," AidData has been working to better understand the disability inclusive development efforts of development agencies. A new study — published in the Knowledge Management for Development Journal by a research team that includes AidData Program Manager Jacob Sims — pilots a methodology to monitor the inclusion of people with disabilities in the development efforts of the World Bank, and aligns its findings against progress toward the SDGs by asking two questions:

  1. Are active World Bank projects inclusive of persons with disabilities?
  2. What areas of development and which SDGs do disability-inclusive projects focus on?

The purpose of this "No One Left Behind" study is to assess the inclusion of people with disabilities by international development cooperation organizations, specifically their inclusion as target beneficiaries in the active project portfolio of a multilateral development agency. Due to its strong disability inclusive development agenda and commitment to data transparency, the World Bank was chosen as the first agency for focus. Greater understanding of the disability inclusive development projects of a major organization like the World Bank will provide policymakers with insight into the current state of inclusive development for people with disabilities.

While disability inclusive projects were found to make up only a small percentage of the overall active World Bank portfolio (2.0%), the researchers' preliminary analysis indicates an investment focus in several areas, such as social protection systems and measures, technical assistance and partnerships, education, health, and affordable housing. The article closes by considering implications for future efforts to track the inclusiveness of development finance as the international community moves forward in implementing the SDGs.