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INCLUDING A DISABILITY AGENDA IN DEVELOPMENT: MYTH OR REALITY? A CASE STUDY OF BINGA DISTRICT IN ZIMBABWE

MUNSAKA, EDSON (2012) INCLUDING A DISABILITY AGENDA IN DEVELOPMENT: MYTH OR REALITY? A CASE STUDY OF BINGA DISTRICT IN ZIMBABWE. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

Full text not available from this repository.
Author-imposed embargo until 28 June 2017.

Abstract

Development theory, policy and practice have undergone considerable change since the end of Second World War 1945. In this period development has increasingly come to be understood as a process that must involve the "poor‟. And within development discourse, there is little disagreement that disabled people are amongst the poorest (Elwan, 1999; Katsui, 2007). According to the Asian Development Bank (2000:1), “poverty and disability reinforce each other.” However, although poverty affect both men and women worldwide (Welch, 2002), available literature on women and poverty (Buvinic, 1997; Omar, 2011) suggest that women‟s lives are characterised by increased poverty levels when compared to their male counterparts. This is largely due to women's subordinate status, which is compounded by the presence of impairment (Welch, 2002). This study explores the experiences of disabled people in development processes in Binga, a district of Zimbabwe shaped by Tonga culture and characterised by political oppression and isolation.

Twenty disabled adults in three wards contributed accounts of their life experiences in narrative interviews. Interviews were also held with government officers, traditional community leaders (chiefs, councillors) and a representative of a national disability organization to elicit their understanding and awareness of disabled people‟s participation in development processes. Four focus group discussions with disabled and non-disabled people were held and six village and ward committee meetings observed to gain a deeper understanding of public attitudes to disabled people.

Despite the modernising effects of globalisation in Zimbabwe, Tonga cultural beliefs still dominated understanding about the causes and implications of bodily impairment. Disabled people summarily defined and subjected to negative stereotyping, experienced pernicious social exclusion from community life, starting with low family expectations and aspirations, limited access to education and persistent exclusion from opportunities to take responsibility as citizens of their own communities. But employing Sen's capability framework, conceptualisation of development as freedom and considerations of justice, brings new insights not only into understanding disabled people‟s experiences of exclusion, but also possible ways in which disabled people could be included in the development processes of villages and wards in which they live.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Disabled people; development process; participation; cultural beliefs; Sen's capability approach
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Applied Social Sciences, School of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:27 Apr 2012 09:52

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