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Escaping Stigma and Neglect. People with Disabilities in Sierra Leone. Working paper 164 – forthcoming Giuseppe Zampaglione Mirey Ovadiya Africa Human Development 2 With support from the Disability and Development Team World Bank. Objective of the Policy Note.

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Escaping stigma and neglect l.jpg
Escaping Stigma and Neglect

People with Disabilities in

Sierra Leone

Working paper 164 – forthcoming

Giuseppe Zampaglione

Mirey Ovadiya

Africa Human Development 2

With support from the Disability and

Development Team

World Bank


Objective of the policy note l.jpg
Objective of the Policy Note

  • Provide a diagnosis on the scale and nature of the problem;

  • Analyse current public policies in support of People with Disabilities;

  • Review public and private programs and;

  • Propose policy options to policy makers and development partners.


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A. Diagnosis

  • Poverty a cause and consequence of disability


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A. Prevalence of Disability in Sierra Leone

  • 2004 Census prevalence of disability at 2.4%

  • Likely to be underestimated – Census only captures severe physical disability not including mental disability

  • Reasonable global estimate is 10-12% prevalence

  • Estimated 5% of HHs have one or more disabled person



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A. Geographic Distribution

  • Incidence of People with Disabilities higher in the South and East, and more pronounced in rural areas than in urban ones.

    • People with Disabilities more concentrated in the Southern (2.9%) and Eastern regions (2.8%), followed by the Northern (2.2%) and the Western (1.7%) regions.


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A. Access to Basic Services and Employment

  • Access to Health

  • Access to Education

  • Access to Transport/Mobility

  • Income and employment


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B. Policy Framework in support of PWD

  • Legal Framework

  • Institutional Environment and Policies

    • Constitution

    • Parliament

    • TRC

    • Human Rights Commission of SL

    • Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs

    • NaCSA


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C. Public and Private Programs in support of PWD

  • Public Programs

  • NGO implemented programs

  • Successes to date

  • Challenges

    • Funding

    • Involve more CSO – communities

    • Strenghten DPOs

    • Definition


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B. Definition beyond the emergency

From: People made disabled by an act of violence during the war/ People with a preexistent or war unrelated disability

To : All Sierra Leoneans were disabled by the war and all people with a disability were victims of the war


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D. Policy Options

  • Grouped as:

    • (i) measures that will specifically target people with disabilities and

    • (ii) measures that will work to mainstream disability issues through sector programs.


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D. Policy Options (2)

  • The recommended measures are grouped under three categories:

    • (i) knowledge building and analysis;

    • (ii) strengthening of the legal and institutional framework; and

    • (iii) amelioration of public and private service coverage and financing






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