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36 D+C  e-Paper  August 2016 Handicaps Including everyone The inclusion of people with disabilities is an important issue on the development agenda. The Centre for Rural Development (SLE) of Humboldt University in Berlin recently published a study plus a manual, showing how the inclusion of people with disabilities can be systematically and sustainably incorporated into development cooperation with partner countries. By Bettina Kieck The study was commissioned by Ger­ many’s Federal Ministry for Eco­ nomic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the GIZ-project “Inclusion of persons with disabilities”. It provides the theoretical framework for tackling the issue of inclusion, while its manual offers practical advice for all interested parties. The research team that prepared the study used the opportunity to draft a manual with recommendations based on practical experience. The proposals resulted from numerous interviews with activists from disabled people’s organisa­ tions, GIZ staff, policymakers, instructors from vocational schools and responsible stakeholders from the transportation sec­ tor. The research team tested some of the proposals in workshops in Namibia and modified them accordingly. The practical examples in the publication are all based on first-hand experience. One reason Namibia was considered a good location to conduct the research is the effort of the Namibian government to promote inclusion. This topic is an explicit component of various policy measures. In 2015, the government established a min­ istry devoted to addressing the needs of people with disabilities. Awareness-rais­ ing campaigns are educating local people about the marginalisation that people with disabilities experience. Neverthe­ less, there is an enormous gap between theory and practice. By the way, Namibia is the largest per capita recipient of official development assistance from Germany. In Namibia, the researchers assessed barriers and needs. They paid particular attention to vocational education and trans­ portation. On this basis, they made recom­ mendations to GIZ Namibia, including: ■ ■ to provide sensitivity training and raise awareness among vocational school instructors and other actors, including company directors, human-resource managers and other decision-makers in the private sector, ■ ■ to identify core areas where GIZ consult­ ants can promote inclusion as a cross- cutting issue, ■ ■ to involve Namibian disabled people’s organisations in drafting measures and promote these groups as GIZ partners, for instance by collaborating with dis­ ability trainers from civil-society organi­ sations, ■ ■ to build and expand links between voca­ tional schools and the labour market in order to facilitate the transition from school to work for job candidates with disabilities and ■ ■ to provide financial and technical sup­ port to partner organisations for the development of accessible instruc­ tional materials for trainees with dis­ abilities. The research team also considered GIZ’s transport programme in Namibia. Mobil­ ity is a central concern for people with dis­ abilities. Facilities that people take for granted in an advanced countries like Germany, like barrier-free infrastructure and accessi­ ble public transportation at least in larger cities, are only beginning to bud in devel­ oping countries. In Namibia, getting to Schools in Namibia are not set up for the inclusion of disabled children. Oliver Gerhard/Image Broker/Lineair