"Disability and Poverty in Uganda" Report Published by the Ugandan Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development

By Hisayo Katsui

The Ugandan Government has published a very interesting report entitled "Disability and Poverty in Uganda: Progress and Challenges in PEAP Implementation 1997-2007." (PEAP stands for poverty eradication action plan and corresponds with poverty reduction strategy papers in other countries.)

This is a big achievement that the key Ministry has paid attention to disability to this extent and published the report for the future planning and implementation of its PEAP. Hopefully, these report findings will facilitate the mainstreaming of persons with disabilities in all development activities.

My friend in Uganda told me that the significance of this report is the fact that the group of researchers included two persons with disabilities (one female and one male) who were recommended by NUDIPU, the Ugandan umbrella DPO. Another positive implication, he told me, is the fact that "Gender, Family Life and Culture" is an independent chapter in the report in the male-dominant society. They are indeed very important achievements.

Having read the report, I think that the report remains realistically critical to the situation of persons with disabilities, even though this is a government report. I think this is an important fact that such an open criticism is tolerated and welcomed. Another point is that its coverate of variety of impairments, not only physical, hearing and visual impairments, but also other "new ones". The report is full of life stories of persons with disabilities from 16 studied sites all over the country, which highlight and support the arguments. They are very convincing!

Some negative observation is made on the language use such as disability as tragedy and deaf persons as "dumb". Also there were too many typos, which are regretted. I would have also liked to see a concluding chapter with policy implications based on all the findings, though an independent chapter exists on the theme of policy.

In the executive summary, the report states, "the issues raised by persons with disability need to be taken into consideration so that communities all over Uganda become supportive environment and not hostile environments to persons with disabilities (p.x)." This report surely facilitates the realistic understanding of disability in Uganda.

If you want to get hold of this report, please write to me.