Journal Article

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

Date Published

Dec 1, 2016


Valerie L. Karr, Jacob Sims, Callie Brusegaard, Ashley Coates


Knowledge Management for Development Journal


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.


In the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) era of financing for development, the international community is placing substantial emphasis on the mantra ‘leave no one behind.' To meet this commitment, an improved ability to assess disability inclusive development efforts of development agencies is required. This study piloted a methodology to monitor the inclusion of people with disabilities in development efforts of the World Bank and aligns findings against progress towards the SDGs by asking two research questions: 1) Are active World Bank projects inclusive of persons with disabilities (PWDs)? and 2) What areas of development and which SDG do disability-inclusive projects focus on? While disability inclusive projects make up only a small percentage of the overall active World Bank portfolio (2.0%), 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 we move forward in implementation of the SDGs.

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