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Taking a disability-inclusive approach to development

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A member blog post by

Michael Calder

Signpost International

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Taking a disability-inclusive approach to development

Dundee-based international development organisation (and Alliance member), Signpost International, has long since aspired to become more disability-inclusive in its approach to delivering its work in the Philippines, Uganda, Tanzania and Scotland.

In November 2018 the organisation was awarded a development grant by The National Lottery Community Fund to research inclusive livelihood opportunities in North Eastern Uganda. Following the completion of this research, which feeds into a larger scale programme to mainstream disabled people into a livelihood programme, it wanted to ensure that the impact of the grant was extended on a wider organisational level.

In response, Signpost put a call out through Scotland’s International Development Alliance for disability-specialist organisations equipped to provide disability-inclusive capacity building training, to which Alliance member CBM UK responded. CBM is an international development and humanitarian organisation committed to improving the quality of life of people living with or at risk of disabilities in the poorest communities of the world. It takes a disability-inclusive approach to development by working both with local disability partners and with mainstream agencies (e.g. NGOs, Government, UN) to support them to remove the barriers faced by disabled people through the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development policies and programmes.

On 16 January CBM UK CEO, Kirsty Smith, and Programme Manager, Elfreda Whitty, travelled to Dundee to spend a day with the Signpost team. They delivered interactive training featuring content on disability awareness, the programme management cycle and communication practices, which proved valuable to the Signpost staff team and trustees who improved their awareness and understanding of the basic concepts of disability and disability-inclusive development. The training came at an opportune moment as Signpost looks forward to its next five-year strategy, with disability-inclusion becoming a core principle not just in its programmatic work, but integral to its entire organisational structure.

If you would like to learn more about the work of Signpost International then please visit its website

To find out more about CBM UK’s work, you can visit Or to find out more about its inclusion training opportunities, please contact Elfreda at the Edinburgh office by emailing

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