From the Local to the Global: the Many Contexts of Disability and International Development

  • Leslie Swartz
  • Malcolm MacLachlan


The chapter by Griffiths et al., discusses the importance of Poverty Strategy Reduction Papers (PRSPs) as the primary documents that outline a country’s development plans, at least in the short to medium term. PRSPs are the development agenda that disability needs to be on and so it is important that the GDPP make the sort of strong and determined statements that we have quoted above. Now that the issue of disability is at the “development” table we need to understand more about how the “development world” works and some of its inherent problems and challenges. MacLachlan et al. (2010) argue that the very term “development” is problematic, as it positions one group as being superior to another, and that development is about changes in relationships between people, rather than simply about technical or material gains, even though these are of critical importance too. MacLachlan et al. (2010) also argue that the international aid system can be understood through a triangular relationship concerning the psychological, socio-political and economic dominance of some parties over others; the injustice of such relationships, of poverty and of how organizations attempt to address poverty; and the implications of dominance, injustice and social and cultural change for the identity of the recipients of aid, as well as its givers and mediators. The themes of dominance, justice and identity also of course resonate with regard to the sort of disadvantaged relationships that people with disabilities often have with “mainstream” society.


International Development Disable People Development Agenda Wheelchair User Southern African Country 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Centre for Global Health and School of Psychology, Trinity College DublinDublinIreland

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