Livelihoods and Disability: The Complexities of Work in the Global South

  • Jill Hanass-Hancock
  • Sophie MitraEmail author
Part of the International Perspectives on Social Policy, Administration, and Practice book series (IPSPAP)


Four-fifths of the world population lives in the global South (United Nations 2011), where disability prevalence is higher and livelihood challenges are greater than in developed countries or the global North (WHO and World Bank 2011; Mitra and Sambamoorthi 2014). Yet, the majority of research on disability and livelihoods (including studies on employment and economic wellbeing) has been conducted in the global North (OECD 2003). In the North, it is well established that people with disabilities have worse outcomes on a set of economic indicators than people without disabilities including lower employment rates, wages and earnings. This raises the question of whether similar outcomes are found in the global South. Most people with disabilities living in the global South experience compounded livelihood challenges related to general economic disadvantage as well as disability. Social support grants are mostly absent (see Schneider et al. 2016, in this volume), raising the question of how people with disabilities can maintain livelihoods and be integrated in income-generating activities such as employment.


Livelihoods Poverty Social protection Work Disability support systems Social investment Income generation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.South African Medical Reseach CouncilDurbanSouth Africa
  2. 2.Fordham UniversityBronxUSA

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