Development Aid

Fighting poverty and social exclusion in developing countries

People with intellectual disabilities and their families have a considerably higher risk of poverty and social exclusion than other groups of people with disabilities or non-disabled people. In developing countries, this is often combined with an absence of services as well as with stigma, prejudices and superstitions. 

The project addressed the implementation of Article 32 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“International cooperation”). Its goal was to help make sure that development cooperation at national and European level takes the needs and interests of people with intellectual disabilities, their families and their organisations into account. 

This was done by providing local and regional associations of disabled people, as well as local authorities, with knowledge about development cooperation and contacts at national and European level.  

Implementation Period 2009 – 2011 
Financed by European Commission – under the “Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development Cooperation“ Programme 
Project Coordinator Inclusion Europe 
Project partners Lebenshilfe 


A toolkit on how to include people with intellectual disabilities in development cooperation was published (in English, French and German). The toolkit shows disability NGOs as well as local and regional authorities in Europe how they can cooperate with organisations of and services for people with intellectual disabilities in developing countries. 

In addition, a series of awareness-raising brochures were developed, explaining the concept of inclusive development to the three different groups targeted by the project: 

  • People with intellectual disabilities: The easy-to-read publication “An Introduction to Inclusive Development” explains the concept of development cooperation and the UN Millennium Development Goals. It also provides suggestions on how people with intellectual disabilities can support their peers in developing countries. 
  • Families and disability professionals: “Development for everyone” explains the crucial role disability NGOs play in improving the situation of people with intellectual disabilities in developing countries. 
  • Development aid organisations: “Development for all!” explains to these organisations why their programmes need to be inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities and their families. 

This project was about

people with intellectual disabilities and their families

who live in poor countries.


In poor countries

it is harder to find

accessible things and services.


For this reason, there are many programmes

where richer countries can support poorer countries.


The project wanted to make sure

that these programmes

support the needs

of people with intellectual disabilities

and their families.


This project was made between 2009 and 2011.