Development Aid

Full Inclusion in Development Aid for People with Intellectual Disabilities and their Families

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

This project thus addressed the implementation of Article 32 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRDP). Its overall objective was to develop better support for people with intellectual disabilities and their families in developing countries in mainstream development aid programs. In other words, the FIDA project aimed to ensure that development aid programmes at national and European level include the needs and interests of people with disabilities, their families and their organisations.

In order to address this objective it is important to recognise that expertise and knowledge regarding the organisation of support services for people with intellectual disabilities and regarding the development of inclusive local policies for them does exist to a large extent in local NGOs of disabled people and their families in the European Union that have developed a large variety of support services. Therefore, the project aimed at mobilising these resources by providing local and regional associations of disabled people and local authorities with the necessary knowledge of development cooperation issues, policies and contacts at national as well as European level.


The partnership developed an information Toolkit on development cooperation in English, French and German. The toolkit contains comprehensive practical information on how to include people with intellectual disabilities in development cooperation, gathered to support development cooperation activities between disability NGOs and local authorities in Europe and organisations and services for people with intellectual disabilities in developing countries.

In addition, a series of awareness-raising brochures have been published, explaining the concept of inclusive development to the three different groups targeted by the project.

  • An easy-to-read publication “An Introduction to Inclusive Development” explains the concept of development cooperation and the UN Millennium Development Goals and provides suggestions on how people with intellectual disabilities can help their peers in developing countries.
  • “Development for everyone” addresses families and disability professionals, pointing out that the expertise of disability NGOs is crucial to achieve full human rights for people with intellectual disabilities in developing countries.
  • “Development for all!” explains to mainstream development aid organisations why their programmes need to be made inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.For any further information, please visit the project website at


Implementation Period 15 December 2009 – 15 March 2011
Financed by European Commission – Europeaid Cooperation Office under the Programme “Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development Cooperation”
Project Number DCI-NSA/2009/227-383
Project Coordinator  Inclusion Europe aisbl.
Project Partners
Bundesvereinigung Lebenshilfe für Menschen mit geistiger Behinderung e.V.
Royal Society Mencap