TitleA community-based evaluation of disability resources and inclusion practices in rural Botswana
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsJost, C, Macdonald, M, Khanna, SK
JournalDisability and Health Journal
Date Published02/2022

Background Community-based approaches to enhance the inclusion of persons with disabilities have proven effective, however, not much is known about cultural and contextual factors that influence the capacity of policy implementation and inclusion practices in rural Botswana. Objective The study evaluated local disability education and health resources in rural Botswana to develop a deeper understanding of cultural and contextual factors impacting inclusion practices. Method Researchers used socio-demographic and qualitative research methods to conduct a comprehensive community-based needs assessment. Sampling techniques included maximum variation and snowball sampling. Thirty-two individuals participated in the study. Data were collected between June and August of 2019 through participant observation, in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions. An inductive thematic analysis was conducted by examining participants’ attitudes, perceptions, and experiences of community members with disabilities. Results Four primary themes emerged identifying factors that affect people living with disabilities in the rural community: (1) culture of vulnerability, (2) determinants of disability, (3) educational resources for persons with disabilities, and (4) effective systems integration. Findings suggested that while policies associated with disability at the government level are in place, disparities among rural communities’ hindered local responses to managing the needs of persons with disabilities. Conclusions Social, environmental, and physical barriers prevent the full implementation of policies that advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities in Botswana’s rural settings. Increasing awareness of cultural and contextual factors may help community stakeholders facilitate inclusive practices in Botswana.

Short TitleDisability and Health Journal