In the majority of developing countries there is either no official system of social protection or only a weak one, and thus families function as safety nets. Families care for their disabled relatives and this engages one or even more workforces (i.e. not only the person with disabilities but also those of the carers). The UN estimates 25% of any population is directly or indirectly affected by disability (DFID, 2000, p.4).
In general the aim of social protection is to protect the most vulnerable and to manage any risks to society and to individuals. The UN Convention understands social protection as a means of ensuring an adequate standard of living. Therefore social protection measures include the provision of appropriate and affordable services, devices and other assistance, covering disability-related expenses or housing programmes. The World Bank has a wider understanding of social protection and suggests a range of legislative measures and expenditure programmes. These interventions address and overlap with various sectors such as labour and health. The World Bank’s Sourcebook suggests starting disability programmes such as inclusive education, sheltered workshops, technical aids, rehabilitation, disability insurance, pensions, etc.
The aim of the Tanzanian PRSP is that “20% of children and adults with disabilities [are] reached with effective social protection measures by 2010” (United Republic of Tanzania, Vice President’s Office, 2005).
PRSP Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2004, p. 142:
"Significantly improve functioning and the effectiveness of the social security network for the members of the disabled veterans’ population, to ensure that the funds allocated for those purposes are better targeted to the most vulnerable categories most in need of assistance."
PRSP Burkina Faso, 2004, p. 26:
"Provide 900 handicapped persons with tricycles; Provide support to 150 schoolchildren with motor and sensory handicaps, in the form of limb prostheses, hearing aids, and white canes."
PRSP Cameroon, 2003, p. 83:
"The government also intends to: (i) finalize the […] Individual and Family Rights and Protection Act; (ii) draft a law on social protection of the child; (iii) amend Law 83/013 of July 21, 1983 on the protection of the disabled"
The World Bank about Social Protection and Disability
The position of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Social Protection
The Social Protection Chapter of the World Bank's PRSP Sourcebook
Grushka, Carlos O. and Gustavo Demarco (2003): Disability Pensions and Social Security Reform: Analysis of the Latin American Experience. World Bank, Washington.