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UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Understanding, Developing, and Supporting Meaningful Work for Youth with Disabilities in Bhutan: Networks, Communities, and Transitions

Disclaimer: The data for this page has been produced from IATI data published by UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Please contact them (Show Email Address) if you have any questions about their data.

Project Data Last Updated: 27/08/2020

IATI Identifier: GB-GOV-13-FUND--GCRF-ES_S004319_1


Globally, a majority of persons with disabilities are marginalised and excluded from equitable access to, and meaningful participation in, training and employment opportunities. As there is a significant relationship between disability, poverty, and inequality; supporting inclusive employment and community participation for persons with disabilities represents potential impact not just in the lives of persons with disabilities themselves, but also in their families, communities, societies, and national economies. As a low and middle-income country nestled in the Himalayas, Bhutan also has great economic and social challenges now and predicted into the future, with high youth unemployment in urban areas (23%) and the youth population expected to grow significantly. Access and participation to economic and community activities for youth with disabilities is limited in Bhutan, as members of this population are classified as 'economically inactive' and receive very little resource and assistance in areas such as school transition, skills and vocational training, access to credit, and inclusive employment. In response to these challenges in Bhutan, and around the world, in phase one of this project we propose to conduct a methodologically innovative and comprehensive survey of access and participation of youth with disabilities in the economy and community. Survey methods include: adapting currently validated survey and indicator instruments development at the University of Minnesota Institute on Community Integration (UMN ICI); conducting employer perspectives and attitudes surveys; conducting focus groups of nearly 200 community stakeholders; conducting case study profiles of youth with disabilities; using GIS spatial and network mapping to uncover social, community, and economic network and services; using micro-narrative quantitative spatial analysis facilitated by the groundbreaking SenseMaker software; and conducting a political economy assessment. This survey will lay the foundation of understanding in implementing phase two activities, which begins by implementing a bespoke Employment Assessment Toolkit, previously developed by the University of Birmingham. The Toolkit will provide person-centred planning and assessment, as well as an evaluative baseline, to support the following interventions: entrepreneurship and employment skills workshops for youth with disabilities, piloting three coordinator positions (Inclusive Employment Coordinator, Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment Coordinator, School Transition Coordinator), and piloting a microfinance grant scheme to support entrepreneurship and access to employment and skills training for youth with disabilities in Bhutan. Additionally, a group of 10 Bhutanese Inclusive Employment and School Transition Fellows - professionals working in and around this area in Bhutan - will be selected to participate in training at the UMN ICI. Through this project, we seek to understand the effectiveness, sustainability, and scalability of these interventions, and in their potential for transferability to other low and middle-income countries in South Asia and across the world. The last phase of the project will involve multifaceted impact evaluation of the interventions and project activities, as well as exciting impact activities. These impact activities include a South Asia Regional Summit on Skills and Economic Participation of Youth with Disabilities and a commissioned documentary film featuring the daily-lived experiences of youth with disabilities and the activities of this project. This film will be made by Bhutanese filmmakers and will employ youth with disabilities themselves as support crew. The film will be debuted in Bhutan, with distribution worldwide.


AIMS The core aims of this research are to better understand... 1. The challenging and enabling factors that impact access to SCICS (Skills, reliable social Contacts, Information about the economic market, Capital, and Self-esteem/efficacy) and school transition, to promote positive social and economic outcomes for youth with disabilities in Bhutan. 2. The experiences, attitudes, and preparedness of youth with disabilities in Bhutan, as well as employers, in terms of education, inclusive employment, and transition from school to post-school. 3. The ways that skill and employment interventions - employment assessment toolkit, work skills and entrepreneurial workshops, dedicated coordinators, and microfinance - for youth with disabilities can be made more effective considering local social, cultural, and political contexts both in Bhutan, and in application to other global contexts. 4.How the ideals and principles of inclusive training and skills development, person-centred planning, and service practices can potentially contribute in the realisation of inclusive employment, and Bhutan's aspiration of achieving GNH, through strategic interventions and inter-governmental cooperation for meaningful employment of youth with disabilities. OBJECTIVES In order to achieve these aims, our specific objectives are to... 1. Complete a methodologically innovative comprehensive situational analysis, participatory evaluation, mapping, and micro-narrative network survey to identify the current situation of access and participation to skills development, school transition, vocational training, and meaningful work for youth with disabilities in Bhutan. 2. Provide a means for youth with disabilities, families, communities, and employers in Bhutan to voice their experiences related to SCICS. 3. Identify and target the factors within the interconnected relationship of policy, economy, and social institutions in Bhutan that support access to training and meaningful employment for youth with disabilities. 4. Localise and implement an employment assessment toolkit to provide an evaluative framework for the following interventions: a) Offer a series of self-employment, entrepreneurial, vocational skills, and inclusive employment workshops for youth with disabilities, facilitators/coordinators, and employers in Bhutan. b) Pilot the creation of the professional roles of Inclusive Employment Coordinator, Inclusive Entrepreneurship Coordinator, and School Transition Coordinator as new positions in Bhutan, with evaluation on sustainability and scalability. c) Introduce a pilot microfinance scheme specifically for youth with disabilities in Bhutan. 5. Evaluate which current and introduced interventions to support employment for youth with disabilities in Bhutan are culturally appropriate and relevant; can be implemented with high fidelity and successfully sustained, scaled, and most cost-effective for the greatest social and economic impact; and which interventions can be generalized for use in other low and middle-income countries. 6. Develop resources and guidance to support the development and high-fidelity implementation of similar access and participation to SCICS for youth with disabilities in low and middle-income countries.

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Participating Organisation(s) More information about implementing organisation(s)

Sectors groups as a percentage of country budgets according to the Development Assistance Committee's classifications.


A comparison across six financial years of forecast spend and the total amount of money spent on the project to date.

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