A. For Persons with Disability
· Planning, we must repeat, is a necessary first step to any
project. This cannot be overemphasised.
· It is not such a difficult exercise as it appears.
Sometimes, scared with the prospect of planning, some people rush into a project
hoping to solve problems as they appear. That is very dangerous. We must never
rush into projects - even if we are tempted with donor funding.
· PWDs may consult "experts" if necessary. But they must not
let experts run their lives, make decisions for them.
· PWDs must first carry out a proper "market study' of the
product or service they want to make or market. Make a list of all the necessary
information they would need, and then systematically carry out research to find
answers to those questions. Again, they may use an "expert" if really necessary.
· A lot of information is "public". It is easily accessible,
especially in big towns and cities. In villages, information can be obtained by
asking questions around to the likely users of the product or service the PWDs
hope to market.
· If they are satisfied there is a market, the next step is
to carry out a feasibility, practicality study of the project. Again, they must
make a list of all the items that should go into production and/or sale of the
product or service and do research on them. They may seek outside help if
· They must decide on their options. Is it going to be a
large project or small one? Is it going to be labour-intensive or
capital-intensive? What are the costs involved, and what kind of finances would
be needed? etc. etc.
· If a work place or a building is necessary, is it
disability-friendly, both geographically and architecturally?
· Finally, how are the PWDs going to benefit in terms of
service, employment and dividends?
B. For IGOs and NGOs working with PWDs
· Donors are sometimes responsible for forcing decisions.
They need to spend the money before the financial year is out. That is highly
· They must insist on a market and a feasibility study
before giving out money. If necessary, they must finance such studies before the
project is launched.
· Planning, however, must be participatory. The donors, or
the experts they hire, must not make decisions for the PWDs.
· It is better to give loans for the projects rather than
· Similarly, it is better to provide facilities for training
the project holders rather than "technical assistance."
· Don't abandon the projects once they are financed; keep
monitoring their progress.
Some Areas for Further Discussion
Why is planning a "concrete" exercise? Why not make planning rules
that apply to all situations?
Planning for an individual project would obviously be different
from planning for a co-operative. In what ways?
In what kinds of situations would there be a need to seek the help
of "professionals" or