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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

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Including People with Disabilities in Economic Strengthening Initiatives

by on Aug 18, 2014  |  posted in Ultra Poor, Vulnerable Populations  |  1 Comment


To end extreme poverty by 2030, it is critical that people with disabilities are included in all economic strengthening work. The 3rd installment in the "Towards Resilient Livelihoods for Very Poor Households" webinar series presented learning from the disability-inclusive programming of both Trickle Up and the Accion Center for Financial Inclusion. Presenters shared lessons and resources from livelihood development and microfinance perspectives that helped webinar participants and their organizations answer the question: “How can our push and pull strategies be more disability-inclusive?”

The webinar series focuses on recent examples from field practice that focus on “push” strategies targeting very vulnerable populations and helping them build a minimum level of assets for eventual engagement in markets. At the same time, in each webinar we examine whether existing markets or “pull” strategies provide viable opportunities for these populations.

Brought to you by SEEP's Strengthening the Economic Potential of the Ultra Poor (STEP UP) Working Group. Learn more about the series and view past webinars >>



Related resources:
  • Trickle Up’s Guidance on Disability, Poverty, and Livelihoods
  • Graduation
  • Accion CFI resources
  • USAID disability e-learning course
  • The Washington Group on Disability Statistics Guiding Questions


  • Speakers:

    Michael Felix - Program Director for Central America, Trickle Up

    Applying entrepreneurial skills honed during five years in the software industry, Michael has worked to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of community and economic development programs and organizations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Michael is currently the Program Director for Central America at Trickle Up, where he leads program strategy and efforts for the region with a strong focus on inclusive development. He is co-author of Disability, Poverty and Livelihoods, a guide written to share learning from a recent USAID-supported livelihood development project for people with disabilities in rural Guatemala. He has a BA in Economics and Philosophy from Boston College and an MA in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University.


    Josh Goldstein - Principal Director for Economic Citizenship & Disability Inclusion, Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion International

    Mr. Goldstein was part of the team that founded the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion in 2009. He is Program Manager for the Center's "Financial Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities" initiative. He has spearheaded the development of the Framework for Disability Inclusion and is managing the implementation of the Framework at Fundación Paraguaya, an award winning microfinance institution (MFI) in Paraguay. He is also overseeing a new partnership with three MFIs in India to implement the Framework there. In January, 2014, the Center published a series of disability inclusion tools and trainings, based on the work in Paraguay, which are open source and immediately available to MFIs and other interested financial service providers. As the Center’s global advocate for disability inclusion he gives talks on disability at conferences around the world and works closely with the UN. Mr. Goldstein writes a blog post for the Center as "Mr. Provocative." He is also a playwright, with several plays produced in London. He taught for many years at Boston University.

1 Comment

Cindy says:
Aug 08, 2014

I am a doctoral student and we are currently discussing vulnerable populations. This blog caught my attention in that the persons with disabilities are certainly a vulnerable population that could certainly use advocacy especially in the matters of health care. Each person’s level of disability is different and to some may not even be recognized, thereby thinking the person may understand the information or care that is being given to them when in reality they don’t understand and are at the mercy of whomever is providing the information or the care. We as health care providers must always remain cognizant of all patients level of understanding in and effort to provide the best evidence-based- practice care possible.

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