n African Journal of Disability - Enhancing the public sector's capacity for inclusive economic participation of disabled youth in rural communities : original research

Volume 5 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2223-9170
  • E-ISSN: 2226-7220



The capacity of service providers in the public sector to deliver inclusive services is essential to implement strategies that will allow the full participation of disabled youth in development opportunities in the rural context.

This article sets out to describe the capacity of service providers in facilitating the participation of disabled youth in economic development opportunities.
An instrumental, embedded single case study informed the research design. The sample consisted of five disabled youth, four family members and six service providers. Data was gathered through in depth individual interviews and focus group discussions. Data analysis was done inductively and thematically. In the discussion, the interpretation usedorganisational capacity elements as a framework.
The findings indicate a perception of disability as a multifaceted and challenging issue with different orientations to service delivery, based on the understanding of the impairment and disability. There is a strong focus on impairment and negative attitudes.
An asset-building approach could facilitate awareness of the capacities of disabled youth and thus shift negative attitudes to enabling attitudes. The vague strategies for youth and women reflect an organisational attitude that seems non-committal to its core agenda of inclusive development, which would ensure equal opportunities for participation by disabled youth.
An appreciative process of facilitating a deeper understanding of the needs of disabled youth would assist service providers to reconceptualise disability within an expansive framework of equal opportunities and active citizenship.

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