You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘PWDs’ tag.
> Posted by Center Staff
The U.N.’s Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) is conducting a survey for financial services providers on the practices of their institutions in implementing services that are accessible for older persons and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Older persons are the fastest growing age group globally. In 1950, 1 in 20 people worldwide was elderly. By 2050 it will be 1 in 5. PWDs are among the largest of vulnerable groups in the world. It’s estimated that about 15 percent of the global population has some sort of disability. To achieve full inclusion, it’s essential that financial services providers offer products and services that are accessible to these client segments.
The survey targets current practices of respondents’ organizations, as well as future services plans for these two client groups. Collected information will contribute to G3ict’s larger effort to design and share resources on service options for banks to effectively serve these underbanked groups.
> Posted by Center Staff
The FI2020 Global Forum in London is fast approaching. As we get closer to October 28, keep an eye on this blog as we’ll be posting periodically to share new event developments. Today, we’re excited to announce a number of newly confirmed speakers and agenda items. Here are the new speakers:
- Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, CEO and Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc
- Tilman Ehrbeck, CEO, CGAP
- Nick Hughes, Director of Strategy, M-Kopa
- Gregory Keough, CEO, Mobile Financial Services
- Andrea Levere, President, CFED
- Imelda Nicolas, Chairperson of the Commission on the Filipinos Overseas
- Martyn Parker, Chairman, Global Partnerships, Swiss Re
- Duvvuri Subbarao, Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India
> Posted by Jimena Vallejos, Project Coordinator, Fundación Paraguaya
Non-discrimination is embedded in the fifth Client Protection Principle, Fair and Respectful Treatment of Clients. A microfinance institution (MFI) may work, knowingly or not, with clients that have particular disabilities or conditions. In order for MFIs to operate without discrimination, it’s essential that they are inclusive of persons with disabilities and that they offer services that account for these clients’ unique needs. Fundación Paraguaya (FP) is an MFI that operates in Asunción, Paraguay and employs an impressive non-discrimination policy and code of ethics, fully taking into account those with disabilities and physical conditions. These documents can be viewed on the Smart Campaign website:
Fundación Paraguaya and CFI are working together on a specific project, “Non-Discrimination: Making Microfinance Institutions Disability Inclusive and Smart Campaign Certifiable,” establishing and testing guidelines for a model comprehensive non-discrimination policy. As part of the project, Thomas Meriaux and Caroline Cervera from Handicap International are currently visiting Fundación Paraguaya to provide trainings on disability inclusion for clients and employees at the MFI. We recently spoke with Thomas about his visit, and he told us about an incident that brought it all home.
> Posted by Josh Goldstein aka Mr. Provocative
Economic inclusion for persons with disabilities (PWDs) is more possible than ever because of technological innovations that can transform the workplace, by making it accessible for persons with different kinds of disabilities. Screen reading software for the blind is just one example. Furthermore, there are some twenty-first century jobs that may perfectly fit the skill set of certain PWDs.
One recent stellar example of PWDs entering the workforce in a new way was reported by Emma Jacobs of the Financial Times on June 7. She spotlights the achievement of Thornkil Sonne, a Danish businessman (and Ashoka Fellow) who supplies autistic recruits to the IT industry and has shown that people with autism routinely demonstrate superior skills compared to their non-autistic peers. Many persons with autism (but by no means all) excel at data entry, software programming, and other technical tasks. This has persuaded SAP, the profit-driven German business software company to recruit 110 autistic employees to test its software products.
Globally, there are millions of vacant jobs in IT. So this could just be the beginning! Such employment opportunities that capitalize on the strengths of the differently-abled to such a degree that they are actually preferred candidates for certain positions in a competitive marketplace is truly extraordinary, even revolutionary, and is something we can all celebrate. But there is a dark side to technological innovations that may doom PWDs just as new opportunities and new acceptance appear on the horizon.
> Posted by Josh Goldstein, Principal Director for Economic Citizenship & Disability Inclusion, CFI
On July 17, I addressed delegates from more than 100 countries at the United Nations on CFI’s initiative to make microfinance institutions disability-inclusive and free from discrimination, in accordance with the Smart Campaign guidelines. The Center (with Smart) is establishing guidelines for a model comprehensive nondiscrimination policy which we are now testing at the award winning MFI, Fundacion Paraguaya.
I also emphasized that government cash transfers and other social welfare measures must be designed to complement employment schemes and not have the unintended consequence of pushing persons with disabilities (PWDs) into dependency.
The occasion was the annual Conference of State Parties that monitors compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the transformative 2006 treaty that mandates equal rights and opportunities for PWDs and has now been ratified by 133 countries.
The theme of this year’s conference was identifying best practices to build “disability-inclusive” development by improving social protection and reducing poverty. The United Nations states that about 80 percent of the more than 1 billion people with disabilities around the world are of working age, and face physical, social, economic, and cultural challenges in gaining access to the building blocks of economic independence.