• Lara Bezzina
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Disability and International Development book series (PSDID)


This chapter starts by introducing the topic of disability in development and the reasons as to why there is a great need to delve deeper into this subject. The second part then looks at the role of international NGOs (INGOs) in the ‘developing’ world today, and more specifically in the disability domain in Global South contexts, where western NGOs are major players. It explores how disabled people are represented by both INGOs and the hegemonic non-disabled members of society, both in western and in Global South contexts. This sets the context for the discussions and arguments presented in this book, in attempting to address critiques by disability scholars targeted at the absence of (participatory) research engaging with the lived experiences of disabled people in low-income countries. The discussions contained in this book, based on work and research in the West African country of Burkina Faso, explore the need and significance of opening up spaces where disabled people can be heard. In order to lay the foundations of the book, the chapter then explores the two main concepts on which this book is based: disability and development. It also looks at the necessity of looking at both concepts through the lenses of postcolonial theory, which links to the penultimate section, delving into the research the book is based on. This section explores the need for participatory research in the context of disability in Global South contexts, but also the pitfalls of these methods. It includes an exploration of the ethical ramifications of conducting research with disabled people in countries like Burkina Faso, including the translation necessarily involved in such research. Finally, the chapter outlines the content of the rest of the book.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Lara Bezzina
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ResearcherMostaMalta

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