Building communities of trust: Challenges for disability

Alexander M. Phiri
African Journal of Disability | Vol 3, No 2 | a77 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v3i2.77 | © 2014 Alexander M. Phiri | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 July 2013 | Published: 04 June 2014

About the author(s)

Alexander M. Phiri, CEO, Southern African Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD), Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


This article asks questions about power and partnership in disability research in Africa. Research has been located too much in one type of organisation or another and not sufficiently in the interaction between a range of legitimate stakeholders. Across Africa and Europe, and government and civil society dialogues, the African development research agenda must be owned by Africans. Fully inclusive national and international research partnerships are crucial, but they must be driven from Africa. European constructions of and interventions concerning people with disability have often been inhumane, seeking to eliminate them from society. African cultures have also stigmatised people with disability. I call for a new African-driven research agenda that promotes the human rights of people with disability, and has people with disability not only participating in this research, but directing it. The Southern African Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) Research Programme (SRP) is breaking new ground in this regard by allowing ‘the researched’ to become ‘the researcher’.


disability; AfriNEAD; Africa


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