Improving Services for Vulnerable Populations

The LMG project works with vulnerable populations to provide essential health services, advocating for leaders with disabilities as well as those who advocate and lead initiatives to support vulnerable populations. Read interviews with disability advocates for International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2013.

Supported by USAID’s Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) Bureau’s Programs for Vulnerable Populations, LMG is working with partner organizations to ensure that especially vulnerable populations are able to manage risks and gain access to opportunities that support their full and productive participation in society.

LMG primarily focuses on strengthening the leadership capacity, strategic planning, management systems, governing boards, and organizational sustainability of partner organizations that provide services and protection for vulnerable groups. Additionally, LMG is working with partners to identify, test, and document the essential elements needed to successfully introduce, scale up, sustain, and ensure the quality of evidence-based intervention packages at the country-level.

MIUSA 'WILD' training participants - 2012

Throughout these activities, LMG is applying its gender approach to support the full and equal participation and inclusion of women and vulnerable persons in decision making, and opening the doors for these groups to take on and thrive in leadership positions at all levels.

LMG’s DCHA-funded work extends across over 20 countries—covering Latin America, Africa, South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe—and vulnerable populations including victims of torture, civilian victims of conflict, children at risk, and people with disabilities.

To learn more, watch our work with vulnerable populations.

For a first-person perspective of what it’s like to live with disabilities in a developing country, read these 14 interviews from the Guardian newspaper’s Global Development series.

Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) Training

In August of 2012, LMG supported Mobility International USA (MIUSA) to implement the Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) training program (see these dynamic women leaders in action). Twenty-six disabled women leaders from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East participated in the 2012 WILD exchange Program. LMG staff are working closely with MIUSA to evaluate the 2012 WILD training program and use lessons learned to inform recommendations for improvements to be implemented during the August 2013 delivery of WILD.

LMG is also working with MIUSA to improve a four-day segment of the training called the Gender, Disability and Development Institute (GDDI) in which WILD delegates meet with representatives from international development agencies. During the meetings, participants identify issues that impact participation of women with disabilities in development efforts and create collaborative plans to promote inclusion of women with disabilities in development programs.

Ponseti International Association (PIA)

LMG is supporting Ponseti International Association (PIA) in achieving their mission of reducing the incidence of neglected clubfoot worldwide and changing the lives of thousands of children in Peru, Nigeria, and Pakistan by increasing access to the low-cost, low-tech, non-invasive, and highly effective Ponseti Method for treating clubfoot. Together, LMG and PIA are working to better understand how to strengthen the essential elements of national clubfoot treatment programs using the PIA approach.

The PIA approach is to guide and support in-country champions and stakeholders in their efforts to assure that each of the essential program elements is present in their country. This model consists of three “streams” of essential elements for creating an effective national clubfoot program: (1) the treatment process stream to provide access to effective treatment for clubfoot; (2) the training and supply stream to arrange and facilitate the training of skilled treatment providers to meet the country’s needs; and (3) the policy and awareness stream to sensitize stakeholders in the country to the necessity of establishing a locally-owned and sustainable program.

Specific activities include the development of best practices guidelines for the Ponseti method, facilitation of communities of practice in focus countries, identifying the needs of facilities and practitioners, and supporting country champions to develop and provide educational programs to enhance early identification and referral by frontline health workers.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Currently LMG is supporting the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) and Physical Rehabilitation Program (PRP) by providing technical support to develop a standard operational package to improve the work climate and strengthen the management systems and leadership capacity of rehabilitation centers, based on existing best practices. LMG is also conducting a Regional Senior Leadership Program (SLP), with delegations of high level policymakers from select African countries to help these teams improve the implementation of policies related to physical rehabilitation services in their countries.

Training and Professionalizing Wheelchair Providers

Although there are many organizations engaged in providing wheelchairs, there is no professional body to provide industry guidance in the areas of education, standards, and research related to the wheelchair and services associated with it. The WHO has developed Guidelines and Training Packages, but the key questions related to their application have not been addressed (e.g., who will train and be trained, and what are the expected results of training).

LMG is working with USAID, WHO, and other key stakeholders to apply a systems approach to rolling out the WHO Wheelchair Service Provision Training Packages for wheelchair providers, while taking into account the enabling environment, incentives, professional associations, and schemes that will prioritize and sustainably support standardized and high-quality wheelchair service provision.

Rwanda’s National Commission for Children (NCC)

LMG provided technical assistance in the form of a participatory organizational capacity assessment of Rwanda’s National Commission for Children (NCC). LMG collaborated with NCC, UNICEF, USAID/Rwanda and other stakeholders in Rwanda to assess the organizational capacity of NCC to lead the deinstitutionalization of Rwandan orphanages, and the national child care reform process initiated by the Government of Rwanda in 2012. The LMG team helped NCC to identify its strengths and challenges, and made recommendations for addressing these challenges and increasing NCC’s organizational capacity. LMG collaborated with NCC to propose a draft capacity building plan for potential future organizational development activities. 

Leadership Training on International Disability Rights and Independent Living

In July 2013, 10-12 current Disabled People’s Organization (DPO) grantees under the USAID Disability Small Grants Program will travel to Washington, D.C. for a seven- to 10-day, peer-to-peer exchange with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and other key stakeholders in disability rights and independent living. LMG will facilitate ongoing opportunities for participants to engage with one another and consider applicability of independent living in their own communities. LMG will help to guide participants in determining next steps for applying new ideas and information learned, and how to form peer-to-peer support linkages.

The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT)’s Partners in Trauma Healing (PATH) Project

LMG is providing technical assistance to improve the leadership, management and governance capacity of the torture rehabilitation centers participating in the Centers for Victims of Torture (CVT) Partners in Trauma Healing (PATH) Project. In addition to traveling to individual centers to provide specific technical assistance, LMG is working to identify cross-cutting needs across the centers and provide virtual and shared learning opportunities with CVT.

LMG will be collaborating with CVT to host a leadership workshop in Kenya in September 2013 with the executive directors, M&E specialists, and 2 clinical representatives from the majority of the 10 centers in the PATH project. The theme of this workshop “We are all in this together to expand and sustain our organization’s mission.” During the workshop, participants will exchange experiences and learn about what they can do to improve their work climate, strengthen the engagement of their respective boards, and address priority challenges to achieve results as a team.