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Arjuman Aktar outside her home in Bangladesh

Research and Reports.

We believe the strength of an organisation lies in its ability to learn. At ADD International we are always aiming to learn from our experience and to feed this learning into improved practice.

We’re striving to put learning at the heart of everything we do.

We engage directly with disabled people to really understand the challenges they face. Discover our latest research as well as leading disability reports from other recommended sources. 

Our Research

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Key lessons from our livelihoods, education and gender work.

We recently pulled together key lessons from three of our core thematic areas - livelihoods, inclusive education and gender. We wanted to collate the critical lessons we've learned and help offer guidance and support to others pursuing work in these areas.

COVID-19 Research.

As the world responds to the COVID-19 Global pandemic we have been collecting evidence of its impact.

Bangladesh. Read our report of how communities of persons with disabilities have been affected in Bangladesh. 

Cambodia. Read our report exploring COVID, Violence Risk and Income Loss.

Uganda. Read our report exploring COVID, Income loss, risk of violence and the response of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in Uganda.

Our Capacity Building Research

Our capacity building approach

Our capacity building approach

In 2016 we commissioned an independent learning review of our Capacity Building model. The review focused on our experience in Cambodia and Bangladesh, and was carried out by Anne Garbutt of INTRAC and Brenda Lipson of Framework, two leading consultancy organisations specialising in capacity building. The review confirmed that our approach is working as we thought, that it is effective, and that it contributes to positive change in line with our Theory of Change.

How we add value

How we add value

This document aims to map the operational and programme activities which we carry out day to day to achieve our mission of positive and lasting change in the lives of disabled people, especially those living in poverty.

A mobility bike

Our Guidelines for mainstreaming disability.

The importance of disability inclusive development is growing. Development organisations therefore need to be planning how they will ensure their programmes are increasingly inclusive of disabled people. Read our report into how you can mainstream disability into your development work.

Our Mental Health Research.

In Bangaldesh, ADD has been working with one of the most neglected and deprived groups - persons with psychosocial disabilities (PPD). With support from Comic Relief we are delivering a 4 year ’Community based Mental Health of Children and Youth at Risk and Suppor Services’ project. Together with our partners, we are challenging mental health stigma, negative stereotypes, and discrimination. We are working to raise community awareness and undertake national advocacies to help Organisations of Persons with Disabilities identify people with psychosocial disabilities, and integrate them in development initiatives, and access support services. 

Needs Assessment Study.

This ‘Needs Assessment Study’ used a qualitative method to help us better understand the mental health challenges people face and the scale of service needs. We conducted the assessment within the project locations of Bagerhat, Jashore and Dhaka with participation from a cross-section of people, including children, young people, teachers, government, and private service providers. We started the project during COVID-19, and also capture information on how the pandemic has impacted children and young people. Read the report.

Baseline Report.

The aim of this baseline survey is to understand the current context of mental health in the project locations. The study captures peoples’ understandings and perceptions on mental health issues as well as available services. The baseline has also, to some extent, focused on the mental health impact of the COVID 19 pandemic. Read the report.

Our gender research

Our Gender Approach

Our Gender Approach

Promoting gender equality is a core priority of ADD’s work. In line with our rights based approach, we recognise that everyone is equal in individual value and rights and that specific actions are needed to ensure gender equity and equality of opportunity. We work with organisations which share this approach, and we support our partner DPOs to recognise and address barriers to gender equity in their work.

Lessons from our gender work

Lessons from our gender work

ADD International’s work over the years with disabled women has resulted in an increased focus on the intersectional discrimination of gender and disability. In 2016 we commissioned a review of our gender based violence work. We wanted to identify what has worked and not worked to ensure learning is fed back into practice.

Women with disabilities as agents of change, Tanzania, 2022

Women with disabilities as agents of change, Tanzania, 2022

Activist women with disabilities and ADD International were able to secure funds for two years of focussed work in Tanzania for the DRIGE (Disability Rights, Inclusion, and Gender Equity) project. This short paper shares a brief overivew of the story, impact and learning from the extraordinary work of the activist women with disabilities at the heart of DRIGE and the support provided to them by ADD International. You can also read the long report here.

Gender based violence in Tanzania

Gender based violence in Tanzania

Women with diverse disabilities researched and collected a sample of thirty short life stories from other women and girls with disabilities, and analysed these stories to explore their core themes in relation to their own lived experience.

Children at school in Tanzania

Our Inclusive Education Research.

We asked disabled children in Tanzania to review our work and tell us what we are doing right and what we need to improve.

Our Water and Sanitation Research

This learning paper focuses on our work to improve sanitation for women and children with disabilities living in extreme poverty in Bangladesh.

A market stall in Uganda

Livelihoods research.

Read the learnings from our 9-month study, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, that looked at how market-based approaches can work for disabled women in Uganda to help lift them out of poverty.

Voices of the Marginalised.

The aim of 'Voices of the Marginalised' is to bring the perspectives of those who live in poverty or who are highly marginalised, including those with disabilities, older people and people living with mental health problems, into post-2015 policymaking. Focusing on Bangladesh and Tanzania, people with disabilities and older people were asked to become researchers themselves, and were trained to collect and analyse stories from peers in rural and urban areas.

The Bangladesh report: 'We can also make change'.

The Tanzania report: 'Hear my voice: old age and disability are not a curse'

Global reports on disability


  • World report on Disability (2011). A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO). According to this study, about 15% of the world's population lives with some form of disability
  • Disability inclusion (2015). A guide which summarises some of the most rigorous available evidence on the key debates and challenges of disability inclusion in development and humanitarian response.

Education & Children.


Mental Health.

Disability, Poverty & Development.

Older people.