Impact Investing and Persons with Disabilities

Over 1.3 billion people globally experience disability, and an additional 2.2 billion people serve as ‘caregivers’ to persons with disabilities (PwD).  Of the 1.3 billion PwD, 80% (1 billion) live in developing countries with an additional 1.7 billion people providing care in one form or another to PwD. 


The costs of social programs supporting PwD are significant, but it is neither known how much is being invested, nor the social and financial benefits of these investments.


In response, GDS has developed a series of analytic tools that can be applied at a national or local level to assess the benefits of impact investing on PwD, the surrounding community and the economy.  The tools and the respective outputs include:

  • The value chain-based analysis tool identifies effective and sustainable ways to integrate PwD into productive livelihoods activities.
  • The training gap analysis tool identifies gaps between PwDs’ skills needs and training available through local training institutions and training providers.
  • The employment and income multiplier tool estimates the direct, indirect, and induced jobs created and the associated income when PwD and their caretakers are engaged in productive livelihoods activities.

The implementation of a program based on findings from the GDS analytical tools results in:
  • Job creation for PwD, their caregivers, and support service providers.
  • Improved livelihoods and increased income and social engagement for PwD and their caregivers.
  • Reduced government social welfare payments.
  • Increased public sector revenue through taxes.
  • Impact investing with measurable results and return.