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Strengthening Communities

Author: Jo Battersby

The purpose of this research report is to outline the role for government in enabling or building communities to deliver social change for people with disabilities. Set within the context of Australia and the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), this report aims to draw out success stories from across the UK that can be applied to the Australian context.

Qualitative data was collected between mid July and early September 2014 through semi-structured interviews with professionals from corporate, government, charitable1 and social enterprises in the UK. The sample size was small – ten people – which allowed for a depth of questioning and exploration of success factors and perceived barriers. A thematic analysis (O’Leary 2005: 231) methodology was used to analyse the data.

The research findings elicited six key recommendations for government in enabling or building communities: 

  1. Question assumptions used to define problems and set the vision for change 
  2. Foster community-led change and localised decision-making
  3. Challenge traditional notions of workforce
  4. Create structural reforms that facilitate innovation 
  5. Give control to people with disabilities, families and carers, in design and monitoring 
  6. Understand what is working, why, and direct investment towards multiple approaches.

The publisher is Jo Battersby.

Strengthening Communities to deliver social change for people with disabilities: what role for government? © Jo Battersby 2014.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.

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