ABOUT US

ABOUT AFRINEAD:

 

The African Network for Evidence-to-Action on Disability (AfriNEAD) was founded in 2007 to ensure that networking and research contribute to a better quality of life for people with disabilities in Africa.  AfriNEAD is a flagship project of the Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies at Stellenbosch University. AfriNEAD’s aim is to facilitate evidence-to-action in the disability field so as to impact for real change in the quality of life of people with disabilities in Africa. There is a need to translate research into evidence-based advocacy, practice and policy – particularly in the pan-African context and systematically addressed in a coherent and consistent fashion. AfriNEAD intends to be part of this solution. AfriNEAD’s mission is to be a dynamic disability sector network where there is free and open exchange of ideas and evidence to advance the realisation of equal rights for people with disabilities and to promote action for social inclusion and participation. The vision for AfriNEAD is that it will become a significant contributor to and facilitator around the needs of people with disabilities in Africa, by assisting in translating existing and new research in the disability arena into meaningful way.

  1. Background

Despite a supportive policy framework at international and national levels in many African countries, and a large amount of existing and new research on issues relating to the overall improvement of quality of life for people with disabilities in Africa, the extent of meaningful change in the actual quality of life, health, access to equal rights, decent work and full community integration for disabled people throughout Africa remains limited.

It is therefore clear that research and policy developments are not yet significantly impacting to create real outputs in order to realize a truly inclusive society.  A comprehensive and integrated approach that links prevention, rehabilitation, empowerment and education strategies with steps to change attitudes is required.  AFRINEAD intends to be part of this solution through ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders using disability research evidence as a tool to facilitate this dialogue.

  1. Vision

AFRINEAD’s vision is to facilitate evidence-to-action in the disability field so as to impact for real change in the quality of life of people with disabilities in Africa.

  1. Mission

The mission of AFRINEAD is that it will become a significant contributor to and facilitator around the needs of people with disabilities in Africa, by assisting in translating existing and new research in the disability arena into meaningful evidence-based advocacy, practice, products and policy.

AFRINEAD will seek to bring stakeholders together to systematically address these challenges in a coherent and ongoing fashion.  The proposed network will seek to have as broad a representation of stakeholders from as many African countries as possible.  This multi-sectoral network is a genuine attempt to develop meaningful, strategic partnerships with disabled people, civil society, business, academics and researchers as well as policy-makers and service providers.

  1. Objectives
  • Networking between DPO’s, academics, researchers, and the intended audiences for the research (e.g., policymakers, civil society, business) throughout the African continent.
  • Coordinating and translating research findings into useable and accessible formats for different intended audiences.
  • Facilitating information-sharing and reviewing, as well as monitoring and evaluation.
  • Facilitating dialogue between all stakeholders in the disability debate, thus helping to keep the disability debate alive in Africa.
  • Establishing Disability Research Country Working Groups (DRCWGs) tasked with producing in country research evidence that will assist in disability policy formation/inclusion of disability issues in existing policies.
  • DRCWGs will identify action pathways and produce Best Evidence-to-Action Practice Guidelines for their countries which would be published on the AfriNEAD webpage.
  • Assisting member countries to develop a methodology for profiling their own local situation regarding disabled people, the services available to them, the research being conducted and areas needing investigation, and to identify facilitators and barriers for turning evidence to action. These profiles will be published in an e-book on the AfriNEAD webpage.
  • Facilitating a triannual Africa-wide symposium focusing on a particular issue of interest in order to assess progress on evidence-to-action, consolidate and take the debate forward.
  • Each event will produce a unique and stimulating collection of papers to be published as a Special Issue of a suitable international journal.
  • Bridge the gap between academics, Government, business, and the needs of the disabled community.

AfriNEAD –African Network for Evidence-to-Action in Disability –is a pan-African network founded by the Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies at Stellenbosch University in 2007. The network promotes, facilitates and coordinates implementation of disability research evidence into policy and practice through engaging persons with disabilities; researching through them, with them, not only about them; and, where possible, making them the lead researchers. This is achieved through: collaborative research projects involving persons with disabilities, academic researchers, government officials and civil society; conferences and seminars and publication and dissemination of research evidence through policy briefs, reports and special issues in academic journals.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS OF AFRINEAD

The development of the network that celebrated 10 years in 2017 and has more than 1000 e-mail addresses that receive quarterly newsletter about the network.

  • The AfriNEAD website: www.sun.ac.za/afriNEAD
  • The tabling of the 6 conferences 2 in Cape Town and the other 1 in Zimbabwe, 1 in Malawi with the 5th in Ghana 2017, and the 6th one was again in Cape Town, virtually in 2020
  • The developments of clusters of researchers to answer critical research questions and to develop a network of support for each of the 4 major studies have been completed by these clusters.
  • The production of research evidence in some key research areas in Africa and these studies can be used to guide certain critical policy imperatives in Africa.
  • The development of the African journal for Disability and its achievements. AJODajod.org

Partnering with institutions of higher learning in Africa in creating disability and Rehabilitation Programmes and for AfriNEAD to play a supportive role in these programmes and foster focus on development of disability research evidence and encourage for this evidence to be translated into policy and action for the realization of rights of disabled people.