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Creating avenues for employing Persons with Disabilities in Uganda.

Our idea is an initiative to address unemployment amongst PWDs through advocacy, lobbying, skills development and psycho-social support.

Photo of Kabaale Allan
24 11

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What problem does your idea solve?

It solves unemployment among PWDs in Uganda. In the 2014 national census, over 4.5 million Ugandans were found to have a disability.A 2016 Uganda Youth Survey Report commissioned by the East African Institute of the Aga Khan University found unemployment of youths at 52%, and 26% formally employed. The African Development Bank says youth unemployment could be as high as 83%. PWDs is dramatically more vulnerable to unemployment whereby 87% of the 4.5m PWDs are unemployed from CSBERG 2015 report

Explain your idea

We got interested in finding out why there were so many persons with disabilities on the streets and why most PWDs are unemployed? Findings from the field among a number of unemployed PWDs and street dwellers indicate that;  They face considerable stigma, mindsets and stereotypes from both within the PWD community and the society at large which includes both potential employers and the community;  Uncalled for empathy from probable employers and general underestimation of PWDs’ potential;  Skeptical views regarding the extra costs of operation if employers employ a PWD (because they are viewed by the employers as burdens);  They Lack adequate capital to start up their own businesses;  Some do not have the necessary professional or vocational skills to either be absorbed in the work force or to start up their own small businesses. We developed a strong conviction that we can employ the following avenues to address the above challenges;  Stigma and low self-esteem will be addressed through inspirational, motivational, and psycho-social seminars and workshops (capacity building) for PWDs.  Lack of skills among PWDs will be addressed through skills development by offering scholarships to our beneficiaries in our partner vocational institutions.  Skeptical employers will often be hosted to our work stations and also organize seminars and workshops for them to unlock the stereotypes, we shall sign agreements with employers to get them employ more PWDs.

Who benefits?

All PWDs will benefit every year. 100 will be given scholarships for skills development every year, we expect other employers to create 100 new jobs for PWDs every year. 20 people will be employed to make arts and crafts. In the second year, we will employ another 20 people in design…’However the empowerment will be crossing cutting focusing not only on PWDs but other actors in the employment sector. The beneficiaries include the community; by empowering PWDs , they add value to the community.

How is your idea unique?

Despite the many PWD oriented NGOs in and around Kampala, there is no single organization focusing on equipping them with practical and vocational skills to fit into the labor market. Existing NGOs are mainly advocacy based mainly located in the field of human rights and legal aid. None of them is devoted to the goal of ensuring that PWDs get off the streets, secure employment, and become self-reliant and movers and shakers of their destiny. The idea is 100% focused on ensuring that PWDs get employed We are tackling both informal and formal employment by equipping the unskilled with skills through our partners so as they are employed or employ themselves and also to link the unemployed professionals to the available job opportunities. Since our target beneficiaries (elites and illiterates/casauls) are on streets of Kampala and its suburbs, we shall be city centered for easy access of our targeted beneficiaries and perpetrators of unemployment. Some of its promoters are victims

Tell us more about you

Kabaale Allan the chairperson of YODA has a physical disability, a young lawyer, the secretary of persons with disabilities Luwero District and a former Guild minister of students with disabilities Makerere University. Our organization(YODA) was established in 2012 focusing on livelihood, education and health We are 28 in number with ten professionals in different disciplines. We partnered with many NGOs like PLAN, CDFU, DGF, CODI and local government in our previous activities

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

Whether the employers will respond to us by creating vacancies for PWDs; Whether our company for PWD pdts will make sufficient sales and profits to pay for the 100 scholarships (we shall be spending 200 dollars on each beneficiary) to vocational training in our partner institutions; This is a new idea/program (PWD employment advocacy) in our organization. We are skeptical about the responses from all stakeholders despite the few contacted primary beneficiaries (PWDs) being enthusiastic about the project and all its outlined programs. There are questions as to whether we have the full capacity capacity to implement this. We have four lawyers, some of our members are working with big NGOs like SAVE THE CHILDREN, we have willing partners

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Uganda

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

Expertise in Sector

  • I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.

Organizational Status

  • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

Idea Maturity

  • Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it.

How has your idea changed based on feedback?

First instead of us equipping these skills which will be costly to start, manage and sustain, we shall be offering scholarships to the interested PWDs in the existing vocational institutions (our partner institutions), who we shall later employ and we create our brand in selling their products (in our stock shop center) as we think of training them the by ourselves in future. Secondly, respondents vehemently decried the lack of information on available job opportunities. To address this problem, we shall include a vibrant and updated noticeboard and information desk at our offices, functioning website and social media accounts to always avail information on available job opportunities nationally and internationally. Thirdly, the target beneficiaries of our idea also widened. Previously we were focusing on PWDs forgetting their guardians, employers and the government who are whose mindsets have to be changed to ensure PWDs employment. opportunities. We shall market PWDs' products

Who will implement this idea?

All of us plus the 15 full time employees(like; Programs manager, ICT/Information manager, 2 lawyers, accountant, secretary, a driver) to implement this idea. We shall also partner with other NGOs, vocational institutions; government and individuals like M/s Bwire Rosemary a lecturer at Kyamogo University who owns a craft making company and a senior computer lab technician at Makerere University have pledged their human resource for materialization of PWD employment in their respective fields

Using a human-centered design approach, you may uncover insights that lead to small or foundational changes to your organization’s existing strategy or processes in order to unlock the potential of your idea. How would your organization go about making such changes?

We shall have a programs manager charged with creating space to change elements of our organisation's activities based upon the feedback of our beneficiaries. We shall train trainers (trainer of trainers). These will be our ambassadors in reach out to the so may PWDS out there that we may not be able to meet. If we change one life then that one life will change so many others We shall also focus on the social cycle support touching the mind first. This is premised on the fact that we can’t impact the skill in an unprepared mind to work. We have monthly meetings for the executive so as to make technical and administrative decisions. We also hold general meetings for all members and that’s where most sensitive decisions are reached. All members get involved in decision making

What is it that most attracted you to Amplify instead of a more traditional funding model?

The platform it provides to people to generate ideas which can even be picked on by others to solve the world’s problems and tackling disability issues attracted me. Unlike the traditional funding model where funds are strictly to a given program or activity, this AMPLIFY is very open. Hence it allows the human being to exercise free will, thought, initiative , creativity and even when the very people “owners of the idea don’t implement it”, other people can take it on to generate interventions

What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?

1. Unresponsive laws and policies is a great challenge. Since the existing laws are not responsive PWDs continue facing those numerous challenges to be specific unemployment. 2. Lack of basic necessities (food, medication, clothes, descent accommodation) due to unemployment, stigma from the community and inability to sustain themselves due to unemployment. 3. Rigid and unhelpful communities, law and policy enforcers, who sideline the right of PWDS to employment, discriminate against them and underestimate their potential hence denying them jobs. 4. Low self-esteem, stigma and fixation which affect the exploitation of their full potential and productivity. 5.Lack of information on key disability and general economic issues both nationally and internationally

Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question you need to answer to get there?

In five years 50% of PWDs will be empowered, self-reliant and employable and with capacity to employ others through our employment avenues created. Reducing PWD unemployment by 50%, us connecting 1000 PWDs to jobs annually, our company (stock shop center for PWD products) employing more than 100 employees and over 500 benefit from our scholarships anually. The question then is; how best can all PWDs realize indiscriminate employment despite the meager resources and unfriendly labor sector?

How long have you and your colleagues been working on this idea together?

  • Between 6 months and 1 year

How many of your team’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed idea live?

  • No paid, full-time staff

Is your organization registered in the country you intend to implement your idea in?

  • We are registered in all countries where we plan to implement.

My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:

  • We didn't have an operating budget
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Attachments (8)

yoda certificate.jpg

This certificate is evidence that we are have been legally operating in Uganda since 2012. Therefore we have five years of experience


we came up with possible questions and answers regarding implementation of our idea

The pictoral feedback ofour survey.docx

It contains collections from the field reflecting the practicability of our idea

Team work.docx

There was total involvement and commitment of every member from discussions to the field

pwd questionaire.docx

This was helpful in collecting information/getting feedback from inteded benefineficiaries and stakeholders

In the field.docx

We sent our team into the field to get feedback from the intended beneficiaries

Fact files for pwd unemployment.docx

Its contains justifications for our intended activities and programs plus facts and legal framework for employment in Uganda's sense


Join the conversation:

Photo of loemrntdherid1

Photo of Jean Louis UWAMBAZA

Although some improvements regarding PWDs rights , their unemployment is still a big challenge , in East African countries. That's why the journey is still long , let's stand together .

Photo of Kabaale Allan

It's still long indeed. Curbing this challenge requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders
Let's join hands in this

Photo of Kabaale Allan

In the bid to test our idea, I have indirectly posted different portions of it on our Facebook page and also on my personal account.
Am overwhelmed by the responses from Ugandan and abroad.
Some inbox me and they share with me their touching experience in looking for jobs
Others email me seeking to work together with us
Others give positive comments/recommendations
while majority just applaud us.
Unfortunately this idea/project is just kick starting.

If only we can get at least $10,000 the sky will be the limit in progressively solving unemployment among persons with disabilities in Uganda

Photo of Rose Acock

We should look at working together! Action on Poverty

Photo of Kabaale Allan

That proposal is highly welcome.

You can contact me at;

Photo of Kabaale Allan

Most comments and questions from Amplify team and it's external experts have been addressed in our main idea as we improved it. However the following are also important to note;

We shall investigate market value chains and link vocational training with livelihood opportunities by having a PWDs company (stock shop center) which offers employment to those who have been trained and market for their products so as to ensure a win win situation as we use the proceeds to run our day to day activities and the beneficiaries either get a salary or market for their products hence becoming self sustaining.

Secondly, we shall propose necessary modifications and adaptations to the existing structures of our partner vocational training institutions and also offer scholarships to our beneficiaries so as to enable them access them at either no cost or subsidized fees through our initiatives.

In a nutshell, the idea will be partially self suntanning and partially externally funded.

Photo of OpenIDEO

Hi Kabaale Allan and Team,

We’re excited to share with you feedback and questions from the Amplify team and an external set of experts. We encourage you to think about this feedback as you continue to improve and refine your idea. You are welcome to respond in the comments section and/or to incorporate feedback into the text of your idea. Your idea and all associated comments will all be reviewed during the final review process.

-The involvement of PwDS in the design of this project is implicit in the information provided, being developed by youth with disabilities.
-The idea of increasing the number of persons with disabilities in vocational programs is good.
-It is great to see your resource center initiative to be implemented directly by a youth development association.
-Have you considered working with existing vocational training programs (run by CSOs or government) to improve their accessibility? Have you looked at why CSO-run or government-run vocational training programs are not being made accessible to persons with disabilities?
-Have you linked with organizations such as Action for Youth with Disabilities Uganda (AYDU), Youth with Physical Disabilities Development Forum (YPDDF), and IDIWA in Iganga?
-What is your sustainability / business model?
-How might you plan to investigate market value chains and link vocational training with livelihood opportunities?

In case you missed it, check out this Storytelling Toolkit for inspiration for crafting strong and compelling stories: Storytelling is an incredibly useful tool to articulate an idea and make it come to life for those reading it. Don’t forget - June 4 at 11:59PM PST is your last day to make changes to your idea on the OpenIDEO platform.

Have questions? Email us at

Looking forward to reading more!

Photo of Kabaale Allan

We do acknowledge the existence of many other vocational centers but these were not PWD designed, oriented and they are not user friendly to PWDS. I believe they are not user friendly because they are too expensive and inaccessible. We shall propose necessary modifications and adaptations to the existing structures of our partner institutions and also offer scholarships to our beneficiaries. Notably those vocational training institutions only stop at equipping skills, however we are more concerned about the ultimate employment of those who have acquired the skills and those who are professionals in other fields (humanities and sciences)

Thirdly we shall be linking PWDs to various jobs by signing memorandum of understating with employers to employ an agreed number of PWDs in their companies, institutions businesses among others. We shall also be signing agreements with various employers. We shall be appreciating the best collaborating employers and where need be name and shame the uncollaborating ones.

We also envisage production of items that can be sold (in our stock shop center) to recoup some of the funds spent on implements and inputs. The proceeds from the sales will be used to sustain our other activities/programs.
As we progress, interested trainees shall be required to pay a small commitment fee we will be used to run the office activities.
We shall also lobby from well-wishers, national and international funders, government and other sources of funds as we shall afford from time to time. This will ensure continuity of investment in the project.

When I was minister in charge of students with disabilities I partnered with AYDO. And recently AYDO hired me for a TV program on STAR TV but they mainly work with institutions and currently universities only and the elite, those other NGOs mentioned above are not so much focused on the unemployment among PWDS which is our primary focus and foundation of this idea.

In my chat with the prime minister of Uganda Hon Dr Ruhakan Rugunda on Tuesday 16th May 2016 after some meeting at Twin towers, I brought to his attention about this idea and he pledged government’s support. The community development officers both at Sub County levels and at the district are my close friends and our organization has closely worked with them before, they have pledged their financial and moral support once the idea materialize. In addition I have engaged the programs director of Democratic Government Facility (DGF) about this project and she encouraged me apply in the next financial year.
And above all our partners (individuals and vocational institutions) in this project have pledged unfettered commitment towards the realization, materialization and success of this idea and project as a whole.

Photo of Sanu Shrestha

There are plenty skills which can empower disabled community for better livelihood. We provide skill training workshops to the disabled groups, mostly practical and mostly based on green energy technologies. For more information, please visit us in and Thanks, Sanu Kaji, FoST/Nepal

Photo of Kabaale Allan

Wow that's great!! thanks for the work well done. We will definitely need your services once we have gotten resources.

Photo of Jean Louis UWAMBAZA

I am touched too, I feel disappointed when I see PWDs begging on streets , your idea will improve the well being for PWDs , keep this good idea Kabaale Allan.

Photo of Kabaale Allan

Thank you Mr. We are doing capacity building and we hope to equip PWDs with relevant practcal skills And we have carried a survey among them and we have agreed on which activities to train them to be self employed

Photo of ommy zubery

Kabaale Allan,
Great and very encouraging idea from you and counterparts thinking of establishing a resource centre for the society. Many of the program planned by decision makers and higher authorities remain as documented policy frame work without effective implementation. Other external efforts apart from the government would increase to reach the society at right time of the demand and fulfil their expectations.

Photo of Kabaale Allan

Thank you comrade. We are working tirelessly to see that our dream comes True. In our survey we got feedback that some employers think that PWD employees are/would be a burden in their business


Great idea Mr Allan! unemployment is still a big challenge for PWDs in our communities. good luck

Photo of Kabaale Allan

Thanks Mr Joseph My life dream is to have a functioning resource center for PWDs in Uganda

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Hi Kabaale, thank you for contributing to the Challenge!

Two quick items, first part of the design thinking process is to frame your concept in a positive way. Would you consider playing with the title of your post, to focus on the positive work you want to do? For example instead of, "Empowering persons with disabilities to get off streets and eliminate/reduce their begging culture" what about something like, "Empowering persons with disabilities without job opportunities to transition into meaningful employment"or something similar that resonates with you?

Second, something we'd encourage you to think about is how you might update your Summary section (text above the image gallery) to encapsulate what your idea actually entails briefly and clearly.

Here's a template if you need some help, though feel free to come up with your own clarifying sentence structure.

Our idea is a_________________ [campaign/app/service/program/online platform/toolkit/social enterprise/etc.] that tackles the problem of _____________[the issue being addressed ] by __________[what your idea looks like in practice].

Then you can move any important text you’ve currently got in your Summary section into the Description section (text below the image gallery)

Optional: See some Summary examples from the Amplify Team on a previous challenge here:

We are very excited to learn more about your idea!

Photo of Kabaale Allan

Hello Ashley
Am very grateful for your input into our idea. I have realized the lacuna that was in our composition and I have adjusted accordingly.
Any more in put or support towards realizing our idea is highly welcome

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Hi Kabaale, thank you for the incredibly important work you are doing. A couple little things that might be helpful:

1) In the "Explain your Idea" section you do a great job explaining how you did primary research/user research, also if you have done any early testing include it! An example might look like is:

We ran a __________________________(workshop/event/program/experiment) with ________________X number of people with disabilities and learned ______________________.

2) In the Section on 'Tell us more about you', make sure to include your website share any partners you are working with specifically or any other clarifying links and resources so we get a full picture of you, your organization and the impactful work you are doing!

Photo of Kabaale Allan

I took into consideration your comments. Hope its now precise and concise

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Thanks Kabaale! Very excited about the work you are doing!

Photo of Livingstone Ndigezza

Wow! what a great idea and I do believe that considering the current situation in my country where by people with disabilities are not favored in the employment circle, so on that note I highly recommend this kind of project implementation in my country.

A Big Applause to the Brains behind this project......

Photo of Kabaale Allan

Thank you Mr for appreciating our idea. My satisfaction will be the realization of this dream