Publication Date

January 2005


In this article I argue that an ethnographic approach has a contribution to make to the analysis of disability and development. Anthropologists document the experiences of disabled people whilst also critiquing the current operational structures and relationships that marginalise the rights of disabled people. The secondary argument states, if disability is to become a central part of all development agendas then disabled people must be made visible. Once greater visibility has been achieved it will be harder for development practitioners to ignore the specific needs of disabled people. A further benefit of using ethnographic techniques emerges through the analysis of how non-governmental organisations understand disability issues. Ethnographic research can both raise the profile of disability rights whilst also pointing out the short comings of current development practice.