Inclusive Project Budgeting for International Development Stakeholders
Creating a project budget, but not sure where to start?
- It is important to budget for accessibility. Generally, there are two areas in which to consider accessibility within a project – administrative costs, and project operations.
- Mobility International USA recommends as a starting point allocating an estimated 5-7% of your total program budget for operational costs related to accessibility and reasonable accommodation, and 1-3% for administrative costs.
- Coordinate with supporting agencies (Governmental, non-governmental, and community-based organizations) with expertise on disability inclusion for assistance and support. HI recommends reaching out to organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs), or disabled persons organizations (DPOs), to understand the specific needs of persons with disabilities in that location.
- Inclusion of DPOs or OPDs into the project will require additional budget allocation for the specific activities of that organization.
- Administrative costs will primarily relate to the organization as an institution or employer hiring employees with disabilities, and/or ensuring their workspaces are accessible for partner organizations with employees with disabilities. It is very important that budget lines for accommodation are earmarked separately from project budgets, so they are not used for other purposes. This cost may be more than 1-3% if the office you are renting in is currently inaccessible. Other recommended but unexpected costs may include insurance to cover medical or disability claims from employees.
- Operational costs earmarked for accessibility should ensure that program participants or beneficiaries are able to equally access and use the goods and services delivered under the program. These will differ depending on the program, but generally speaking, consider the following –
- In general, for any activity, consider how persons with disabilities may face barriers to reaching the activity, circulating around the space, engaging in the activity / using objects, etc., and how communication will be facilitated.
- Consider what specific support people with disabilities may need to be successful in the project. For example, in livelihoods programming, people with disabilities may benefit from access to assistive devices or modified tools. It is important to budget for these.
- Budgeting for caretakers to potentially accompany persons with disabilities throughout project activities
- For all project monitoring, evaluation and learning, ensure that you consider the specific needs of collecting data from persons with disabilities – both quantitative data and qualitative data – and budget for accommodation accordingly. E.g. sign language interpretation, transportation, etc.