Unpacking Disability-Extreme Poverty Links in Bangladesh through Household Income and Expenditure Survey: A Quantitative Exercise

Research reports and studies
October 2017
Binayak Sen, Mainul Hoque

Disabled population is widely considered as one of the most disadvantaged segments of the society. Persons with disability are often considered as a specific chronic poverty group. However, little empirical evidence exists for developing countries on the size of disabled population. Even less is known about the interface between disability and poverty.

Bangladesh is one of the few developing countries where focus on disability incidence monitoring was discernible even before the adoption of SDGs. This was indicated by the adoption of “disability module” within the rubric of poverty diagnostic survey in case of Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES). However, the issue of disability still received inadequate policy emphasis in the discourse on human development, and even less attention in the prevalent thinking about poverty reduction.

The present study aims to provide statistically robust analysis of the state of disability and its interface with poverty and vulnerability through different pathways. The analysis presented is of relationships, without any attempt to empirically investigate causality due to the nature of the quantitative data assessed.