Disability and Poverty in Morocco and Tunisia: A Multidimensional Approach

Jean Francois Trani, Parul Bakhshi, Sarah Myers Tlapek, Dominique Lopez, Fiona Gall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Although a growing body of research is exploring the links between disability and poverty, the evidence that persons with disabilities are more likely to be poor than their non-disabled counterpart remains scarce. The causal relationship between disability and poverty has most often been considered in terms of disparities in income or living conditions. However, some research strongly suggests that disability is associated with deprivation in a number of other dimensions. To date, no study has examined these associations using large scale surveys with a wide range of wellbeing dimensions and indicators using a multidimensional approach. The present paper presents findings of three multidimensional poverty measures based on 17 indicators of deprivation collected through large-scale household surveys in Morocco and Tunisia. These indicators cover a wide range of dimensions of poverty such as health, education, employment, material well-being, social participation, psychological well-being and physical security. Results confirm that persons with disabilities are poorer than non-disabled people in both countries. The study shows that persons with disabilities, particularly girls and women, rural residents, and those with intellectual, mental or multiple disabilities are particularly deprived of basic capabilities and functionings and that stigma plays a role in this social injustice. Civil society organizations should take the lead to promote awareness of social and emotional well-being of persons with disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-548
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Human Development and Capabilities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015


  • Disability
  • Morocco
  • Multidimensional poverty index
  • Poverty
  • Tunisia


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