This week’s installment of Organizational Spotlight will be an update on my systematic review of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide that work with people with disabilities! I am very excited to share some of my recent findings with you and shed light on the areas of the world where there is a need for more support for people with disabilities, especially those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Lately, I have been focusing on collecting data regarding regions where there is sufficient aid, or lack thereof, provided for deaf youth, especially in the education sector. There are also now a total of 183 organizations identified compared to the 177 that there were when I wrote the first sneak-peek into my review. As another update, of all of the non-governmental organizations identified, there are now 59 working in North America, 54 in Asia, 40 in Europe, 38 in Africa, 21 in South America, and 16 in Australia.
When looking at the support provided for deaf youth worldwide based on the data collected, Asia had the highest number of non-governmental organizations working in the continent to assist this demographic. To give you some figures, out of the organizations identified currently operating in Asia, 15 work with deaf youth and 7 work with the same demographic focusing on education. Africa and Europe were tied for second with 14 working in each continent with deaf youth. However, in Africa, 8 of these organizations work with a focus in education compared to just 3 in Europe. North America came after with 13 of the non-governmental organizations identified working with deaf youth and 5 working with a focus on education. In South America, which ranked fifth based on these figures, there are 6 organizations that work with deaf youth and 2 that work with deaf youth with a focus on education. In Australia, which had the lowest two numbers, there are 5 organizations that work with deaf youth and 0 that work with the same demographic in education.
Of the 40 non-governmental organizations identified that do work in Africa, they collectively have active projects in all 55 different countries across the continent. It should be noted that the total number of independent states in Africa is 54 with Egypt being a transcontinental country due to a small part of its territory being in Asia. However, it is a political member of the African Union, so it is included in the list of African countries, making the number of countries in Africa reach a total of 55. The two countries that have the highest numbers of non-governmental organizations currently doing work in them are Uganda and Kenya with 23 and 21 organizations operating in each region respectively. Ethiopia follows the top two countries and has a total of 14 organizations currently operating in the region. Next are Nigeria and Tanzania with 13 non-governmental organizations functioning in each region. The countries that have the lowest numbers of non-governmental organizations working in them from those identified are Botswana, Comoros, Congo Republic, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Lesotho, Mauritania, Mauritius, São Tomé and Principe, Tunisia, and Yemen. Each country except for Yemen has 5 non-governmental organizations actively working in the country. Yemen has 4 non-governmental organizations functioning in the country which makes it the African region with the lowest number of active non-governmental organizations.
In Africa, there is quite an even spread of non-governmental organizations, especially considering how many countries there are in the continent. However, Yemen, followed by Botswana, Comoros, Congo Republic, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Lesotho, Mauritania, Mauritius, São Tomé and Principe, and Tunisia should all become areas in which non-governmental organizations working with people with disabilities and deaf persons place a greater focus due to the fact that each country, excluding Yemen, only has 5 organizations of those identified operating in them. Yemen has even fewer with just 4 organizations working with people with disabilities in the country. From these statistics, it is clear that people with disabilities living in this area are receiving a low level of support, making this demographic an important target for organizations currently working in or wanting to do work in Africa.
Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Tanzania are the five African countries that are receiving the greatest amount of support from the non-governmental organizations identified respectively. It is interesting that Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Tanzania all have a large number of non-governmental organizations working in them because they are all concentrated in the same area on the eastern side of the continent with Nigeria being the only outlier more towards the western side. A pressing question with respect to this information is do organizations decide to do work in this region due to the fact that it is the area that is targeted most often? Also, if organizations are flocking to areas where they see other non-governmental organizations doing work and expanding their own organizations solely in that immediate area, how do we make it known that this is not efficient? Especially because the majority of the non-governmental organizations working in Africa are international organizations, they must work to tackle the continent as a whole, not just one immediate area. This is why it is vital that organizations go into areas where there is less support being provided, such as the southern region of the continent where Eswatini is located.
With a large amount of non-governmental organizations working on the eastern side of the African continent, there is not sufficient support for people with disabilities and deaf persons living in the southern region of Africa. Eswatini is located very close to Zimbabwe and borders Mozambique. This is significant because out of the non-governmental organizations identified, Zimbabwe and Mozambique each have ten active organizations working in them, just as Eswatini does. This is similar to the eastern region due to the fact that the countries located in southern African all have a similar number of organizations working in them. The active number of organizations in this region is much lower than that of the western area farther north, however, this is to be expected. Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Eswatini all have significantly smaller populations than Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Tanzania, making them in need of fewer functioning organizations in order for sufficient support to be provided.
To read the previous sneak-peek into my systematic review, please refer to this installment of Organizational Spotlight.