Author's School

Brown School

Author's Department

Social Work

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Originally Published In

Trani, J.F., & Bakhshi, P. (2008). Challenges for assessing disability prevalence: the case of Afghanistan = Les défis de la mesure de la prévalence du handicap : le cas de l’Afghanistan. Alter-European Journal of Disability Research, 2(1): 44-64.


This article attempts to examine the methodological intricacies of measuring prevalence rate of disability through a population based survey using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health of the WHO and the Capability framework, developed by Amartya Sen and others. After a rapid overview of the Afghan context and the process leading to the research programme, it presents the example of the methodology used in the NDSA and the survey protocol. The authors argue that prevalence rates can be measured using different instruments in terms of impairments, activity limitations or in terms of well-being. Thus, the disability experience is measured through a multidimensional approach. The article concludes that whatever the conceptual framework adopted, understanding the situation of persons with disability requires to go beyond measurement of disability prevalence. It implies to look at the links between disability prevalence and the persons’ valuable functioning’s and social agency, in a given environment, using other variables made available by the survey.


© . This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. DOI: 10.1016/j.alter.2007.10.003