Author's School

Brown School

Author's Department/Program

Social Work


Gautam Yadama, Jane Aiken, John Bricout, David Gray, Holly Hollingsworth, Shanta Pandey, Michelle Putnam


English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The primary purpose of this dissertation is to examine the relationships between disability and poverty in Nepal. Linkages between disability, poverty, and deprivation are explored to develop an in-depth understanding of these relationships, to recommend strategies for intervention, and ultimately to improve the situations of individuals and their families experiencing disability and poverty. Since traditional poverty measures such as income and consumption do not fully capture the multi-dimensional construct of poverty, a capability approach was used to further an understanding of the relationships between disability and deprivation at individual and household levels and to address three research questions. What are the ways in which disability contributes to individual deprivations? Is there a correlation between household poverty and the likelihood of having a family member with some type of disability? Do households with a disabled family member experience higher levels of deprivation than households without exposure to disability? Secondary data was taken from two national data sets, A Situation Analysis of Disability in Nepal conducted by New Era and the Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS) conducted by the World Bank. Individuals with and without a disability were compared across income poverty and capability poverty using disability, chronic illness and activity limitation as disability indicators. Households with and without a disabled family member were compared across income poverty and asset poverty. Analyses were conducted using various methodologies including chi-square, t-test, ANOVA, odds ratio, and logistic regression. The prevalence of disability was estimated at 1.6% in the SITAN and at 6.4% in the NLSS using chronic illness as a proxy for disability. Differences in disability and deprivation were statistically significant for most demographic variables including gender, marital status, geographical region, and ecological strata. Findings indicated that disability is linked to some degree of poverty and deprivation at both individual and household levels. However, these findings varied by the type of disability indicator used in the analyses.


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