The ascendance of market systems development (MSD) programming in the field of private sector development has coincided with an awakening of the field to the importance of more equitable development reflected in the increasing programme commitments to gender equality and social inclusion (GESI), with people with disabilities often being captured through the broader social inclusion category. The concept of disability inclusion, however, is still new to most MSD programmes and practitioners including Elan, a DFID-funded MSD programme implemented by Adam Smith International in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and is considered by some a task not well suited to market systems programming because of the presumed small market share and additional costs of serving this segment.
This paper is the first in a series of three commissioned by Elan to increase understanding and applicability of disability inclusion in MSD and disseminate practical tools, frameworks and guidance. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the modest body of existing literature and examples of social and or disability inclusion in MSD and identify key insights for practitioners interested in disability inclusion. The second paper in the series presents the business case for disability inclusion in MSD and the third paper presents practitioner guidance for disability inclusion in MSD drawing on the findings of the two previous papers.