“Employment programs for disabled people provide a high return on investment over time,” says Klaudia Wolniewicz-Slomka, CASE Expert

“Cost-benefit analyses show that employment programs for disabled people show a positive return ratio when analyzed over time,” said CASE Expert on Social Policy, Klaudia Wolniewicz-Slomka, during an international workshop in Minsk, Belarus, which was devoted to discussing services to vulnerable groups.

Are national and regional programs supporting the employment of disabled people effective? This was the main question asked during an international workshop held on March 28 in Minsk, Belarus, titled “Effectiveness estimation of services for vulnerable groups”. During the workshop, CASE Economist and Social Policy Expert, Klaudia Wolniewicz-Slomka, provided participants with a cross-country comparative analysis of employment support programs for disabled people in the US, UK, Australia, and other countries.

Creating and implementing support programs for disabled people has been a challenge for a variety of stakeholders from different sectors around the world. Difficulties in the creation of such programs arise even at the stage of defining “disability”, as different definitions of the term lead to major discrepancies in the number of people the programs should address—in the EU alone, different definitions of disability result in the estimated share of disabled people in society varying from 2% to 21%. Methodological difficulties also affect attempts to evaluate the efficiency of such programs: data is often not available, or it is analyzed over a time frame that is too short to be representative; in other cases, it ignores the wide range of indirect beneficiaries (like families, local authorities, or health institutions) and non-monetary benefits brought about by these programs.

Nevertheless, when looked at from a cross-country perspective and over a longer period of time, the true effect of these programs is revealed. CASE Expert Klaudia Wolniewicz-Slomka conducted such a cost-benefit analysis (CBA)—her results show a cost versus benefit ratio ranging from 1:2.35 in some research to up to 1:16 in others. “This shows that CBA evaluations should be performed through a longer period of time, otherwise their benefits are underestimated”, concluded Klaudia Wolniewicz-Slomka.

The workshop was held in the frame of “Enhancing CSOs [civil society organisations] contribution to evidence-based policy making for vulnerable groups”, a project which has been implemented by CASE since April 2017.



Valery Zhurakovski, ACT Belarus.