The survey and analysis of the results

This survey was targeted at 374 people, including 206 from the Rehabilitation course (Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Promotion of Persons with Disabilities)and 168 from the Leaders’ course (Leaders of Persons with Disabilities). As of October 31, 2004, 53 Rehabilitation course and 55 leaders’ course participants, or 108 in total, had responded. The results of the survey are as follows.

Figure 1: Breakdown by region of the target group Figure 2: Breakdown by region of Leaders’ course particiddants from 1998 to 2003 Figure 3: Breakdown by region of target group countries

A total of 82% of the questionnaires (308 out of 374) were sent to the Asia-Pacific region (see figure 1).

A breakdown by region of the participants in the Leaders’ course from 1998 to 2003, as depicted in figure 2, shows that those from Latin America and Africa make up a substantial share after the Asia-Pacific region.

Almost half of the countries represented by the target group (24 of 55 countries, or 44%) are located in the Asia-Pacific region (see figure 3).

The response rate was higher for the Leaders’ course, with forms returned by 53 out of 206 Rehabilitation course participants, or 25.7%, and 55 out of 168 Leaders’ course participants, or 32.7% (see figure 4).

By region, the response rate was particularly high for Latin America, at 44.8%, or 13 out of 29 (see figure 5).
One reason for the low response rate for the Asia-Pacific is the inclusion of countries that no longer receive official development assistance, namely South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Another factor is the number ofsurbeys that were delivered to the wrong address or could not be delivered and came back to JSRPD (39 out of 45 such postings were to the Asia-Pacific). Indeed, 22 respondents from the Rehabilitation course, or 42%, and 27 from the Leaders’ course, or 49%, said they switched jobs after returning home, and it is possible that many ex-participants changed jobs, moved, and could no longer be reached.

2. Projects and other activities undertaken by the participants after the course

The questions in this section were aimed at finding out how many former participants keep in touch with JICA and the activities they have engaged in since their return home. A large proportion of the respondents said they maintain contact with JICA, and many provided a detailed account of the projects they have been involved in.

Chart 1: Activity/project after training course

Question Course Yes No No reply
Have you contacted the JICA office? Rehabilitation 32 20 1
Leaders 38 16 1
Do you remain in contact with any ex-participants? Rehabilitation 34 19 0
Leaders 43 10 2
Have you utilized the knowledge obtained in the course in your activities/projects? Rehabilitation 48 5 0
Leaders 49 5 1

The most commonly cited reason for contacting JICA or another ex-participant was to get information.

About 90% of the respondents in both courses said the knowledge they gained served them well after their return home. (see chart 1)

When asked to describe how, a variety of concrete examples were offered. The number and scope of answers provided by those in the Leaders’ course indicate a level of activity possible only with a group such as this. Specifically, 10 respondents said they had been or are engaged in the “promotion of human rights, equal opportunities, and social participation,” 9 said “setting up or strengthening an organization,” and 22 mentioned “organizing training courses and development of human resources.”

3. Internet Access

The number of respondents who said they have access to the Internet exceeded predictions, with 38 out of 53 Rehabilitation course participants and 46 out of 55 Leaders’ course participants. However, a large number of Sri Lankan respondents from both courses said they do not have access and probably will not have it in the future because of budget constraints.

Despite this, there was a great deal of demand for information from the Internet, with the responses broken down as follows.

Chart 2: Types of information you require

Item Rehabilitation Leaders
Global trends on disability issues 38 45
The latest technology information 32 41
New Japanese systems and laws on disabilities 23 32
Prominent projects carried out by other ex-participants 30 40
Exchange information among ex-participants 35 42
Information on training/seminar opportunities 41 49
Funding support information 41 49
Information on JICA 32 39
Others 12 11

4.Needs, expectations for the follow-up program, and future plans

The question about the respondents’ needs, expectations for the follow-up program, and future plans was open-ended, and the answers were broken down into four categories using the KJ method.
*1 A large proportion said they would like to have information on global trends related to people with disabilities and recent data on disability issues from Japan, which is likely a reflection of the widespread access to the Internet and the speed at which up-to-the-minute information can now be transmitted and obtained. Many respondents also cited an exchange of information and meetings with other ex-participants, information on programs organized by other ex-participants, and a list of ex-participants and their contact number.

*1 The KJ method is a technique for imaginative problem-solving developed by Jiro Kawakita, a former Tokyo Institute of Technology professor of cultural anthropology. The name was taken from the initials of his name. (In Japan the family name comes before the given name.) The method works in the following way. Ideas and opinions expressed in brainstorming sessions or data collected on various types of surveys are written on index cards or other small pieces of paper, with one item per page. Participants divide all the items into small groups with two or three like items. They further bring together a number of small groups into medium-sized groups, and medium-sized groups into large groups. In the process of doing so, they are able to gain insight into the solution.

(1)Needs and expectations for the follow-up program

The four categories in figure 6 bring together a number of items under a single heading.

  • Information and exchanges: Recent information on disability issues in Japan and the rest of the world, information on projects undertaken by participants after their return home, and contacts with other participants.
  • Training and seminar: Advanced training courses organized as part of the follow-up program, training and technical cooperation from JICA in response to a specific need that arises in the course of their work after their return home.
  • Support and assistance: The purchase of mechanical equipment and materials, funding for the construction of facilities, grant aid.
  • Miscellaneous: Items that fall outside the realm of the above three categories.

1. Rehabilitation course Many ex-participants from the Rehabilitation course expressed a desire for follow-up training programs as a way to enhance the knowledge they acquired during the course. In terms of support and assistance, they said they would like to have technical cooperation, aids for operating institutions, and mechanical equipment and materials, including computers. 2. Leaders’ course In the area of information, participants in the Leaders’ course cited global trends among people with disabilities, recent policies, systems, and legislation affecting persons with disabilities in Japan, an introduction to training programs run by JICA and the Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities, the inauguration of a Web site, and the creation of a network of ex-participants. On the topic of exchanges, many respondents said they would like to meet with other ex-participants and exchange information with them. Some respondents requested follow-up training programs and technical training on prosthesis and orthosis. The requests for support and assistance included technical cooperation, aids for operating institutions, and mechanical equipment, such as computers and Braille writers, but a large number of respondents also asked for support and funding for new projects. Chart 3: Future plan

Item Rehabilitation Leaders
Establish facilities and organizations 14 14
Implementation of programs/projects 22 26
Creating a network 0 7
Support and assistance 4 0

(2) Future plans

1. Rehabilitation course Among the respondents from the Rehabilitation course who said they plan to establish facilities or organizations, six said vocational rehabilitation centers and four cited sheltered workshops. Other answers included a welfare organization and special school for children with disabilities. Among the respondents who plan to implement programs, seven cited community-based rehabilitation programs, four cited rehabilitation-related endeavors, and another four answered development of human resources and training. Four respondents said they wish to undertake a program but do not have enough fund to do so. 2. Leaders’ course The respondents in the Leaders’ course who said they plan to establish facilities or organizations included six who want to found centers for rehabilitation, training, and information, four who plan to establish sheltered workshops, three who want to create an organization, and one who wishes to build a school. Among those who plan to implement a program, three mentioned programs dealing with policies and legislation for disabled persons, and three cited community-based rehabilitation. Other responses covered a truly diverse range of fields, from sign language training and support for people with visual impairments to income generating project and social awareness. Seven respondents said they plan to create a database or powerful network. Interest in network building was a point on which respondents in the two courses diverged significantly.

5. Summary

The response rate for this survey stood at 28.9%, with 108 out of 374 questionnaires returned. However, if the surveys that could not be delivered and the inclusion of the countries that no longer receive official development assistance, are taken into account, the rate rises to more than one-third.

The respondents answered the questions frankly, and a substantial number said they are grateful for the follow-up survey, indicating the high expectations they have for the follow-up program.

About 78% of the respondents have Internet access, indicating that a Web site represents a useful tool in the follow-up program and that its benefits will likely grow in the future. At the same time, however, it must be remembered that some people will remain without an Internet connection and that written and Braille materials will continue to be necessary.

An analysis of the results on participants’ needs and expectations of the follow-up program reveal a widespread desire for information and exchanges among participants after their return home. These needs, it is believed, can be addressed with the Web site. The requests for technical cooperation and grant aid, two other areas where expectations run high, can also be provided through this Web site.

The category encompassing training and seminar was cited by the second largest ratio. The best way to respond to demands in this area would be to organize courses and seminars in the participants’ home countries and provide technical training tailored to local conditions. By visiting the countries concerned, it will be possible to find out exactly what local people with disabilities need and address these requirements in addition to providing training and technical cooperation.

The Leaders’ and Rehabilitation course date back about 20 years, and so far 374 people from 54 developing countries have taken part in them. The benefits of these courses have been untold. After returning home, participants have conducted income generating project, which have had a positive impact on the economy. They have also organized training courses, seminars, and other gatherings, which have effected a change of attitude among persons with disabilities, enhanced their desire to live independently, and created more opportunities for them to take part in society. Finally, their endeavors have also raised the level of social awareness on issues concerning disabled individuals. In the coming years, it is essential that JICA continue organizing the follow-up program and providing technical cooperation when necessary.

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