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    Implementation of the Assistive Product List (APL) in Malawi through development of appropriate policy and systems: an action research protocol


    Ebuenyi, Ikenna and Smith, Emma M. and Kafumba, Juba and Jamali, Monica Z. and Munthali, Alister and MacLachlan, Malcolm (2020) Implementation of the Assistive Product List (APL) in Malawi through development of appropriate policy and systems: an action research protocol. BMJ Open, 10 (11). e040281. ISSN 2044-6055

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    Abstract

    Introduction: Assistive technology (AT) is important for the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) for persons with disabilities (PWD). Increasingly, studies suggest a significant gap between the need for and demand for and provisions of AT for PWD in low-income and middle-income settings. Evidence from high income countries highlights the importance of robust AT policies to the achievement of the recommendations of the World Health Assembly on AT. In Malawi, there is no standalone AT policy. The objectives of the Assistive Product List Implementation Creating Enablement of inclusive SDGs (APPLICABLE) project, are to propose and facilitate the development of a framework for creating effective national AT policy and specify a system capable of implementing such policies in low-income countries such as Malawi. Ethics and dissemination: The study protocol was approved by Maynooth University Research Ethics Committee (SRESC-2019-2378566) and University of Malawi Research Ethics Committee (P.01/20/10). Findings from the study will be disseminated by publication in peer-reviewed journals, presentations to stakeholders in Malawi, Ireland and international audiences at international conferences. Method and analysis: We propose an action research process with stakeholders in AT in Malawi. APPLICABLE will adopt an action research paradigm, through developing a shared research agenda with stakeholders and including users of AT. This involves the formation of an Action Research Group that will specify the priorities for practice—and policy-based evidence, in order to facilitate the development of contextually realistic and achievable policy aspirations on AT in Malawi and provide system strengthening recommendations that will ensure that the policy is implementable for their realisation. We will undertake an evaluation of this policy by measuring supply and support for specific AT prior to, and following the implementation of the policy recommendations.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. Cite as: Ebuenyi ID, Smith EM, Kafumba J, et alImplementation of the Assistive Product List (APL) in Malawi through development of appropriate policy and systems: an action research protocolBMJ Open 2020;10:e040281. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-040281
    Keywords: Assistive Product List (APL); Malawi; policy; systems;
    Academic Unit: Assisting Living & Learning,ALL institute
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > Human Health Institute
    Item ID: 15298
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-040281
    Depositing User: Ikenna Ebuenyi
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2022 16:43
    Journal or Publication Title: BMJ Open
    Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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