Motivation Australia’s vision is of a world where everyone’s right to participation and inclusion is realised. We start with the fundamental idea that everyone is equal, so everyone has the right to full and effective participation and inclusion in society.

Some things are universal; people with disabilities want the same things in life as everyone else; the freedom to make one’s own choices, equality of opportunity, access and respect. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is the international law that is intended to ensure that people with all types of disability enjoy all human rights on an equal basis with others:

“The purpose of the present Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.” CRPD

green triangle representing 3 programme areasThe World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated in the World Report on Disability in 2011, that one billion people (1 in 7 or 15%) of the world’s population have a disability. At least 80% of those live in developing countries.

WHO also estimate that 1% of the world’s population, or just over 65 million people, need a wheelchair. In addition to this, 0.5% of the population in developing countries need prosthetics and orthotics services. In the Pacific Region alone this equates to about 168,000 people spread over thousands of islands and atolls, and the numbers continue to grow. The rapidly increasing prevalence of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) including diabetes and stroke in the Pacific Region, is resulting in a growing need for appropriate mobility device provision. The picture is much the same in other areas of AT; with WHO estimating that only 3% of the hearing aid needs in developing countries are being met, despite there being an estimated 56 million hearing aid users worldwide.

Motivation Australia increases the participation and inclusion of people with disabilities by:

  • Improving survival, health and rehabilitation outcomes
  • Increasing access to appropriate Assistive Technology
  • Creating and supporting opportunities for inclusion
  • Contributing to disability inclusive guidelines and policies

Our work is about creating positive and lasting change for people with disabilities who live in places with fewer resources. All our projects are focused on building the capacity of local organisations and their personnel. Our programmes are planned and implemented with the inclusion and participation of people with disabilities and Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs).

Improving survival, health and rehabilitation outcomes

Addressing the life threatening, secondary complications of disabilities and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is an on-going battle. Preventable complications such as pressure sores, kidney damage and infected diabetic foot wounds are a major health threat, particularly in the Pacific Region where the incidence of diabetes is the greatest globally and there are limited health and rehabilitation opportunities.

Equipping our partners with the expertise and resources to help their clients to survive and stay healthy, is the most fundamental way that Motivation Australia can improve their quality of life. Avoiding an amputation by healing a diabetic foot wound, assisting someone to be pressure sore free for the first time in years, and finding a solution for a sustainable supply of urinary management products are life changing interventions.

Increasing access to appropriate Assistive Technology

Access to appropriate Assistive Technology (AT) for people with disabilities is key to removing barriers to participation and realising peoples’ rights. AT helps to reduce the impact of impairment and increase the ability of people with disabilities to do their daily activities, and participate in family and community. The provision of appropriate AT “enables persons with disabilities to become productive members of society, thereby enhancing their quality of life, enabling them to enjoy their human rights and live in dignity” WHO.

Effective provision of AT requires: appropriate devices; services that reach people with disabilities, NCDs, the frail aged and other vulnerable groups; training for local people; policy and guidelines that support and guide practice; as well as maximum involvement of the AT user at every stage of service delivery.

Creating and supporting opportunities for inclusion

AT is about having the appropriate tools to enable people. The really interesting question is what do you want to do, now that you have the right tools? AT service provision and appropriate AT devices are stepping stones on the journey towards full and equal inclusion.

There are so many barriers to people with disabilities participating equally in life, that it’s important to create opportunities wherever we can. Motivation Australia support local organisations to create equal opportunities for employment, income generation, education, travel and sport.

Guiding principles

Over twenty years of building capacity in developing countries, our team have developed a philosophical foundation which underpins our work. Our values of humanity, inclusion, professionalism and creativity help us to achieve all this to a high standard and deliver value for money. We hold ourselves, our staff, consultants and volunteers accountable to delivering quality outcomes, every time. We strive for continuous improvement of the assistance that we offer to our partners and ultimately, people with disabilities.

  1. Disability rights based approach – Our work is guided by the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with a Disability (UNCRPD).
  2. Disability inclusive development approach – Meaningful inclusion of people with disabilities in both mainstream and disability specific development programmes is essential.
  3. Gender equity – We strive to ensure our programmes are equally accessible to men and women, boys and girls.
  4. Partnership and ownership – We work in close partnership with local people in order to nurture ownership and build long term sustainability. We value the knowledge, perspective and expertise of our partners, working with them to ensure that our partners are actively involved in identifying and implementing solutions that are going to work for them.
  5. Doing more with less – We work in contexts where human and physical resources are limited. We therefore aim to identify cost effective, sustainable, quality solutions that effectively address the priority needs of people with disabilities. We have built a reputation for delivering cost effective projects with quality outputs. This is made possible by professional, experienced personnel and diligent project management across the full programme cycle.

Capacity building

Motivation Australia takes a long term approach to capacity building local organisations and their personnel. There are four key areas of capacity which MA’s programmes aim to strengthen over time: Human resources, Technical resources, Service systems and Organisational culture. These all need to be supported by good governance and management.

Diagram describing the four areas of capacity

About the  Sustainable Development Goals

Without deliberate inclusion in mainstream development programmes and without physical access to new facilities such as water pumps and schools, people with disabilities are left behind by poverty reduction and community development initiatives such as are embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals.

SDG logo

The new sustainable development agenda includes a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. With 17 sustainable development goals at its core, it recognises that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with a plan that builds economic growth and addresses a range of social needs, whilst also tackling climate change.



If you like what we do, consider becoming a part of it yourself. You can contribute by becoming a member, sharing your expertise, giving your time, fundraising or donating. For more information contact Lauren Flaherty.