ADD International gradually expanded its operations in Bangladesh through the establishment of and networking with disabled people’s organizations (DPOs). By 2016, ADD’s DPO structure included 148 DPOs, 10 District Federations of DPOs, 2 national level networks of the National Grassroots Disability Organization, and the National Council for Disabled Women. The qualitative study was conducted from May to June 2016 to support ADD in capturing its experience in applying DPO as an approach for advancing the disability movement in Bangladesh. Literature review, consultation with ADD officials, and the PWDs involved in the structures of DPO at different levels, and observation during the field visits were the methods used.
The study clarified i) genesis and evolution of the DPO approach; ii) uniqueness of ADD’s approach to DPO; iii) the process of organizing and nurturing the individual PWDs in the structure of DPO at different levels; iv) the construction, roles and procedures of operation for the organizations at different levels within the DPO structure along with their institutional relations; and v) major achievements of and challenges for the DPOs in advancing the disability movement in Bangladesh.