Innovative Practices 2014 on Accessibility

Guidebook on an accessible Ethiopia

ECDD provides technical information on accessibility standards to government, non-governmental organisations, universities and the private sector. 12 cities in the country have been assessed so far, based on the ‘Guide to Accessible Ethiopia’.

“Small effort towards accessibility makes a big difference in people’s life.”

Yetnebersh NIGUSSIE
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Guide to Accessible Ethiopia
Organisation:Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD)
of origin
Beneficiaries targeted Persons with disabilities
Approach/ model/ solution:Guide book on accessibility for 12 cities in Ethiopia


  • 700 public and private institutions providing services audited
  • 12 Ethiopian towns analysed
  • 12 seminars on accessible building standards organised for local architects, contractors, business persons and government officials
  • 500 hard copies of the guide distributed; updates scheduled for 2015


According to WHO there are an estimated 15 million persons with disabilities in Ethiopia, representing 17.6 per cent of the population. For many, the inaccessibility of built environments is a major obstacle to participating actively in society.


ECDD is partnering with Light for the World Austria to provide technical information on accessibility standards to government, non-governmental organisations, universities and the private sector. Persons with disabilities were trained to undertake audits and survey the accessibility of hotels, restaurants, schools and other public facilities in 12 towns of Ethiopia. A ‘Guide to Accessible Ethiopia’ has been produced, printed and distributed.


Locally acceptable standards were developed based upon international standards and in consultation with architects, urban planners, and representatives of organisations of persons with disabilities. Those standards were subsequently adopted by the national government as directives to support the Federal Building Proclamation. Local governments shared costs for accessibility modifications. More than 700 institutions providing services in 12 Ethiopian towns were audited. The guide will be uploaded on various websites and databases so that clients can access it easily. The Lonely Planet has expressed interest in the guide. Facebook is one of the social media platforms to which the guide will be publicised.

78_Promote accessibility in Ethiopia_ECDD_FotoA guide book on accessibility has been produced to inform customers with disabilities about the grade of accessibility of various premises in Ethiopia. (photo: Antonio Fiorente/ ECDD)

Ms. Yetnebersh NIGUSSIE
ECDD, PO Box 1530 Code 1250
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Top marks from:
• All voters
• NGO voters
Top marks for:
• access to cities
• targeting all persons with disabilities

Nominated by: Rupert RONIGER, Light for the World