Madeleine Clarke

Ashoka Fellow
Ireland,
Fellow Since 2010
The Person Centre

Citation

This profile was prepared when Madeleine Clarke was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2010.
The New Idea
To transform the disability field, Madeleine has designed a replicable selection process to find the most innovative and successful solutions in the field, and then using a unique cross-sector methodology she helps to scale them so they become standards in the field. Her work shifts the disability field toward a collective effort, bringing representatives from mental, physical, and intellectual disabilities together with a focus on outcomes and improved quality of life for all disabled persons. Using a set of measures related to outcomes, easy to understand for policymakers and practitioners alike, Madeleine has determined the 23 most effective programs in the disability field in Ireland—such as community care for mentally disabled adults and select direct payment programs that allow programs to individualize their services—prioritizing those that place the disabled person at the center of decision-making and community life.

Madeleine’s selection process sifted through over 650 programs to find the 23 to place at the center of the new disability paradigm, focusing on those most cost effective and integrated interventions. After finding the most effective programs based on criterion such as a person-centered approach, community integration, quality of life improvement, and cost-effectiveness, she gathered evidence on their efficacy and is capturing these grassroots examples to make them standards in the field. Recognizing the need to influence governmental standards, she is scaling the innovations at a policy level through a government fund which invests in the alternatives and shifts funding from traditional approaches. Madeleine has created a process to shift a field from one abiding focus to another—it includes a step by step method for system-wide policy and practice transformation that has large implications globally.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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