Disability-Inclusive SDGs and Aid Effectiveness

There is an overwhelming flow of information on disability inclusion in the world today, many conventions held, concepts developed and academic papers published. Usually, we find ourselves in a labyrinth of information not knowing where to start and how to maneuver through it all. The need therefore is for a cohesive, simple, objective, user-friendly and practical methodology to bridge the inclusion gap. The “methodology” should be able to objectively identify the current state of disability inclusion in any given setting. Recommendations in the form of a series of training, consultation and actions should be presented to attain the acceptable level of inclusion. The recommendations for Inclusion are to be instilled through consensus based approach and move away from “one size fits all” approach.

The inclusion into mainstream will only be possible once the support of the fundamental multi lateral organizations has been obtained. The “methodology” is to be developed as a set of guidelines, solutions and accepted standards. These guidelines are to be tested, recognized and accredited by the state or global institutions.

The disability groups in local settings are empowered to enforce and monitor the disability inclusion standards creating a participatory approach. The program pays for itself through the services offered while the quality is upheld by the fundamental organization.

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All the more reason to put social and economic needs back on the map!

A recent study shows that unmet social needs directly effect health and longevity. Here’s the link to the study report. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/files/publications/fund-report/2014/may/1749_bachrach_addressing_patients_social_needs_v2.pdf

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Access to bare necessities

In settings where resources are limited, many compromises are made on a daily basis. The short end of the compromise stick always falls on the most vulnerable people. Due to lack of mobility and their visibility, people with disabilities are often denied access to rights such as basic healthcare.

The 67th Session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) took place 19-24 May 2014 at the UN Palais des Nations in Geneva, bringing together Member States and Civil Society Organisations from around the world. Now there is an action plan developed as the outcome of the assembly. The Secretariat welcomes comments on the options proposed. Comments should be sent to the email disabilityplan@who.int by Close of Business on Tuesday 12th November.

For more information please visit http://www.who.int/disabilities/actionplan/en/

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DDO is not alone in strategising ‘The way Forward’

Every year on the 3rd of December, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is commemorated worldwide. Making up of 15% of the global population, it is obvious that without actively including persons with disabilities, global development programs will not reach a large part of the global citizens.

This year on the 3rd of December, the global community will kick-off an action-filled course towards an inclusive society, embracing all human beings. This launch comes with long awaited Tool for Action and Change”.

Please read more on http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/newsletter/desanews/feature/2013/12/index.html#9163

“All of us suffer when communities are divided; just as all of us benefit when communities are united”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

“To turn these commitments into reality on the ground, stakeholders must implement more ambitious disability-inclusive national development strategies and efforts,” said UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo as he addressed the meeting. “DESA stands ready to provide cooperation and partnership to Members States and other stakeholders in the elaboration, implementation and monitoring of inclusive and sustainable development policies and programmes, towards 2015 and beyond,” Mr. Wu added.

http://www.un.org/en/ga/68/meetings/disability/

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Map it!!

I found this excellent tool on the Internet that enables anyone to map the level of wheelchair accessibility of everyday places, anywhere around the world.

This seems like a great advocacy tool which speaks for itself. It is the public voice. The businesses will benefit by getting client feedback instantaneously.

Go ahead, map it and spread the word! http://wheelmap.org/en/

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We have a mammoth task at hand, let’s get to work as year 2030 is not too far away………..

Eradicating extreme poverty by year 2030 is the ambitious goal that World Bank Group has adopted[1]. For this to become reality all development initiatives should be focused on creating sustainable programs for the people who are at the bottom 40% of the income earners of developing countries. It would be safe to say that most of previously mentioned 40% is made up of persons with disabilities who make up of 15% of the Global population[2]. Persons with disabilities are more likely to experience adverse socioeconomic outcomes than a person without a disability[3].

We could start the journey by understanding why development programs continue be implemented, whilst excluding persons with disabilities. Here’s what I think could be partly responsible;

  • Selection of funding priorities by individual countries’/donors’ are influenced by economic and political gain
  • Disability inclusion plan is not specified (or mandated) as a requirement in Request for Proposals for funding
  • Even if it is included, the donor does not have a mechanism, experts or allocated resources to measure, monitor, enforce and evaluate the level of inclusion
  • Global Disability Inclusion Compliant Standards have not been developed (nor have commenced the development)  to measure the level of inclusion
  • The disability inclusion standards should be adopted (from Global Disability Inclusion Compliant standards) to fit the size, resources, culture of the context
  • Lack of buy-in from the program implementers as their priorities vary,  they lack knowledge to manage disability inclusion element and the program becomes more complex to administer
  • Lack of trained experts in Disability Inclusion to consult, plan, implement, measure, monitor, enforce and evaluate the level of inclusion
  • Persons with disabilities are preoccupied with other primary concerns such as basic healthcare, mobility, assistive devices, rehabilitation and basic human rights therefore economic independence becomes a secondary concern
  • Persons with disabilities are unaware of their rights and benefits of independent living and their civic rights.

Let’s find solutions together!


[1] Statement from the World Bank Group at the UN High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Disability

[2] World Report on Disability 2012

[3] Statement from the World Bank Group at the UN High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Disability

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Time for action

As per http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/newsletter/desanews/feature/2013/09/index.html#8157

Breaking down barriers for persons with disabilities
disabilities

Many of the world’s one billion persons living with a disability remain excluded from development in areas such as education, employment and healthcare. As a result, they experience higher rates of poverty and unemployment, and lower life-expectancy than the general population. As part of ongoing efforts to break down barriers and to ensure an inclusive society for all, a one-day high-level meeting of the General Assembly on Disability and Development (HLMD) will be held on 23 September 2013.

The High-level Meeting takes place five years after the entry into force of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and two years before the 2015 target date for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Meeting is held against the backdrop of ongoing international dialogue towards development of a new post-2015 agenda.

Disability remained invisible

Despite the support of the Convention, disability has remained largely invisible in most mainstream development agenda and processes. Even if the commitment to development includes people with disabilities, a considerable gap remains between the commitment and what happens on the ground. The international community as well as individual governments are committed to achieve development goals for all, but a perspective of disability and concerns of persons with disabilities were too often absent in development frameworks and processes. An example of such exclusion is in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), where persons with disabilities and their concerns, now numbering over a billion, were often invisible in development processes both at global and national levels.

Without taking actions such as allocating resources, developing disability-inclusive policies and programmes, as well as monitoring and evaluating progress, disability will be left out of development. These actions would help mainstreaming disability in development by the international community and governments.

An action-oriented outcome document expected

The High level meeting on Disability and Development, to be convened at the level of heads of States and Governments, is expected to result in a concise, action-oriented outcome document in support of the aims of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals for persons with disabilities. Prior to the convening of the HLMDD on 23 September 2013, an outcome document will be drafted by Member States, taking into full account the input from persons with disabilities and their organizations as well as other relevant stakeholders, for adoption by the High Level Meeting itself.

Regional and other forms of consultations took place recently in Brussels (Belgium), Bahia (Brazil), Bangkok (Thailand) and Tunis (Tunisia), as well as in other countries/ regions with the aim to contribute to the High Level meeting. DESA, in partnership with UNICEF, conducted online global consultations from 8 March to 5 April 2013 in all UN official languages as well as other languages. Representatives of Governments, UN agencies and civil society organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities participated and contributed their perspectives, in the consultations.

Time to translate the commitment into action

Disability-inclusive and participatory approach to such consultations has contributed to the preparation of the outcome document and will make possible the inclusion of disability in the on-going work of the post-2015 development framework.

During the fifth session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2012, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Wu Hongbo, highlighted that “It is now time to translate the commitment into action to mainstream disability in development. After all, it is our responsibility as members of the international community and citizens of our own countries to bring about positive changes to more than one billion persons with disabilities and their communities worldwide”.

Since its entry into force in 2008, 131 countries have ratified or acceded to the CRPD, and 155 have signed it. The Optional Protocol to the CRPD has 76 ratifications and 91 signatories.

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