Holding Governments Accountable for Inclusion

Author: Mr. Bagival Pradeep Kumar

I would like to thank all the participants who have responded to the question of the month for their brilliant comments  As rightly concurred by the participants, governments have a crucial role to play in developing countries in making societies inclusive and their responsibilities range from evidence based planning to meaningful engagement with the OPDs to make development inclusive for persons with disabilities.

Kiran’s views about government leading disability inclusion debates and dialogues with the support from development partners is very relevant in this context. Importance of robust data as evidence for developing national policies and programs has been given due priority by most of the participants.

Many participants have expressed their views on effective coordination amongst ministries and this is one critical area for development partners to support governments in developing a national coordination mechanism to mainstream disability across sectors . Often UN entities are technical partners in supporting governments in formulation of development plans. It is quintessential for  UN to advocate for disability inclusion and to do this, UN Country Teams have to ensure disability inclusion across all pillars of  their work  and  as envisaged in the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy.

It is an established fact that the national constitutions represent the will of the people and is the primary framework for the legislature, executive and the judiciary to safeguard and promote the rights of all its citizens including citizens with disabilities. Since governments have a constitutional mandate to promote and protect the rights of citizens with disabilities, OPDs should skillfully advocate for the realization of their rights on the basis of their national constitution  and  the national disability law. Dan has shared good practices from some of the countries that have undertaken budget analysis to hold governments accountable . Perhaps the best way to hold government accountable is by engaging with parliamentarians  and to share the results of the analysis so that there is debate on the floor of the legislature and the government  is held accountable.

Development partners should review their respective policies and use ‘disability inclusion markers’ to ensure technical and financial assistance to national governments are disability inclusive.