Rachel Burton

This is a great question, and I hope to see more CSO and OPD engagement in this thread because it is so important. This is especially timely with the upcoming Global Disability Summit where we hope to see ambitious commitments by Multilateral Development Banks on disability inclusion and meaningful engagement of persons with disabilities throughout the project lifecycle.

The African Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank are both in the midst of reviewing their safeguards, and it is imperative that persons with disabilities are specifically referenced in the revised safeguards, that persons with disabilities are meaningfully engaged during all stages of project design and implementation, and that projects address the specific and disaggregated impact on persons with disabilities to not only prevent harm but also to address barriers to project benefit. The first step to ensuring that disability inclusion is addressed and that persons with disabilities are engaged meaningfully in project design and implementation is to have specific reference to persons with disabilities and language around inclusion and accessibility in binding policy like the safeguards. We have seen significant change in the number of projects taking into consideration accessibility and inclusion for persons with disabilities in World Bank projects as a result of the Environmental and Social Framework referenced in the thread above.