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    • #9252
      bagival
      • Participant

      More than 80% of people with disabilities live in developing countries and face multiple barriers in their day-to-day life to access basic rights and on an equal basis with other citizens. The proclamation of the International Year of the Disabled in 1981 became one of the prominent milestones of the disability rights movement to promote disability inclusion. Among the many developments that have taken place since then, adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has contributed significantly in moving towards an inclusive society.  Despite many years of work by the development partners in making societies inclusive, persons with disabilities still face various barriers in accessing their rights and development is far from becoming inclusive. National governments have an inherent constitutional responsibility to promote inclusion and it is this mandate that makes their role unique and critical. All the three organs of the government, Legislative, Executive and Judiciary have a complementing role in promoting inclusion so that inequality in not perpetuated.

    • #9265
      Kiran Dattani Pitt
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      There are two ways in which INGOs and Development Partners (DPs) can advocate for disability inclusion for it to be owned by governments in developing countries:

      1. Develop collaborative partnerships with different government departments to develop their vision on disability inclusion. One approach that works is by being based within the different ministries so the partnership is seen to be meeting their needs although there needs to be some influencing from INGOs as well.

      2. Any national debates, dialogues and discussions should be led by the government with all the administrative support provided by INGOs and DPs. So they take ownership of the outcomes of the dialogue and how to progress with it.

      • #9267
        bagival
        • Participant
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        Thank you Kiran for your comments. We have this model of collaboration being practiced in some of the developing countries where governments are open to development partners having their disability advisors/specialists within the ministries. It is a common practice for the UN/ development cooperation agencies  to appoint Technical Advisors to advice ministries in implementing  programs /projects . It is important to ensure that transfer of knowledge and expertise is well received by the relevant ministries and this often depends on the civil servants/ officials interest and commitment. The governments need to appoint civil servants who are committed to developing their skills and capacities in disability inclusion and development partners should consistently monitor the impact of such collaboration.

        The government in Afghanistan prior to the regime change, used to have a person with disability from the  NGO disability network to be based in the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and to advise the Deputy Minister in -charge of disability portfolio on disability inclusion. This was a brilliant inclusive practice through which the NGOs /OPDs had the opportunity to make their voices heard directly within the government circles on inclusion.

        In total agreement with you that any national debates, dialogues and discussions on disability inclusive development should be led by government to witness meaningful change in the lives of persons with disabilities

    • #9266
      Daniel Mont
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      One project that CIP is working on is monitoring budgets for inclusion. That is, using budget analysis as an advocacy tool to hold governments responsible. You can see a toolkit that we did on this on our resource page. Also, Meenakshi, one of our senior associates has done a thorough analysis of India’s Union and State budgets. We’ve worked with Fiji and the Philippines on this, and are soon to start training OPD’s in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to do the same. We are also in the process of developing a website to display these analyses in an accessible way. Our hope is to add more and more countries in the future.

      Not a panacea by any means, but I think such budget analyses can be an important tool in advocates toolbox.

      • #9268
        bagival
        • Participant
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        Thanks Dan for sharing this information on monitoring budgets for inclusion. It is equally important to share the budget analyses with the national  and sub-national legislators and to advocate for a debate/discussion on the floor of the legislature ( parliaments) which in turn could influence the government to allocate due resources for disability inclusion . We need more research undertaken on how much of time does the national parliaments spend discussing disability related issues and on disability -inclusive budget processes.

        The budget analyses should also be shared with development partners financing development programs and projects in developing countries so that they are in a position to influence the governments to allocate more resources for disability inclusion.

    • #9269
      Chinh Pham
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      Governments in developing countries most often rely on funding from donor and technical assistance from development partners to fulfill their constitutional mandate in making societies inclusive for persons with disabilities. For this reason, supporting the governments in prioritizing local needs and effectively coordinating and facilitating financial and technical resources to address these needs is fundalmental. I have noticed several cases where the government focal points were lost among different directions and technical guidance from donor and development partners. The improvement in coordination will allow better use of resources and needs driven rather than donor driven and fragmented invesments.

      • #9429
        bagival
        • Participant
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        Thank you so much Chinh for sharing your thoughts. In some of the developing countries, budgetary allocation for the disability is minimal in comparison to the actual need. Govts often expect development partners to invest in disability sector and expect CSOs to implement programs and projects with donors support. With a regards to your point on the need for coordination between the donors/ CSOs and the government, it is indeed important to have a mechanism in place to prioritize and and ensure development partners policies and programs compliment the national socio-economic development plans. The Annual Disability Policy Dialogues between development partners and government can be one viable option to bring disability stakeholders on a common platform to  ensure better use of resources and interventions are need-driven. As done in the case of Lao PDR, the Annual disability Policy Dialogue should be led by OPDs in coordination with the government and with active participation of the development partners.

    • #9270
      Ruby Holmes
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      Great points already shared that I completely agree with. In addition, I think it’s important to highlight the meaningful participation of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) and their advocacy towards governments. Development partners should support OPDs’ priorities and initiatives when it comes to making societies more inclusive. Systematic advocacy at the local and national levels to duty bearers makes them aware of the barriers and facilitators for persons with disabilities to realize their rights and increase their participation in public life. The same goes to service providers, ensuring a rights-based approach. Supporting OPDs to work with duty bearers on creating indicators to ensure policies are being implemented and monitored in compliance with the CRPD is one key item. Partnerships with OPDs and other CSOs, such as women-led CSOs and bringing all relevant stakeholders together for dialogue will support making societies inclusive. Finally, international and regional coordination and sharing of best practices is  another important point.

      • #9434
        Pradeep Bagival
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        Thank you Ruby for mentioning the role of the OPDs which is central to any advocacy on disability inclusion. It is interesting to note that there are many factors that influence the participation and leadership of the OPDs. Developing countries that have better compliance to the rule of law provide more space for OPDs to voice their concerns and engage them in policy development. You have rightly emphasized the role of women -led CSOs and their role in disability inclusive development. Referring to your point on regional and international coordination and sharing of good practices, regional frameworks, development partners such as the UN should proactively support national governments and advocate for effective implementation of regional strategies. I wish to quote the Incheon Strategy for the Asia -Pacific region ( 2013-22)  and the mid point review report of UNESCAP states that While 43 countries in the region are States parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, only 12 governments have enacted anti-discrimination legislation.

    • #9295
      Tongai Chichaya
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      Great points already provided. Thank you for this great question.
      <p style=”text-align: center;”>Based on my personal experience-In most cases persons with disabilities are not consulted by their governments on decisions that affected their daily lives. My view is that the voice of persons with disabilities is often subdued/ignored or not heard therefore,  development partners need to invest in promoting self-advocacy for persons with disabilities and co-production with persons with disabilities. In being power brokers, developmental partners could enhance buy-in and stimulate political will from governments hopefully leading to more disability inclusive approaches.</p>

      • #9435
        Pradeep Bagival
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        Thank you for your pragmatic response and it is important for the development partners to invest in supporting OPDs to self advocate. We are seeing some good practices from the UN entities in supporting OPDs and thanks to the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy which emphasizes close consultation with OPDs as one of the keys to disability inclusion . Your statement about development partners to stimulate the political will is very well taken and we would like to see donor agencies and bilateral cooperation’s with developing countries highlight the need for disability inclusion in their engagement with national governments to promote sustainable development for all

    • #9308
      Abdelrahman Elwishahy
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      Great points mentioned above.

      Just a reflection point on disability-inclusion in health systems (but I believe can be extrapolated beyond): I think that in many developing settings, health systems follow the models, through time, of supra-national organizations. Even with the CRPD, UNDIS, and WHO Policy on Disability, many organizational programs still lack a disability-analysis in their planning. Monitoring disability-inclusion in all supra-national (i.e. IOM, UNICEF, WHO) programmatic areas relating to health service delivery can serve as a pilot for governments to adopt disability-inclusion, for this example, in health.

      • #9454
        bagival
        • Participant
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        Thank you for this thought provoking point and yes it is crucial to monitor disability inclusion  across all relevant programs and equally important is the use of disability analysis as an input in planning process. We have many tools and significant data has been collected to ensure disability inclusion . Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the governments to use available date for evidence based planning.

    • #9433
      Vanhsana
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      My opinion is that government must have a doable National Strategy for persons with disabilities and seriously follows what has been planned. The development partners can also interpret the strategy and close the gap where necessary.

      • #9459
        bagival
        • Participant
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        Absolutely right .Thank you Vanhsana for emphasizing the point on national govts having a practical and pragmatic national disability strategy that should be developed in consultation with the OPDs.

    • #9436
      Sichanh
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      The development partners need to work together in providing supports and building capacity of OPD and people with disabilities themselves in promoting self-advocacy. In addition, the government in developing country will need to dedicate a focal person at each ministry as well as strengthen the coordination mechanism among different ministries in order to mainstream inclusive disabilities into their own development plans.

      • #9456
        bagival
        • Participant
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        Thank you Sichanh for making such a relevant point. Disability inclusion has to be driven by the national govt and to do that , there has to be effective coordination amongst the relevant ministries . Each ministry has to have a focal point and we see such good practices in many developing countries. The coordination works best when the  focal points are committed civil servants and fulfil their obligations effectively.

    • #9437
      phonsavanh
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      Governments in developing countries have clear policies and strategies to help people with disabilities, such as policies to access support from society and the community, equality in access to various services in society, increasing the creation of facilities for people with disabilities such as toilets, walkways or wheelchair access for people with disabilities, and welfare for people with disabilities. In addition, the government must have a policy that facilitates many ministries or departments to participate in helping the disabled as well as empowering the disabled at the same time, And including creating equality for the disabled in society.

      • #9460
        bagival
        • Participant
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        Thanks Phonsavanh for your point and very similar to that mentioned by Sichanh about the need for coordination amongst ministries.

    • #9438
      khomvanh sayarath
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      We should work closely with the government by knowing that what support are needed from us. We also need to know what government policy as well as Laws on supporting the people with disabilities, what are the gap between law/policy and implementation.

      We should also support the government of Laos to adopt and implement the various laws, policies and standard pertaining to people with disabilities.

      Encouraging for capacity development and provision of employment opportunity is also one of the mandates that both government and development partners to pay attention on providing the support.

      NCDE, Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare is the main organization to take on the disabilities works and to ensure the disability perspective are considered in all aspects. The development partners could influence the government to understand the needs of the people with disabilities, improve their living condition and encourage people with disabilities to participate in the activity in the society.

      • #9457
        bagival
        • Participant
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        Thank you Phonsavanh for your valuable suggestions and they complement the statements made by Sichanh and Vanhsana . Disability policies and strategies have to be clear and should effectively address the needs and concerns of persons with disabilities. It is of critical importance to engage with OPDs and they should lead the process of inclusion along with the national governments.  I would like to quote a good practice from Laos where the OPDs along with the government organized the Annual Disability Policy Dialogue 2022 for inclusion of disability in the 5 year national socio-economic development plan.

    • #9449
      Soulinya Sayasith
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      For my opinion, the government should adjust the laws and regulations to promote the rights of persons with disabilities in a more formal way, especially to link with all parties that need to develop the work of disabled people together. All parties is not just a single party. For example: education sector, the Mistry of Education, especially the part that represents people with disabilities, should collaborate with OPDs to create policies to promote the education of persons with disabilities of each type, support and build capacity for teachers to be able to teach in a participatory manner and develop appropriate teaching material to ensure that all people have equal access to education.

      • #9461
        bagival
        • Participant
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        Thank you Soulinya for highlighting the importance of collaboration between governments and OPDs .

    • #9450
      Ounheuane
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      By the time the policy is developed, it needs to be ensured that all the needs are well understood and prioritized. Allowing the active and meaningful participation of OPDs and PWD representatives is crucial. The policy needs to have its impact regularly assessed by evaluation of the realistic key indicators at each level and reviewed. The action plans made have to be reasonably ambitious. Funding has to be ensured that it’s sufficient and efficient. Establish or improve the cross-sectoral coordination mechanism and cooperation where the need is identified; improve the quality (and transparency) of monitoring reporting at all levels and sectors. All processes must include OPDs and PWDs to the extent that their legal rights allow.

      The development partners must provide assistance with sustainability approaches to ensure the government focal points’ capacities are strengthened to achieve all the above-mentioned points, including capacity for mobilization and management of the resources. While the development partners themselves should also demonstrate inclusiveness in all aspects.

      • #9462
        bagival
        • Participant
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        Thanks Ounheuane for mentioning the need for development partners to support government in developing sustainable approaches towards disability inclusion. We need to have impact evaluations of projects funded by development partners to understand to what extent results are sustained that could make lasting impact in the lives of persons with disabilities

    • #9452
      Magda
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      Great points already shared that I completely agree with. I would like to highlight one very important issue that should be always starting point in making societies inclusive is to have a reliable data. Governments should gather and use better data and evidence to understand and address the scale, and nature, of challenges faced by persons with disabilities.

      • #9463
        bagival
        • Participant
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        Thanks Magda and as rightly mentioned by you , reliable data is necessary for evidence based planning and to make development inclusive .

    • #9453
      Priya Bajpai
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      One of the glaring gaps observed in developing countries is the lack of budgetary allocations for provision of schemes and services for persons with disabilities. These budgetary allocations can provide for disability pensions, scholarship schemes, disability allowances, insurances etc. A budgetary allocation indicates a commitment from the government to “include them” as a visible population.
      Development partners can collaborate with the governments to create platforms / forums as opportunities to interface and hold meaningful dialogues between government departments and disabled persons groups to understand their  ‘real’ needs and challenges. These forums will ensure transparent discussions and accountable sessions which can result in fruitful outcomes and exchange of ideas.

      • #9464
        bagival
        • Participant
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        Thank you Priya for highlighting the need for adequate budgetary allocation which should be based on reliable data as mentioned by other colleagues. It takes us back to parliamentary oversight on the executive to ensure disability-inclusive budgeting.

    • #9465
      bagival
      • Participant
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      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 safe guard 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.

       

       

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