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    • #5624
      • Participant

        Since its adoption in 2006, the  Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has marked a transformative moment in lives of more than Billion persons with disabilities around the world. The Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development  framework has recognized the right of persons with disabilities to inclusion through its goals to leaving no one behind in the process of development. Since more than 182 States parties have pledged to committing their policy development efforts and resources to fulfilling both the CRPD and SDGs, the world has witnessed major progress on the level of ensuring human rights of persons with disabilities. Many countries have shown remarkable success in launching best practices on disability inclusion. Nevertheless, many others, particularly developing countries in the Global South, continue to face major challenges in recognizing the human rights of persons with disabilities to full and systematic inclusion. This month’s discussion aims at engaging participants in discussing the overall factors behind those best practices and identifying the overall challenges that are standing against ensuring persons with disabilities’ true and equal chances to real inclusion.

      • #5650
        Elizabeth Lockwood

          I will address two key factors that contribute to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society.


          Working in partnerships is a key aspect toward inclusion.

          Article 32 of the CRPD on international cooperation recognizes the importance of partnership between states parties and civil society, in particular organizations of persons with disabilities. It calls for States to ensure that international cooperation, including international development programs, are inclusive of and accessible to persons with Disabilities.

          Additionally, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) transformed the traditional vision of partnerships and highlights the significant role of stakeholders, including persons with disabilities and their representative organizations. Building on the 2030 Agenda’s principle of leave no one behind, multi-stakeholder partnerships can ensure that different communities from all over the world have representation at the global level and consequently the challenges faced by all people are accounted for and met in the implementation of the SDGs.

          Additionally, multi-stakeholder partnerships can provide a valuable space for dialogue among government officials, policymakers, UN entities, and other stakeholders showcasing the work of multi-stakeholder partnerships in supporting the achievement of the SDGs, by focusing efforts where the challenges are greatest, and ensuring the inclusion and participation of those who are furthest behind.

          A key aspect of partnerships is ensuring that representative organizations of persons with disabilities have a leading role at the table in all phases of initiatives since persons with disabilities and their representative organizations are the experts on issues affecting them.


          Using evidence-based advocacy can lead to inclusion and it is also key that data on the experiences with disabilities are collected and used to learn about barriers in society. Some recommendations to carry this out include the following:

          • Involve persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in planning, implementation, and monitoring of the CRPD, SDGs;
          • Invest in data for disability-inclusive development and to build capacity in stakeholders, including training for enumerators, and especially OPDs, to be better prepared to survey their communities, especially during future emergencies;
          • Support communities to gather citizen-driven data to complement traditional data sources;
          • Encourage official statistical bodies to collect and disaggregate data by disability using the Washington Group short set of questions and the Washington Group and UNICEF Child Functioning Module; and
          • Bring together statisticians, policymakers, organizations of persons with disabilities, and other stakeholders to exchange information, learn from one another, and create evidence-based policies to create sustainable change.
        • #5652

          Thanks for the thoughtful response, Elizabeth. Obviously I concur on both of these things, and especially data and the importance of disaggregating outcome indicators by disability status. Disaggregation, though, gets all the press, but all that allows us to do is measure exclusion, it doesn’t tell us what are the key barriers and facilitators that influence exclusion. So it doesn’t suggest what policy levers could be most effective. Therefore, I was glad you mentioned learning about barriers, but I would make that its own bullet point.


          I also think what is needed is a holistic, cross-sectoral approach. People don’t live their lives in silos. Inclusive education is important, but it becomes much more valuable if those graduating from schools are moving into inclusive labor markets. So our data might tell us there is currently an X% economic return to inclusive education, but that is in today’s labor market. If we break down barriers to employment, we get an even bigger return to making education inclusive.

          I see this with budgeting, too. If ministry A spends money on something, it might save money for ministry B — which ministry A will not care that much about. Or there can be turf wars — like social welfare vs. health ministries when it comes to disability assessments.  So we need to take an overall strategic approach. That is why I think national inclusion strategies are important — but there must be clear lines of authority — including budget authority — and ways to enforce compliance to the strategy.


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