Supporting better mobilization and monitoring of public resources for inclusion.
Exclusion of persons with disabilities generates significant costs not only for individual and their families to overcome barriers but also for society which loses out from their potential contribution. Exclusion from the labor market amounts to a loss from 3% to 7% of GDP in LMICs.
Investing in removing barriers and providing support for inclusion is not only an obligation under the CRPD it is also economically sound. With an ageing population, the number of persons with functional difficulties will significantly increase and investment in accessibility, assistive technology and support services will prove to be critical.
The COVID-19 crisis has magnified the significant barriers and inequalities faced by persons with disabilities all over the world. Everywhere the lack of accessibility of information and essential services, including health care, has put persons with disabilities at greater risk.
In high-income countries, while extensive social protection mechanisms allow for mitigating the impact of the crisis, an overreliance on residential care institutions has led to dramatic outcomes for many persons with disabilities, especially among older persons. In addition, in most Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) a lack of support services and the low coverage of social protection schemes have severely limited the capacity of central and local governments to support persons with disabilities.
Even before COVID-19, low levels of public resources were allocated to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in most LMICs. Simply maintaining pre-crisis spending will thus be insufficient to prevent their impoverishment and further marginalization. For instance, while recent global estimates consider that a basic universal disability benefit would require an average of 0.5% of GDP investment in LMICs, less than ten LMICs invest more than 0.3% of GDP on disability-related social protection compared with an average of 1.4% of GDP for high-income countries (OECD).
An inclusive recovery will require both increasing public resources dedicated to social protection and support services as well as ensuring that all public funds across sectors are spent in an inclusive way.
CIP team members have been working for years on budget analysis from a CRPD perspective and supporting OPDs in their advocacy for more and better public spending for inclusion of persons with disabilities.
In 2019, CIP published the first note seeking to clarify the meaning of CRPD compliant budgeting in response to questions arising from the growing interchangeable use of terms such inclusive budgeting, disability budgeting, disability responsive budgeting. Though they offer an entry point for stakeholders to engage with the budget process and public financial management (PFM), they might lack the comprehensive guidance required to ensure that maximum available resources are used to implement the CRPD.
- CIP together with several DPOs of Asia-Pacific and IDA launched the first manual to support strong budget advocacy by DPOs which is required now more than ever. Developed before the crisis, it presents their experience in budget advocacy, and some key lessons learned. A second manual is being prepared to provide further insight and guidance on technical issues related to budget analysis and advocacy.
- In India, Meenakshi Balasubramanian drafted the chapter on disability for the CBGA response to union budget for 8 years in a row and carried out a comprehensive analysis of both union and states budget.
- CIP provided financial support to OPDs in the Philippines (Life Haven) and in Indonesia (National DPOs coalition) to analyze national budget and prepare for post COVID advocacy to mitigate the risk of budget cuts and advocate for a significant increase in support to inclusion to tackle gaps highlighted by the crisis.
CIP focuses a lot on issues related to domestic resources mobilization, a main source of financing for sustainability and growth of investment in inclusion. However, it is also very aware of the critical importance of official development assistance to support social innovation and system building in middle income countries and for direct budget support. It is therefore crucial to ensure that OPDs and other stakeholders monitor to what extent ODA support inclusion of persons with disabilities. With the adoption of the OECD DAC disability marker, this has become feasible. Polly Meeks developed a guide on how to use OECD database to get data they need for advocacy.
CIP also supported UNICEF on documenting issues related to combating costs of exclusion of children with disabilities. Support included a literature review of the impact of disability on children’s lives, including education, poverty, violence, etc. It also explored how investments in early childhood development and education could be cost effective ways of redressing the costs of exclusion faced by children with disabilities.