QUESTION
OF THE
MONTH

Each month CIP invites an expert to pose an important question dealing with some aspect of inclusive policies.


We then invite all of you to participate in an on-line written discussion. At the end of the month, our expert will summarize the main results of that discussion in a blog. If you would like to pose a “question of the month” please write to us on our contact page.

THIS MONTH’S QUESTION

How do we ensure that governments in developing countries fulfill their constitutional mandate in making societies inclusive for persons with disabilities and how can development partners influence governments in taking ownership of disability inclusion?

THIS MONTH’S CURATOR

Mr. Bagival Pradeep Kumar

 

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    • #9252 Reply
      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 Reply
      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 Reply
        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 Reply
      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 Reply
        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 Reply
      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.

    • #9270 Reply
      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.

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