Skip to content

CBM UK launches new partner-led Actions for Change Programme

Posted on: Monday, October 23rd, 2023

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new partner-led programme – Actions for Change. This innovative three-year programme works with four new partners in Nigeria, Nepal, Kenya and Bangladesh. Each partner has designed a new project, starting with input from project participants and with guidance and support from CBM. They have all played a key role in deciding how Actions for Change will be managed and run – including selecting the name!

What’s special about Actions for Change?

We have been asking our partners what authentic partnerships mean to them and how we can work together to bring that into reality. A large part of that is to simply sit together and be willing to explore things together, learn together, make mistakes together and innovate together.

Kevin Sudi, Programme Manager for CBM Global Kenya

At CBM we continue to think about the way we work and our role in dismantling or upholding global power inequalities. Actions for Change is a pilot to test how practically we can shift more resources and decision-making power to local organisations, particularly Organisations of People with Disabilities (OPDs).

The most fascinating thing about this project is people with disabilities are involved from the inception. We are learning about design through to implementation and including people with disabilities for their feedback and perceptions at every stage. We hope it will be more fruitful than other projects.

Bahir Al Hossain, Programme Manager for National Grassroots Disability Organization (NGDO), Bangladesh

Some of the innovations we are testing include:

  • Partners taking the lead in setting their own priorities and designing projects to address them. Usually, we work with local partners to design projects which align to institutional donor priorities, since we compete for donor funding.
  • Committing to funding core and staff costs, without imposing restrictions. Project funding for local organisations is often very tight, meaning they struggle to cover internal costs, pay staff fairly and maintain their core organisational functions. This creates instability. This was a key finding from our 2022 report ‘We have a key role now: Lessons learned from partnerships with organisations of people with disabilities’. Click here to read the report (Open link in new tab).
  • In Actions for Change we will work with less established organisations, and fund them to strengthen their systems to be able to manage grants well and apply for more donor funding in future. A significant proportion of the project and funding will focus on the organisation’s own knowledge and systems strengthening.
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) plans will be collaboratively designed with partners to capture the data that is useful for partners to measure progress, learn, and capture evidence on the efficacy of the partnership model. We will trial more participatory MEAL approaches, such as photo-journals, in lieu of lengthy written reports that partners often tell us they struggle with. At the same time, CBM commits to reporting back to partners on our own deliverables for the project, and to evaluations being two-way.
  • Partners are fully involved in deciding on the direction of the programme as a whole. In our first meeting as partners, we decided on a Programme Charter which will guide how the programme is run and managed. For example, partners have agreed to meet on a quarterly basis to share learnings and innovations from their projects. Any key decisions will be discussed and agreed together. Partners have reviewed and provided feedback on each other’s project designs.

Introducing the Actions for Change partners

Northern Nomadic Disabled Peoples Organisation (NONDO), Kenya

NONDO is a Kenyan Non-Governmental Organisation that advocates for the rights, inclusion and participation of people with disabilities from nomadic and pastoralist communities. They are the first OPD to exclusively target people with disabilities from these communities, recognising that they are uniquely marginalised on the basis of their disability, ethnic minority, geographic location, climate conditions and lifestyle.

In Actions for Change, NONDO will work with grassroots OPDs in communities in Kajiado county to strengthen the disability movement to advocate for disability inclusion and participation in county-level decision making. NONDO will train OPDs on advocacy,  leadership, financial literacy, income generation and climate resilience, enabling them to become strong, sustainable organisations able to keep pushing for change even after the project ends.

Blind Youth Association Nepal (BYAN), Nepal

BYAN is an organisation of Blind and Partially Sighted youth, with a network in 10 districts of Nepal and a membership of 500 blind and partially sighted youth. BYAN’s work includes education, employment, disaster risk reduction, health, and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) of people with disabilities. BYAN is passionate about uniting the disability movement, and taking an approach that is truly inclusive of young people with all types of disabilities.

BYAN will work with 1,200 youth with disabilities to increase knowledge and positive attitudes towards SRHR and family planning, including capacitating 60 peer educators. They will build awareness among provincial and federal government family planning service providers of the needs of youth with disabilities, building their capacity to respond, and will strengthen three facilities to serve as models demonstrating accessibility and inclusivity.

National Grassroots Disability Organisation (NGDO), Bangladesh

NGDO is a national level network of 106 grassroots OPDs working to promote rights and inclusion of people with disabilities in Bangladesh. It works in 25 out of 64 districts in Bangladesh, with over 30,000 active members. NGDO has good linkages with government, civil society organisations, NGOs and the media, and campaigns for acceptance of people with disabilities within wider society.

NGDO will support people with disabilities in Cox’s Bazar to have increased resilience to natural disasters and climate change. They will train 20 OPD members with disabilities as master trainers on inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), responsible for training mainstream actors on ensuring inclusive early warning signals, accessible shelters and evacuation procedures during disasters, and supporting communities, including households of people with disabilities, to develop yearly disaster preparedness plans. They will also support the establishment of six inclusive Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) which will be linked to climate resilient and adaptive livelihoods programmes. OPDs will also be supported to advocate for disability inclusion within disaster management and development processes at the district level.

Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Nigeria (AIDDN)

AIDDN is a non-discriminatory and non-Governmental association which represents intellectual and developmental disability clusters in Nigeria. Members include parents, professionals, caregivers, NGOs and individuals with sincere passion for the welfare of people with intellectual disabilities. AIDDN advocates and promotes policy development that will enhance quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, embarks in public orientation for positive societal attitude towards people with disabilities, and economically empowers indigent parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

AIDDN’s project will focus on improved access to inclusive health care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They will promote increased awareness and positive attitudes towards people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, advocate for improved prioritisation of their needs in health policy and budgets, conduct accessibility of health centres, train health workers on their needs, and provide assistive devices and counselling to individuals. They will also establish 11 inclusive savings groups and support livelihoods training for people with intellectual disabilities and their carers.

We are very excited to be working with these four new partners, and look forward to learning and reflecting together with them over the next three years.

Read more about Actions for Change here

Header image: The NGDO team meet to kick off Actions for Change in Bangladesh