Skip to content

From Promise to Action – International Day for Persons with Disabilities

Posted on: Thursday, December 6th, 2018

On Monday (3rd December), CBM along with other members of the Bond Disability and Development Group (DDG), and the Department for International Development (DFID), hosted an event at Channel 4 to mark International Day for Persons with Disabilities. The event also marked the launch of DFID’s new Disability Inclusive Development strategy.

Following an introduction from the chair, CBM Champion Anne Wafula Strike, and a video message from Secretary of State for International Development, Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt, DFID Minister Harriet Baldwin launched the strategy. The Strategy outlines DFID’s four priority areas for people with disabilities in its aid and development work – inclusive education, economic empowerment, social protection (for example social security) and humanitarian contexts.A women holding a microphone with two other women sitting next to her (one in a wheelchair and one on a chair)

Speakers from Channel 4 and Standard Chartered Bank highlighted some of the new areas where DFID is introducing minimum standards in all of its work, for example in HR and office organisation; and reflected on their own organisational practices. Following a speech from Neil Heslop, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire highlighting the importance of government working in partnership with disability and mainstream NGOs, DDG members highlighted the themes that cut across the strategy, in a series of interactive workshops. Throughout its priority areas, DFID will also focus on stigma and discrimination, women and girls with disabilities, assistive technology and mental health.

Much of the work in the strategy is already underway, for example through the Girls’ Education Fund and a research component in the new Disability Inclusive Development Initiative, both of which CBM is involved in; and CBM was also successful in feeding in to the Strategy itself, especially on women and girls with disabilities and the economic costs of exclusion.

The new Strategy indicates increased ambition and understanding, since the 2014/15 Disability Framework, and set out clear links with other areas of government policy. The Strategy is accompanied by a Delivery Plan, which sets out specific activities and timeframes within which goals should be achieved. DIFD is also asking its country offices to achieve a set of minimum standards in disability inclusion by the end of 2019, including to build up networks with Disabled Persons Organisations (DPO) – which CBM has recommended that DFID takes the lead from DPOs on.

CBM will monitor the progress and outcomes of the new Strategy during the next five years, and hopes that people with disabilities in the poorest part of the world will remain at the forefront of the work. In her closing remarks at the event, Anne Wafula Strike summed up her vision for people with disabilities; that we start to talk not of dis-ability, but of THIS-ability.