Sajana with her friends at her school after her clubfoot operation.

Policy & Research

CBM is committed to building a world where all people with disabilities can enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential – but we know that we cannot achieve this on our own.

Advocacy can play an important role in amplifying the voices of people with disabilities. Through our policy, evidence and research work, we demonstrate why other organisations – including governments and other NGOs – should include people with disabilities, and share our expertise in how to do this.

Leave No-One Behind

Around 1 in 7 people have some form of disability, according to the World Health Organisation. Over 80% live in developing countries, where they are often the poorest and most excluded in their communities.

In the past, international development policies and programmes have often failed to reach people with disabilities. This not only has serious consequences for individuals and families, but also holds back entire societies, due to the social and economic costs of excluding disabled people. So reaching people with disabilities is not only important from a human rights perspective but it is also vital if we are to end extreme poverty.

Influencing UK policy and practice

We work to influence and support UK Governments and other development organisations to ensure people with disabilities benefit from their international development programmes. For example, we contributed to the Department for International Development’s Disability Framework and have been involved in the current consultations of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office refresh of the strategy, which sets out their approach to disability-inclusion. We offer training in disability-inclusion to mainstream development organisations and regularly provide evidence and recommendations to the UK Parliament.

Promoting global change

As part of the CBM Global federation, we help to shape international policy and ensure the voices of people with disabilities are heard. CBM played a leading role in ensuring that disability was included in the Sustainable Development Goals, agreed by the international community in 2015. Read more about this (open link in new tab).

Building evidence through research

Quality data and research about disability is vital if we are to understand the needs of people with disabilities and to develop the most effective programmes to transform lives.

CBM works with academic institutions like the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to improve knowledge of disability inclusion. Recent examples of this research include:

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