10 elements for an inclusive development project
Over 1.3 billion people live with at least one disability on the planet. Over 80% of them live in low- and middle-income countries. Because persons with disabilities are a part of every target group, this means that their rights and needs must be consistently included in development cooperation (DC). Article 32 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) obliges the German development cooperation to make its projects inclusive. The 10 elements listed below can assist in implementing disability inclusion in development cooperation projects.
1. Including the partners
The rights of persons with disabilities are an important part of the human-rights dialogue and should be addressed in government consultations and negotiations. Most of the international community of states has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, in many cases, the responsible ministry is only marginally involved in bilateral development cooperation negotiations. The cooperation between the ministries responsible for development cooperation planning and the competent ministry responsible for inclusion can be strengthened if the topic of the rights of persons with disabilities is addressed proactively.
In the consultations with a partner country, the German side points out that disability-inclusive development cooperation within the terms of Article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is important to them. The planning ministry then invites the responsible ministry for social affairs to set up a cross-departmental working group to make proposals for the consideration of inclusion in the various development cooperation priority sectors.
2. Planning and Controlling
The consideration of persons with disabilities should be reflected in the offer made by the implementing organization to the BMZ. This can include mentioning the situation of persons with disabilities in the problem statement or in the section on the target groups of the project. It is important that inclusion is also part of the BMZ´s mandate to GIZ or KfW, the more persons with disabilities will be considered in the implementation of the project. This should be documented in the reporting.
A project to build sanitation facilities in rural areas sets up an indicator that is used at the end of the phase to check how many facilities have been built to be fully accessible and how many villagers with disabilities use the facilities.
3. Taking a close look
After an earthquake, the experts on the assessment mission also analyze the situation of persons with disabilities and make recommendations on how the transactional aid project can be addressed the best. The results of the analysis flow into the general test report and a specific description of the situation.
4. Use resources from persons with disabilities
A rural development project invites various women’s groups to a one-day workshop on the danger of open (fireplaces). A local organization of persons with disabilities is also asked to send representatives.
5. Gradually breaking down physical and communication barriers
Physical accessibility is one of the most important practical requirements of an inclusive society. This does not only include ramps, wide doors and accessible toilets for wheelchair users, but also guidance systems for persons with visual impairments, visual and optical signals or sign language interpretation for deaf persons and if necessary, texts in simple language for people with intellectual/mental disabilities. Buildings, events, information materials etc. should be designed in such a way that persons with various disabilities can also obtain information and participate.
In a large educational program, while building 50 village schools, it is made sure to make them accessible for children in wheelchairs. In some schools Braille printers are provided.
6. Sensitizing and raising awareness
Disability is a taboo subject in many societies or viewed as a purely medical phenomenon. With workshops or campaigns, target groups, mediators or even employees can be made aware of a social and human rights-based understanding of disabilities. Specific educational work can be carried out when appropriate, but it is just as important that awareness-raising activities on other issues also reflect the situation of persons with disabilities.
An awareness-campaign on the topic of HIV/Aids also shows the stigmatization of persons with disabilities and addresses the particularly high risk of women with disabilities becoming victims of sexual violence.
7. Making political advice inclusive
A project on the implementation of economic reforms and labor market policy advises the Ministry of Labor of the partner government, among other things, how to improve placing persons with disabilities in the labor market.
8. Defining responsibilities
A national employee is available with 50% of her working time as a contact person on the issue of disability. She conducts workshops with colleagues and regularly discusses the challenges and progress in including persons with disabilities in the projects with those responsible for the assignment.
9. Investing in inclusion
A program to improve access to health services is setting up an “inclusion fund” that finances various awareness workshops for hospital staff. The “Charter of Patient´s Rights” developed in the project will be printed in Braille with money from the fund and distributed to hospitals.
10. Monitoring Inclusion
In a vocational training program, the gender and age of the students is recorded and in addition to that, whether they have special needs. At the end of the year, the performance of the students and the success of the special support is measured.
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