Guidance Document: the Role of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities in International Cooperation

In line with the strategy for International Cooperation ‘EDF in the World’, EDF will develop a guidance note on the role of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPOs) in international cooperation. The guidance note will be based on the experience of European DPOs and their partners. The guidance note, while based on EDF and its members experiences, is not limited to the role of European DPOs, but aims to give guidance in general of the unique role that DPOs can play- as representatives of persons with disabilities in all their diversity, in Europe and partners countries, at the national, regional and international level. The guidance note is targeted at development agencies and development organisations, in order to illustrate why and how they should meaningfully involve DPOs in their international cooperation work.

Our objective is that persons with disabilities and European DPOs are actively engaged in international cooperation – not just as beneficiaries but also as experts. Article 32 (international cooperation) of the CRPD outlines the measures states parties must take to fulfil their obligations regarding international cooperation. General Comment 7 on articles 4 (3) and 33 (3), relating to the consultation and involvement of persons with disabilities clarifies what the CRPD Committee expects in terms of meaningful involvement of DPOs. DPOs have a similar nature around the world, as described in the General Comment, different sizes and mandates, different levels of resources. However, the capacity of peer-to-peer learning between DPOs should be enhanced.

In order to achieve its objectives, EDF will have:

  • Held an expert workshop to analyse the evidence and knowledge with the development of recommendations. Workshop report is available here.
  • Launched a call for good practice to select a range of examples to document in detail, highlighting approaches to DPOs working in international cooperation
  • Hired a consultant to assist in development of the guidance document
  • Published a guidance document to be disseminated widely and built upon in the future

This initiative is undertaken in cooperation with the UKAid funded ‘Disability Inclusive Development (DID)’ programme of Sightsavers, implemented with a Consortium of 11 organisations: Sightsavers, the International Disability Alliance, ADD International, BBC Media Action, BRAC, the Institute of Development Studies, Humanity & Inclusion, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Light for the World, Sense International and Social Development Direct.

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