i2i webinar February 2022: learning from experience. Data-driven advocacy for inclusive employment and social protection

After the moderator, Misti, gave a brief introduction of the i2i programme, she went ahead to introduce the speakers for the event.  Misti also stated the objectives for the webinar which was to discuss a learning document produced by i2i, capturing the experience of organizations of persons with disabilities in Bangladesh and Kenya regarding their work in advocating for disability inclusive  employment and social protection in their countries. Jazz and Gordon were invited to give a concise introduction on the data-driven advocacy work that has happened as part of a wider programme.

The next session of the webinar focused on key aspects of the learning document. As the document makes mention of “ meaningful engagement of right holders”, Iftekhar and Syovata were asked to throw more light on it and also include some good or bad examples. They both stressed that persons with disabilities have the legal rights to participate fully in societies as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UN-CRPD). In addition to very insightful examples, it was added that the act of ‘tick-box’ exercise where duty bearers will merely say persons with disabilities were present during a particular dialogue hence they have been included should be avoided.

As the i2i project focus was on data driven advocacy, Hena and Mike addressed with examples where factual data has helped advocacy work in their countries. Hena informed participants of the situation in Bangladesh where no specific data existed on persons with disabilities. Through the i2i project they gathered data on persons with disabilities and were able to present this information to their government for actions to be taken to remedy the injustices mediated towards persons with disability. In Kenya, the obtained data on persons with disabilities were presented to decisionmakers and lead to the recognition and steps towards implementation of an already existing policy where 5% of the work force in both private and government sectors must be persons with disabilities.

A question was posed to both Iftekar and Mike on how factual data complement anecdotal data and their necessity. They both commented on this with examples of the undisputed power in the use of numbers with reliable sources and human stories.

A dialogue ensued between stakeholders on the importance of incorporating data gathering processes and indicators into projects from the beginning. With the changes that COVID 19 came with, it is clear that stakeholders must prepare for shock and never lose the focus on disability inclusion.

Coming to the end of the webinar, the panelist answered questions from the participants and also reiterated take away messages from the outcome document.

Watch the webinar


Ashrafun “Misti” Nahar – founder of the Women with Disabilities Development Foundation (WDDF) Bangladesh


  • Jazz Shaban – DPO Engagement Manager, Leonard Cheshire
  • Gordon Rattray – International cooperation officer at European Disability Forum
  • Lucie Panell – International development consultant
  • Jahan Ara Begum (Hena) – General Secretary of the Alliance of Urban DPOs Chittagong (AUDC)
  • Mike Wanjeng’u – Program coordinator at TINADA Youth Organization, Kenya
  • Muhammad Iftekhar Mahmud – Coordinator for the Bangladesh Society for the Change and Advocacy Nexus (B-SCAN)
  • Syovata Kilonzo – Project and communications officer at the Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network (EDAN), Nairobi