Germany’s Disability Inclusiveness Highlights

Germany has published some promising plans on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in German ODA. It is taking some positive steps to encourage disability inclusion in the work of its civil society grantees. But full processes, training procedures and (in the case of humanitarian assistance) strategy documents are not yet in place to turn German’s plans on disability inclusion into action. And engagement with organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) in policy and programming tends to be the exception rather than the rule.

Current Strengths

  • Germany’s second National Action Plan on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) contains a 14-page section on international cooperation. This includes promising plans to create strategies on the inclusion of DPOs in development cooperation and humanitarian action, and to disaggregate data by disability.
  • BMZ’s strategy paper on disability inclusion commits to develop standards on mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities in all BMZ-funded work by civil society organisations.The Federal Foreign Office requires NGO funding applicants to say how they will address the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
  • Germany has a 19-page strategy paper on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in German development cooperation (2019).

Areas to Improve

  • There is no separate law on ODA.
  • BMZ reportedly “made some efforts” to involve German DPOs in the development of its strategy paper on disability inclusion, but there appears at times to have been some confusion over the difference between DPOs and other organisations working on disability.
  • BMZ employs around 1,200 people with one full-time officer working on disability.

Advocacy Questions

  • Does Germany plan to start using the disability ‘DAC marker’ to report on its spending? If yes, what is the timescale for doing so? If no, why not?
  • BMZ has one full-time employee responsible for promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities, out of a total of over 1000. Does it have plans to increase this?
  • What steps is the Federal Foreign Office taking to ensure that organisations of persons with disabilities participate meaningfully throughout its policy and programme work?

More Information – Germany Factsheet [12 KB doc]