Ireland’s Disability Inclusiveness Highlights

Irish Aid’s strong policy focus on putting the “furthest behind first” offers a natural opportunity for Ireland to become a leader in disability inclusion. The evidence reviewed for this fact sheet does not suggest that Irish Aid has yet made the most of this opportunity: policies and processes rarely emphasise disability, and more could be done to engage with organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs). But Irish Aid has begun to make promising improvements on some important procedural drivers of inclusion – guidance, approval processes, and expenditure tracking (with particularly rapid uptake of the disability ‘DAC marker’). These improvements could be the first step towards a more ambitious approach to disability in future.

Current Strengths:

  • Ireland is a member of the Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network.
  • Irish Aid regularly engages with the Dóchas Disability in International Development Working Group on policy issues.
  • Irish Aid has drafted a guidance note regarding programmes inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities and is also developing a guideline to support use of the disability DAC marker in the humanitarian sector.

Areas to Improve:

  • Ireland has a 49-page National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021, but it does not cover international cooperation.
  • There is not evidence that Irish Aid routinely involves DPOs.
  • There is not yet a policy on budgeting for additional costs of inclusion.

Advocacy Questions

  • What plans are there to include development cooperation and humanitarian action in the next National Disability Inclusion Strategy?
  • What consideration has been given to formalising a strategy or action plan that would signal Irish Aid’s ambitions on disability inclusion and allow it to set timescales for action?
  • What steps does Irish Aid plan to take to ensure that organisations of persons with disabilities systematically participate throughout its policy and programme work?

More Information – Ireland Factsheet [12 KB pdf]