Italy’s Disability Inclusiveness Highlights

The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) has taken some important and sometimes innovative steps to encourage disability inclusion in its international cooperation and humanitarian action, and its policy guidance sets a relatively high level of ambition. However, awareness, tools and incentives are not yet sufficiently developed to integrate disability inclusion systematically throughout Italian Official Development Assistance. Italian organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) have participated extensively in the development of official policy guidance on disability through the Italian Network on Disability and Development (RIDS), but the role of DPOs in the Global South is less clear.

Current Strengths

  • Programme proposals are screened against some dimensions of disability-inclusiveness and allocated a ‘marker’ if they are deemed to be inclusive.
  • The 2018 AICS report guidelines explicitly recommend the use of disability-disaggregated data.
  • AICS has produced a number of guidelines on disability inclusion. These include a ‘vademecum’ on humanitarian action and disability and a statement on inclusive education.

Areas to Improve

  • The law on Italian ODA contains two brief references to disability in the context of operational issues, but does not discuss the inclusion of persons with disabilities in programmes.
  • Italy does not take part in the GLAD Network.
  • AICS had 200-300 staff of which one works full-time on disability and another works part time as the focal point on emergency and disability.

Advocacy Questions

  • What future steps does AICS plan to take to strengthen further the systematic participation of DPOs in the implementation of all its projects (mainstream as well as disability-targeted)?
  • What steps will Italy take to increase its use of the DAC marker in future years?
  • Has AICS considered making an explicit statement on the need for Italian-funded programmes to budget for the full inclusion of persons with disabilities?

More Information – Italy factsheet  [12 KB doc]