Norway's Disability Inclusiveness Highlights

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation has played an important role in bringing disability inclusion into the international spotlight, and it has taken some initial steps to strengthen drivers of inclusion in its own programmes. It should now build on this momentum by working in partnership with organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) to develop ambitious internal strategies and measurable commitments that ensure all Norwegian Official Development Assistance is inclusive of, and accessible to, persons with disabilities.

Current Strengths

  • The Norwegian Government has a strategy for the equality of persons with disabilities for the period 2020-2030.
  • NORAD’s grant application process requires grantees to say how they plan to include persons with disabilities.
  • Norway is one of the new Co-Chairs of the GLAD Network.
  • Norway is organising the next Global Disability Summit in 2022.

Areas to Improve

  • There is no separate law on ODA.
  • No explicit allowance has been made for the costs of ensuring disability inclusion.
  • In 2019, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities said it was concerned about the lack of information on effective involvement of DPOs as partners in Norway’s development cooperation. The documents reviewed for this factsheet did not give specific evidence of DPOs participation in the design, implementation and monitoring of mainstream policies and programmes.

Advocacy Questions

  • What steps is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs taking to ensure that organisations of DPOs participate in the planning, implementation and monitoring of Norwegian development cooperation and humanitarian action?
  • NORAD requires grant applicants to say how they plan to include persons with disabilities. How does NORAD respond if grantees’ plans for disability inclusion are not strong enough?
  • NORAD’s strategy says it will “give priority to … partners that … are cost-effective.“ How does NORAD ensure partners do not interpret this to mean that they should minimise the cost per person reached, even if this means leaving out harder-to-reach groups, such as DPOs?

More Information – Norway factsheet [12 KB doc]