The Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network was launched in London in December 2015, by a group of like-minded partners who recognise that to realise the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to leave no one behind, and to further the principles reflected in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the international community needs to work together to share expertise, coordinate actions, and raise the profile of disability across a broader range of organisations contributing to international development efforts.
The permanent co-chair of the GLAD Network is the International Disability Alliance (IDA). The current second co-chair is the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Cooperative international development and humanitarian action which is inclusive of persons with disabilities.
To support bilateral and multilateral donors and organisations, the private sector, foundations and others contributing resources to work together, in collaboration with disabled people’s organisations and partner governments, to enhance the inclusion of persons with disabilities in international development and humanitarian action.
Consistent with Article 32 of the CPRD, GLAD members will collectively:
1. Increase coordination of their disability-inclusive contributions
2. Learn from each other by sharing knowledge and resources
3. Amplify their common and united voice for maximum influence
4. Expand and diversify the community of partners contributing resources to disability-inclusive development and humanitarian action
5. Strengthen existing partnerships and disability inclusion within existing global development initiatives
Persons with disabilities often face stigma, exclusion and discrimination. As a consequence, they are over-represented amongst the people living in persistent poverty, and are less likely than others to be able to lift themselves out of poverty. It is estimated that 80% of people with disabilities live in developing countries.
Attainment of the SDGs will substantively improve the lives of persons with disabilities. The SDGs are the first global development agenda that clearly includes persons with disabilities in a universal and ambitious plan of action to ensure no one is left behind, and reflect in part the guiding principles of the CRPD. In emergency contexts this is complemented by the Agenda for Humanity adopted at the World Humanitarian Summit. Under the CRPD, states have an international obligation to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities. While Official Development Assistance remains important, it alone cannot achieve social inclusion and active participation of persons with disabilities. The private sector and foundations also play an indispensable role.
5. Ways of Working
GLAD Network members will work together to take actions consistent with the goals defined in Section 3. The GLAD Network will meet annually.
The GLAD Network will be guided by a Steering Committee with two co-chairs. The GLAD Steering Committee will set the priorities of the GLAD Network, and agree on Network events. The Steering Committee will meet at least annually, including during the Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the CPRD in New York (usually in June).
GLAD members may also convene other meetings to take forward GLAD’s action agenda on specific technical, geographic and advocacy issues.
GLAD welcomes international stakeholders (bilateral and multilateral donors and organisations, the private sector, foundations and others) contributing resources to enhance the inclusion of persons with disabilities in international development and humanitarian action. Resources are primarily financial, but may also include technical expertise, provided internationally, either directly or through a partnership, to support disability inclusion in developing countries.
Membership of the GLAD Network will be agreed by a majority of members of the GLAD Network.
Current membership of the Steering Committee is outlined above. Changes to the membership of the Steering Committee will be agreed by a majority of members of the Steering Committee.
Consistent with the principle of ‘nothing about us without us’, persons with disabilities and their representative organisations will be invited to every meeting, including representatives of persons with disabilities from developing countries/regions. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) will be invited.
Members and participants in GLAD meetings are responsible for covering their costs of attendance.
The permanent co-chair of the GLAD Network is the International Disability Alliance (IDA). The second co-chair will be a GLAD member agreed by a simple majority at each annual meeting. The two co-chairs are responsible for:
- Providing Secretariat support to plan and conduct the annual meeting, and capture and disseminate the outcomes
- Leading GLAD’s collective efforts to achieve its goals
- Representing the GLAD Network.
The Steering Committee will be co-chaired by the Network co-chairs.
For further information, contact glad [at] ida-secretariat.org
 See further ‘Membership’ (section 6).