On 24 July 2018, the UK Department for International Development (UK DFID), along with co-hosts the International Disability Alliance and the Government of Kenya will host the first-ever Global Disability Summit in London, UK. 

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Background and Information on the Summit

Aim: DFID’s vision for disability inclusion is: ‘to ensure people with disabilities are consistently and systematically included in international development and humanitarian assistance’.  We will host a Global Disability Summit in July this year to galvanise the global effort to address disability inclusion in the poorest countries in the world and act as the start point for major change on this neglected issue 

The objectives of the Summit will be to:

  • raise global attention and focus on a neglected area;
  • bring in new voices and approaches to broaden engagement;
  • mobilise new global and national commitments on disability; and,
  • showcase best practice and evidence from across the world.

Event Details: The Summit will be held in London at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 24 July 2018.

Partners: In line with the principle of ‘nothing about us, without us’, DFID will co-host the Summit with the International Disability Alliance (IDA).  This will ensure people with disabilities are central to the planning and delivery of the summit. The Government of Kenya will also co-host the Summit.

Participants and Invitations: The event will be led by people with disabilities from the UK and the global community. Attendance will be high-level: Government Ministers, heads of donor agencies and civil society organisations and CEOs of private sector companies. 
The International Disability Alliance is coordinating the participation of representatives of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPOs) from the Global South. DFID is coordinating invitations for all other groups. 
IDA undertook a very detailed nomination and review process to identify a diverse group of DPO representatives from the Global South at the event. More than 400 nominations were received and only 65-70 DPO representatives will be invited to participate due to the limited space in the venue and associated costs. Each individual that was nominated will receive official email from the IDA Summit Team regarding the status of their participation between 10-15 May 2018. 
Individuals that are not invited to travel to London for the Summit are kindly requested to engage in National Coordination Mechanisms if there is one in their country and contribute to online consultations. More details on the consultations will be posted on this webpage once they are available.

Themes and Priorities: In consultation with IDA, the UK Civil Society BOND Disability and Development Group, the IDDC, UN agencies, the World Bank and other important stakeholders – DFID have undertaken a process of consultation on the Summit themes and priorities. A number of building blocks have been identified which will underpin the approach to catalysing change throughout the Summit:

  1. Catalysing political will towards change and building collective responsibility;
  2. Improving data and evidence to raise awareness of the scale of the problem and learning on how to address barriers and;
  3. Supporting the leadership and representation of people with disabilities to increase voice, choice and control. 

Based on this consultation, the programme for the day itself will be built around these four themes, with two cross-cutting themes on humanitarian assistance and gender:

  1. Tackling stigma and discrimination – commitments could include greater legislation at national level; quotas on representation and visibility of people with disabilities; and high-profile media campaigns.
  2. Inclusion in education - deliverables may include: minimum standards of accessibility in schools, and greater leadership and investment in teacher training and accessible learning materials/resources.
  3. Routes to economic empowerment – commitments may include: anti-discrimination laws, social protection and training schemes, vocational rehabilitation and universal design.
  4. Harnessing technology and innovation – This area has significant potential to change lives in low income countries: In terms of deliverables we will target reduced prices and expanded access of five assistive devices through new mass markets; and also improved access to cross the ‘digital divide’ through new technologies.

Commitments. As well as showcasing best practice, the Summit will aim to generate sustainable commitments from developing country governments, donors, civil society, foundations and the private sector.  We envisage these to focus on inclusive education, employment and livelihood opportunities, technology / innovation and tackling stigma and discrimination. 

Country Engagement: The Summit will generate action in all developing countries. DFID has already started influencing efforts in certain countries, namely:  Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, India, Uganda, Zambia, Bangladesh, Jordan, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.

Role of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities & the International Disability Alliance
IDA will use their representative role for international organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) to consult and embed the voice of people with disabilities in the design and delivery of the summit to ensure it complies with the UN CRPD. As such, IDA will facilitate and coordinate summit engagement with organisations of persons with disabilities, people with disabilities and the wider global Civil Society. In this direction, IDA is facilitating a Civil Society Reference Group to the Summit. This group will ensure active support and involvement in the summit, and to generate concrete commitments from civil society. The current membership of the civil society reference group is: IDA; Bond Disability and Development Group, International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), Disability Rights Fund, Disability Rights UK, and representatives of the UK Disability Movement.

IDA, through its Members, has also joined the thematic working groups that DFID has set up in preparation for the Summit. The participation of IDA alongside civil society organisations will ensure the voice of DPOs and civil society to the Summit. The groups are already at capacity and have participation from DPOs, NGOs, bilateral and multi-lateral agencies, Foundations and the private sector.

IDA, as co-host, made an open call to all DPOs globally to attend and participate in the Summit. The Civil Society Reference Group is undergoing a detailed process, alongside DFID and the Government of Kenya to identify the representatives to attend the Summit in London.

IDA is hosting a one-day Civil Society Forum the day prior to the Global Disability Summit. The Forum will take place in the same venue. All invitees to the Summit will also be invited to attend the Forum. The purpose of the Forum is to amplify the voice and participation of persons with disabilities in the outcomes of the Summit, through their individual participation and that of representative organisations (DPOs). The Forum seeks to:
  1. Heighten attention to the importance of actively involving persons with disabilities, and their families through their representative organisations, in the development and implementation of legislation and polices in direct relation to implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), as well as in all decision-making processes that affect their lives and full participation and inclusion in society.
  2. Provide a platform for civil society to influence the outcomes of the Summit through a unified statement that will be read during the opening of the Summit on behalf of the participants at the Forum. Major emphasis will be placed on the Priority Thematic Areas of the Summit. They include Stigma and Discrimination; Inclusive Education; Pathways to Economic Empowerment; Technology and Innovation; and Humanitarian Action.  
  3. To provide an opportunities for persons with disabilities, their representative organisations and other actors working in support of disability inclusion, to engage with each other and with their stakeholders who will attend the Summit, to develop new relationships, partnerships and Summit commitments.
IDA is working closely with the Global Disability Summit Civil Society Reference Group to develop an agenda which links directly to the Summit priorities and provides a platform for civil society organizations to be heard. Once the programme is available we will share via this website. 

For any questions, please contact info [at] ida-secretariat.org.