- February 3, 2021

Highlights of December 2020 GDS Consultations

In December 2020, IDA coordinated with local and regional partners 4 (four) GDS consultations involving persons with disabilities in AfricaLatin America and Asia. These were the beginning of a series of more than 20 workshops that IDA is planning with partner organizations in different parts of the world, to assess progress made against national commitments adopted in 2018, discuss thematic priorities, and plan events, discussions and training for the run-up to the main GDS event in Oslo.

In total, consultations have been carried in 15 countries with more than 100 participants, reaching 5 (five) underrepresented groups: persons with intellectual & psychosocial disabilities, indigenous persons with disabilities, youth, and women. 

Infographic: 15 countries; 100+ participants; 5 languages; global disability summit logo.

>>Read a full overview of GDS 2022 civil society consultations here.

What is the Global Disability Summit?

The Global Disability Summit (GDS) is a participatory process, in which governments, multilateral agencies, international organizations, organizations of persons with disabilities and other stakeholders convene to dialogue and commit to concrete goals that promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in global development. The objectives of the GDS are: 

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

The first GDS took place in London in July of 2018, hosted by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), along with the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the Government of Kenya. In that first GDS, an impressive 968 commitments were made from 170 pledging organisations by governments from developing countries, donors, civil society organizations, foundations and the private sector.  The Commitments constitute the backbone of the Global Disability Summit’s review mechanism.

Consultations: a GDS key participatory mechanism

A central aspect of the GDS is the consultations with organizations of persons with disabilities. "Consultations are the heart of this process. They bring people from remote areas who are rarely included in the decision-making process, validating their experiences and recognizing their agency”, explains Yetnebersh Nigussie - GLAD Network Manager and participant at Nairobi consultations.

The consultations promote ownership of the GDS process among organizations of persons with disabilities, particularly from countries in the Global South. “The national consultation for the summit allowed us to give our input on what we need for the full inclusion of people with disabilities and to guarantee our rights, freedoms and human dignity”, said Ramona Garcia Calderon, a participant from Nicaragua.

Communities of persons with disabilities around the world are encouraged to seize the GDS as an opportunity to advance disability inclusion in their countries as well as globally. This is why national and regional consultations are crucial; they serve as the basis for the elaboration of the GDS agenda, so it reflects the priorities, aspirations and concerns of people with disabilities in different parts of the world.

>>To learn more about the Global Disability Summit, please click here.

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