- May 4, 2023

In 2015, the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) developed the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Training Initiative. This is a unique inclusive capacity development initiative aimed to respond to the growing demand to equip persons with disabilities and their representative organisations to make the most of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This initiative is critical to ensure that persons with disabilities engage adequately with governments and development actors to frame both policies and programs in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), as well as to build stronger ties with other social movements to tackle macro issues, such as public resource allocation. In order to guide its implementation, the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Steering Committee (BSC) developed the following document with the Basic Bridge CRPD-SDGs Quality Criteria, its Working Principles and clear steps on how to develop a full training cycle.

1. Quality Criteria

2. Commitment towards Bridge CRPD-SDGs working principles 

3. Development of a Bridge CRPD-SDGs training cycle  i) Cycle elements ii) Cycle planning iii) Task Team iv) Facilitation Team 

1. Quality Criteria

The basic quality of a Bridge CRPD-SDGs Training Initiative is ensured by focusing on 3 main elements:

1. Composition, diversity and inclusiveness of the group of participants,

2. Facilitation team, and an

3. Inclusive facilitation plan.

These criteria will be used in the validation process by the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Steering Committee (BSC) on plans proposed by the task teams of each cycle.

1. Composition, diversity and inclusiveness of the group of participants

Four (04) criteria have been identified to ensure a diverse group of participants: number, equality between men and women, disability diversity and age distribution. 

• Number 

  • 15 is a minimum to ensure a basic accepted level of diversity and inclusiveness. It can be challenging to guarantee diversity below this number.
  • 30 is a maximum number of participants. A group of 30 has the advantage of bringing significant diversity and inclusiveness and has excellent movement enhancement potential, but also requires a robust facilitation team and investment. 

• Equality between men and women

  • There should be at least 40% of either men or women.
  • There should also be equality in terms of the distribution of profiles regarding the level of responsibilities and leadership in the disability movement of women and men involved. 

• Disability diversity

  • All disability constituencies should be represented, at the very least including those identified in article 1 of the CRPD (people with: low vision and blindness, hard of hearing, deaf and deaf blindness, intellectual disability, psychosocial disability). When applicable and relevant according to the context, particular attention should be paid to specific groups, such as people with leprosy or people with albinism.
  • Any disability constituency cannot represent more than 20% of the participants.
  • Diversity should also include other characteristics relevant according to context such as indigenous persons with disabilities, rural/urban, among others.

• Age distribution

It is essential to have participants across the lifespan. Based on the first 5 Bridge CRPD-SDGs training cycles, in most regions, it has been observed that active and leading advocates likely to be participants are most often between 30 to 55 years old. It is therefore critical to ensure 25% of youth below 30 years and 10% above 55 years old to highlight issues of youth and elderly persons with disabilities.

These criteria are also used for the group of co-facilitators and trainers as much as possible.

2. Commitment towards Bridge CRPD-SDGs working principles

Bridge CRPD-SDGs strives to enact the general principles of the CRPD throughout its training objectives, content and inclusive facilitation methods, in other words, it commits to:

a) Promoting DPOs and advocates with disabilities as central agents of change – By, for and with persons with disabilities: targeting DPO advocates as the primary audience of the training, it aims to equip self-advocates with the skills required to participate and influence decisions that affect their lives, in line with the motto of the disability movement ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ and the ‘leaving no one behind” from the Agenda 2030, particularly in countries of the Global South. Therefore, the majority of Bridge CRPD-SDGs participants should be persons with disabilities (80%). This is equally true to co-facilitators and trainers.

b) Ensuring and promoting diversity - Working cross-disability: Attention is paid to ensure the optimum representation of the diversity of the disability movement among participants (and facilitators as possible), including a gender balance, representation of people with different types of impairments reflecting at least the disability groups included in article 1 of the CRPD, and persons with disabilities from ethnic minorities, as enshrined at the Bridge Basic Quality Criteria.

c) Inclusiveness: Bridge CRPD-SDGs puts emphasis on inclusiveness and strives to ensure inclusive facilitation for all groups and participants. This requires significant attention to accessibility, reasonable accommodation requirements, different learning styles and rhythms, different ways of engaging and communicating. This should be ensured by mobilizing accredited Bridge CRPD-SDGs trainers and co-facilitators and applying the use of diverse tools and methods to get feedback from participants and optimise participation and learning.

d) Participatory methods - Valuing participants’ expertise: In line with principles of adult learning, Bridge CRPD-SDGs is based on mobilization of participants’ knowledge and is meant to be very practical and participatory. Each participant is selected in relation to her/his experience, knowledge and active contribution to the promotion of rights of persons with disabilities and they are expected to actively contribute to the content of the training.

e) Quality: Bridge CRPD-SDGs partners need to strive for optimum quality of the training, aiming high in terms of content, organization, facilitation methods and enacting of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs values and principles. Quality assurance mechanism includes:

• A process of accreditation of Bridge CRPD-SDGs trainers and co-facilitators;

• Training material and resources, and set of quality standard;

• 2 modules of 7 days each with assignments for participants in between;

• Mentoring support of participants between Module 1 and 2 to complete assignments;

• A process for certification of participants.

f) Commitment to peer accountability and learning to promote CRPD compliance: Partners commit to contribute and engage with others to ensure mutual learning through a Bridge CRPD-SDGs Alumni and to encourage continuous dialogue and to share among participants.

g) Open source and acknowledgement: All material produced in the frame of Bridge CRPDSDGs will be under creative common license. Partners should ensure credit of IDA/IDDC as initiators and authors of Bridge CRPD-SDGs contents (creative common license).

h) Not for profit: Bridge CRPD-SDGs material and methods are meant to be open source and free to use by any organisation committing through the current working principles for nonprofit purpose. It cannot be used by any participating organisation, participants or facilitators for commercial gain.

i) Enabling environment: Guidance on the requirement for an enabling environment is being prepared by the Bridge CRPD-SDGs team. The IDA secretariat is available to provide information in the meantime. Its modalities have to be discussed and validated by the Bridge CRPD-SDGs SC.

3. Development of a Bridge CRPD-SDGs training cycle

The delivery of a Bridge CRPD-SDGs training cycle respects the Bridge cycle elements; with its cycle planning, establishment of the Task Team and the Facilitation team, through an inclusive, diverse and collaborative approach.

i) Cycle elements

A Bridge CRPD-SDGs cycle is composed of 2 core modules with a set of assignments to complete which complement the learning and put theory into practice:

- Module 1 focuses on the development of knowledge and skills to understand the CRPD and helps participants to start or strengthen analysis on development (including the SDGs) from a CRPD perspective, with emphasis on inclusion and intersectionality.

- Module 2 builds on this understanding and develops skills on how to apply the CRPD to essential development and policy areas from legal harmonisation, budgetary advocacy, inclusive programming and disaggregated data, with the purpose of creating the evidence for policy change.

- High-level technical meetings - Module 2 also provides participants with practical opportunity to apply learnings by engaging with senior representatives from government, donors or UN agencies, including the Inter-Agency Working Group on Humanitarian Action, the InterAgency Standing Committee (IASC) Task Team on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, UN-Habitat, State representatives, DFAT regional officials, National Human Rights Institutions, among others. Such meetings are also great opportunities to raise awareness of those officials.

- Human Rights and Development instruments - In both modules, participants are exposed to the letter and standards of other human rights and development instruments and mechanisms such as the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and their respective treaty bodies, as well as the High-level Political Forum, and its Voluntary Review Mechanisms, among others. 

- Between Module 1 and Module 2 participants have an assignment to:

(1) develop on an individual basis, a draft policy brief analysing a development issue in their own country from a CRPD perspective, or

(2) in a national group, or sub-regionally, to prepare and submit a draft reporting on the CRPD and SDGs implementation in their country. The reporting can target a treaty body, the Universal Periodic Review or the Voluntary National Review of the High-level Political Forum.

For regional Bridge cycles, participants also have to a work:

(1) with peers at country level to jointly analyse from a cross-disability perspective the human rights and development context in their country/ province, including public policy and legal frameworks to be ready to share with peers in module 2.

The policy paper(s) should be finalised just after Module 2 to receive the certificate.

- Participants are also expected to share with their organisations and peers learning from the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Modules. Even if this is not directly assessed as part of the assignment, it is a commitment given by the individual participant and the hosting organisation. 

ii) Cycle planning

A full cycle of Bridge is planned as follows:

1. Initial planning - A group of stakeholders comes together and expresses its intention to carry out a Bridge CRPD-SDGs training cycle among which there is at least 2 IDDC or IDA members (or their members); with at least a DPO representation. Ideally a task team leader is identified to be the contact point with the BSC. They inform the BSC about their intention and plan to carry a BRIDGE training cycle.

2. Setting up coordination - The task team secures funds to carry out the Bridge CRPD-SDGs training cycle (M1-M2), and organizes the preparation of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs training cycle with coordination from the Task Team leader. The BSC supports the process of the task team, for example by helping the planning and costing.

3. Framing collaborative engagement - The Task Team members and the BSC define their commitments and contributions to the Bridge CRPD-SDGs training cycle through jointly signing the Bridge Partnership Protocol

4. Preparing the training – selection of participants - The BSC supports the by helping with the selection of participants. After the initial selection of participants, the provisional list is submitted to the BSC for validation. The BSC assesses gender balance, age distribution and disability diversity against Bridge CRPD-SDGs basic quality criteria4 and exchanges may follow. This is a key part of the inclusiveness and quality assurance process.

5. Preparing the training – facilitation team - The Task Team defines a team for facilitation of Bridge CRPD-SDGs modules. The BSC may assist upon request of the task team. The BSC can also help if there is a plan to carry out a component of pre-training of facilitators before the Bridge CRPD-SDGs cycle delivery. The Task Team sends the facilitation team composition to the BSC for validation against the Bridge CRPD-SDGs basic quality criteria, and exchanges may follow as needed.

6. Preparing the training - adaptation of curriculum for module 1 - The Task Team adapts the curriculum to the realities of the region, language(s), group of participants, etc. The BSC may assist upon request of the task team. The Task Team sends to the BSC the training plan for module 1 for their review and validation against the general Bridge CRPD-SDGs curriculum. The TT also sends the proposal for assignments as well as proposed training methods to ensure inclusive facilitation. Exchanges may follow.

7. Delivering the training – module 1 - The Task Team ensures the delivery of module 1 and reports to the BSC with the objective of continuous improvement of the Bridge CRPDSDGs curriculum and tools (sharing of lessons learned, challenges, new tools developed, evaluation by participants, etc.)

8. Mentoring of assignment between M1 and M2 - The Task Team organises and ensures mentoring of participants to carry out their assignments in between modules 1 and 2, and mobilises the BSC as needed for support.

9. Preparing the training – adaptation of curriculum for module 2 - The Task Team sends the training plan for module 2 as well as proposed training methods to the BSC to ensure inclusive facilitation for validation against general Bridge CRPD-SDGs curriculum and exchanges may follow.

10. Delivering the training – module 2 - The Task Team delivers module 2 and debriefs with the BSC with the objective of continuous improvement of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs curriculum and tools (sharing of lessons learned, challenges, new tools developed, evaluation by participants, etc.) and suggests participants that could enter training of facilitators track.

11. Certification of Bridge CRPD-SDGs participants.

12. Strengthening Bridge CRPD-SDGs training capacities -The Task Team and the BSC assess which of the co-facilitators could enter in the Bridge CRPD-SDGs training of trainers’ process.

In all these tasks, the Steering Committee is supported by the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Coordinator.

iii) Task Team (TT)

A Bridge CRPD-SDGs task team can be global, regional or national and composed of at least two IDDC and/or IDA members or members’ member (IDA), with at least a DPO representative.

The task team’s mandate is to lead, secure funds and be responsible for the delivery of a Bridge CRPD-SDGs training cycle (2-modules), including organising the preparation of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs training cycle in coordination with the lead trainer. The Bridge CRPD-SDGs Steering Committee (BSC) and Coordinator (BC) support the process of the task team, for example, by helping the planning, costing and suggesting facilitators.

Each task team has a leader that coordinates the overall cycle (refer to Bridge CRPD-SDGs Task Team Partnership Protocol). The task team leader may be the primary financial backer of the cycle or not depending on the agreement within the task team. It is to be noted that being the task team leader is a significant commitment regarding workload and responsibilities over the cycle. 

Facilitation Plan

A facilitation plan should be submitted by each Task Team and include all the elements of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs curriculum, in addition to any relevant adaptation and differentiation of the curriculum, making sure that all the Bridge curriculum needs to be covered by the end of the cycle. The exception is the block of the first three (03) days of module 1 focused on principles of the CRPD, which has to be delivered as such.

The facilitation plan has to foresee an inclusive training strategy demonstrating that measures will be taken regarding support persons and assistive technology and curriculum adaptation to ensure full participation of all participants.

The Bridge CRPD-SDGs SC and BSC can support, on request, development of the inclusive facilitation plan.

iv) Facilitation Team (FT)

The facilitation team should gather all the skills required to deliver the content of the curriculum with great inclusive facilitation ensuring optimal participation of all participants.

For that reason, each module would comprise the following numbers:

- up to 15 participants, there is a need of at least 3 team members (not counting resource persons)

- 15-20 participants, there is a need of 4 team members (not counting resource persons),

- 20-25 participants, there is a need of 5 team members (not counting resource persons),

- 25-30 participants, there is a need of 6 team members (not counting resource persons).

The BSC supports the task team to build the facilitation team. In all these tasks, the Steering Committee is supported by the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Coordinator.

Members of the Facilitation Team are:

a. A lead trainer is responsible for the overall pedagogic management of the training. The lead trainer is not necessarily the Task Team leader. He/she exchanges with the Task Team about logistics and organization but does not have to be the decision maker in terms of budget. He/she guarantees the pedagogic quality and inclusiveness of the training by:

o Adapting the curriculum to context

o Ensuring consistency and flow within and across modules

o Managing the facilitation team o Ultimately making decisions in case of non-consensus within facilitation team

o Feedback: debrief the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Coordinator with the objective of continuous improvement of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs curriculum and tools (sharing of lessons learned, challenges, new tools developed, evaluation of participants, among others)

o Supporting the Task Team in preparing a final report of the training to be submitted to the BSC.

The lead trainer should have been involved in the delivery of a full Bridge CRPD-SDGs training as co-trainer.

b. A co-trainer supports the lead trainer and is the substitute should any issues occur preventing the lead trainer from carrying out the work due to professional and personal issues.

The co-trainers should have been involved in the delivery of at least a full Bridge CRPD-SDGs training cycle as co-facilitator.

Both the lead trainer and the co-trainer should have:

- outstanding knowledge of either CRPD or inclusive development and policies, as well as solid knowledge of the other one,

- Altogether, outstanding knowledge of both, being complementary ensuring that all key topics are present in the leading team,

- outstanding facilitation skills, and as a team they need to have great inclusive facilitation skills,

- completed the two (02) modules of Bridge CRPD-SDGs Training of Trainers (ToT) and related assignments as well as having benefitted from mentoring and having mentored Bridge CRPD-SDGs participants. 

c. Co-facilitators support the delivery of some sessions and support some groups of participants.

All co-facilitators should have:

- a good knowledge of some aspects of the CRPD and inclusive development and policies

- successfully completed a full Bridge CRPD-SDGs cycle as a participant,

- ideally, completed at least one of the module of ToT and benefitting from mentoring as well as mentoring some participants.

Only people that co-facilitated at least one Module of a Bridge CRPD-SDGs training cycle can attend module B of the ToT.

d. Support persons are involved in support of inclusion and learning of specific groups such as deaf participants, deafblind participants and participants with intellectual disabilities. For that reason, they need to have outstanding aptitudes and skills in supporting a specific group and the facilitation team to ensure optimum levels of inclusion and participation.

e. Participants’ contact persons: each facilitation team should include one or two contact persons for specific groups, for communication before, during, and in between modules.

f. Resource persons: These are experts in particular issues, such as particular articles of the CRPD, a UN monitoring mechanism or a precise subject, such as on Art 13 of the CRPD on Access to Justice, or Shelters in Humanitarian Situations. Resource persons in previous Bridge cycles have been members of the CRPD Committee. A resource person follows an entire Module of a cycle, not necessarily both Modules, depending on the pertinence of their expertise to the curriculum. Resource persons do not necessarily facilitate sessions, but input on it, provide comments and feedback and are available to support the Facilitation Team and participants.

g. Consultants may be required to support the Task Team and or the Facilitation Team, either with the methodology of a precise Bridge cycle, adaptation of material or in the delivery of the training due to some precise competence or language required. Consultants are agreed by the Task Team. The BC is responsible for any technical oversight of the consultancy, on behalf of the BSC.

h. Observers are generally partners interested to further get exposure to the Bridge CRPDSDGs Training Initiative and get a better understanding of the process, its methodology, inclusiveness and participation of participants from diverse groups of persons with disabilities. Then, observers should have a particular interest to collaborate and support the Bridge CRPD-SDGs initiative and particular cycles.

Observation is not a training opportunity. Most typically, observers join Bridge CRPD-SDGs Module for a limited time to, thus, engage or provide support to future Bridges. Observers need to have the spirit of full engagement with both the group of trainers and participants.

It is at the discretion of the task team and the lead trainer to grant access and brief the observers in the appropriate protocol.

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