- October 26, 2023

The International Disability Alliance (IDA) and CBM Global’s Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG) recently hosted the first ever IDA-CBM IAG Advisory Capacity Development and Exchange (ACE) Fellowship Workshop in August 2023. This collaborative effort brought together ACE Fellows from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Laos, along with members from CBM’s Inclusion Advisory Group from Nigeria, Nepal, and the Philippines and Indonesia. The dynamic group gathered for an immersive in-person workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia co-facilitated by members of the IDA-SSI helpdesk and the CBM IAG group. The workshop was structured to build capacity for rights-based inclusion advisory work through the lens of the UNCRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities), also working on the elements of good advice.  

ACE fellows worked together during the workshop to deepen their understanding of CRPD principles, examine program cycles through the perspective of disability-inclusive decision making, and explore the pivotal roles played by OPDs at various stages of the process. The workshop also provided a unique platform for participants to contrast, exchange, and adapt from one-another’s regional learnings, building a collective of inclusion advice-focused disability advisors from diverse geographies. 

Day 1: The CRPD Lens

On the inaugural day of the workshop, participants engaged in reflective discussions surrounding the role of OPDs and inclusion advisors throughout the program cycle. They unanimously recognized that the timely consideration of disability inclusion is paramount for achieving successful outcomes for persons with disabilities. This day set the foundation for understanding the CRPD's general principles and their practical application during high level discussions and meetings. 

Day 2: Navigating the Landscape of Inclusion Advisory Work 

The second day saw ACE Fellows delving deeper into inclusion advisory work by examining the diverse landscape of clients they serve. Through interactive sessions, participants developed criteria for providing effective advice and even engaged in role-playing exercises to simulate OPD consultations. This hands-on experience allowed them to better grasp the nuances of disability-inclusive advisory services. 

Day 3: Unpacking the Roles of OPDs in Program Cycles 

On the third day, the ACE Fellows expanded their knowledge by exploring the multifaceted roles of OPDs at different stages of the program cycle. Through discussions and exercises, they analyzed the preconditions for inclusion in diverse settings, including Indonesia, Laos, Nigeria, Nepal, and the Philippines. This holistic perspective highlighted the vital role that OPDs play in shaping disability-inclusive programs and policies.  

"OPD participation is the cornerstone of monitoring mechanisms mentioned in Article 33 of the CRPD, and the participation must be meaningful, where we drive the agenda." - an ACE Fellow aptly summarized the essence of the workshop. 

The IDA-CBM IAG ACE Fellowship Workshop on rights-based inclusion advisory work has set a promising course for strengthening the capacity of inclusion advisors and OPDs alike.  

To learn more about the ACE Fellows and their journey towards inclusive advisory work, please visit the CBM website.