- November 29, 2023

In the final stretch of 2022, the DRG fellows continued their collaborative efforts, engagement in capacity-building initiatives, and active involvement in technical assistance activities, marking a quarter of meaningful contributions. 

Following awareness sessions, DRG fellows convened to share insights, discuss ongoing work, and welcome new members to their community. This exchange not only facilitated knowledge-sharing but also strengthened their bonds as a community committed to advancing disability rights. 

In line with one of the main goals of the fellowship program, which is to increase the capacity of and technical knowledge among the fellows, a notable event was their meeting with William Palms, Senior Legal Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right of persons with disabilities. This gathering provided a platform to discuss reports on persons with disabilities in armed conflict situations and explore the inclusive approaches that humanitarian agencies should adopt during emergencies.  

During this period, DRG fellows engaged in diverse capacity-building initiatives globally. For instance, Juan Cobenas from Argentina played a key role in the revision process for the Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS) and collaborated with regional leaders on disability-inclusive humanitarian action, focusing on migrants with disabilities in Latin America. George Khoury from Lebanon conducted awareness sessions in the MENA region, receiving positive feedback and expressions of interest for future engagements. 

The fellows actively contributed to policy and report development. Juan Cobenas revised the draft USAID policy on the "Localization of Humanitarian Assistance," providing valuable insights from a disability-inclusive perspective. George Khoury reviewed the thematic report of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, offering guidance on protecting the cultural rights of vulnerable and marginalized migrants.  

The ongoing process of strengthening networks and relationships with stakeholders continued. Juan Cobenas presented during an event on inclusive education organized by CIVICUS through the Global Perspective Lab. Dulamsuren DuyaJigjid from Mongolia worked closely with UNHCR to organize a training series on disability-inclusive humanitarian assistance and collaborated with the Global Refugee Forum. Rokiatou “Rose” Diakite from Mali maintained collaborations with OCHA, contributing to their training on the participation of people with disabilities in humanitarian action. 

All seven DRG fellows actively participated in joint programs with UNHCR, emphasizing mutual capacity-building and knowledge exchange. These sessions covered disability-inclusive training skills, accessibility, and planning for inclusive training.