- October 27, 2022

From 17th to 19th November 2022, the Pan African Network of Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities (PANPPD), the United Disabled People of Kenya (UDPK), the African Disability Forum (ADF), and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) hosted a three-day workshop in Nairobi, Kenya.

The workshop aimed at consolidating PANPPD’s strategic framework 2023-2026 and building consensus and ownership among its members on the strategy and vision. The workshop was supported by the Norwegian Cooperation Agency (NORAD) and the Open Society Foundation (OSF).

Welcoming remarks were made by PANPPD Chair, Mr Sylvester Katonka. He stressed the importance of these safe spaces of exchange and networking to strengthen this united group to speak the same language and leverage its work in favour of the most marginalized among persons with psychosocial disabilities.

Ms Getrude Oforiwa Fefoame, a member of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) from Ghana, also intervened during the opening, reminding participants of the importance of working together, leaving discrepancies aside. While she recommended keeping the CRPD at the core of their work, she invited PANPPD members to target other UN treaty bodies to raise the issues of persons with psychosocial disabilities through a united voice.  

The PANPPD’s strategic framework 2023-2026 was developed by the PANPPD Secretariat and Board over six months, with the support of the IDA Secretariat. At the early stage of its development, a survey was shared among PANPPD members. This survey was followed by strategic consultations with 17 members and affiliates.

PANPPD’s strategic framework for 2023-2026 has four key objectives:

  1. Empowerment of persons with psychosocial disabilities;
  2. Influence Policy Change;
  3. Making support systems and services inclusive;
  4. Strengthen PANPPD leadership and structure.

Reflecting on the objectives of the Strategic Framework, participants reflected on the movement strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, through a SWOT exercise, to support the effective roll out of the strategic framework; participants identified the proficiency around the CRPD as one of the main strengths that PANPPD has to successfully carry out in its work while also noting that persons with psychosocial disabilities still lack power in the broader disability rights movement.

This exercise was helpful in identifying PANPPD’s opportunities for development, including through capacity building, both technical and organisational. PANPPD members also shared their work and fundraising opportunities, which will be reflected in the strategy.

A session was dedicated to the process towards the elaboration of the 2nd World Disability Report, when participants could express their expectations around the structure and content of the future report, as well as raise their most pressing issues around the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities.

Grantees exchange session

On the last day, a session was dedicated to supporting exchanges among PANPPD grantees involved in the second phase of the project on Building Back Better Mental Health Responses after the COVID-19 Pandemic, supported by the OSF. The five grantees presented their projects, exchanged information on how best to implement the activities, and set mechanisms to keep track of achievements and increase the visibility of their projects through common messages.

This exchange session among PANPPD grantees was particularly welcomed as it allowed the group to understand the broader context of the project, the supporting roles of PANPPD and of IDA, as well as it raised questions and developed a common action plan.  

The two main takeaways from this strategizing workshop were:

  1. The clear need to increase the visibility of the movement of persons with psychosocial disabilities in Africa, including by disseminating the Strategic framework among partners and potential donors; as well as
  2. The importance of acting as a single voice, through collective and shared work, knowledge and experience.

With the inputs collected through the workshop, the PANPPD Secretariat, with IDA’s support, will consolidate the document. Once approved, the Strategic Framework 2023-2026 will be officially launched through an online event towards the end of the year.

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