- October 10, 2018

Since 2015, the IDA-IDDC Bridge CRPD-SDGs training initiative has made great strides in building the capacity of disability rights advocates across the world to advocate for their rights and accelerate changes in their respective communities, countries and regions.

In order to build on the success of Bridge thus far and given that it is an evolving initiative, the next few months will be an intensive and exciting run as we seek to continue to strengthen the capacity of persons with disabilities to engage in advocacy for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across different public policy areas and to also engage in monitoring of the CRPD and SDGs. 

Cycles & Participants so far
Up until June 2018, there have been 5 regional and 2 national Bridge cycles, each one including two training modules that have so far been conducted. In order to also create a network of Bridge trainers, three training of trainers (ToT) have been conducted, also with two modules each. Besides the two training modules, a full cycle also comprises assignments, coaching/mentoring of trainees, advocacy meeting with high level stakeholders/policy makers, among others.

This Bridge initiative has brought, through the trainings, 261 participants and facilitators together so far. In order to ensure the inclusive character, 78 personal assistants, 32 sign language interpreters, 24 captioners, interpreters, illustrators as well as logistics and communication persons have been mobilized. This equals globally 419 persons from 81 countries who have been involved into Bridge, of them 207 (49.5%) are women.

Facilitation Teams
There has been a commendable shift in terms of the facilitation teams in these trainings; for example, at the start in 2015, facilitation was done by a majority of persons without disabilities. Currently, facilitators in any Bridge training are majority (around 90%) persons with disabilities which is a huge shift in technical capacity for organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs).

 “Bridge is growing into new phases,” said Vladimir Cuk, the IDA Executive Director. “We have built strong teams in English and increasingly in French and Spanish speaking nations. Now, we are also giving priority to other regions in Arabic and Portuguese speaking countries, and Russian. This is to ensure an increased number of disability rights advocates influencing public policy in their languages.”

It is for this reason that Bridge has embarked on preparing teams in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for Arabic speaking countries and also capacity development workshops in Mozambique (for Portuguese) and Kazakhstan (for Russian). This will support the preparation of potential Bridge cycles in Portuguese and Russian languages.

Illustration of Bridge CRPD SDG Participants and Trainers

Image above: Illustration of Bridge CRPD-SDG participants and trainers

Cycles in the coming months

  • The Training of Trainers (ToT) Module B will take place in Dubai in October 2018 as participants will take part in the UN World Data Forum, 
  • Bridge Uganda Module 2 will take place in Kampala in November 2018 with the same group of participants as Module 1,
  • Bridge Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Module 1 with a focus on Article 11 will take place in Cairo, Egypt, in December 2018,
  • Bridge Tanzania Module 1 is scheduled for January/February 2019,
  • ToT Module A on Portuguese and French will take place in Geneva, March 2019,
  • Bridge Module 3 (whose foundation is Bridge Module 1 and 2) with a focus on Article 11, having a global extension, with Bridge trainees and humanitarian stakeholders. This is in recognition of the need to prepare DPOs to situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies and to bridge on their engagement with humanitarian actors to the implementation of inclusive humanitarian responses. This is in cooperation with the “Article 11’ project with HI, CBM and IDA.

In addition, several requests have been received to carry out national Bridge initiatives, including in Nepal, Kenya, Bangladesh, India, China, Sri Lanka, Laos, Pakistan, among others, as well as regional Bridge training in South Asia, Southeastern Asia, Central Asia and East Asia. Discussions are currently being undertaken with several partners and news will be shared soon.


  • Contact the Bridge Coordinator at tfleury [at]

See more by

Category: BRIDGE