July 23, 2018

In consultation with civil society partners, the International Disability Alliance called for the Civil Society Forum, as an addition to the Summit, to leverage the...

On 23 July 2018 (London) over 600 representatives from Organisations of Persons with Disabilities also referred to as DPOs, Civil Society, Governments, Multilateral Organisations, and the Private Sector met to...

The International Disability Alliance (IDA), the Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations of People with Disabilities and their Families -...

A note prepared by Libor Stloukal, Policy Officer in the Social Policies and Rural Institutions Division of FAO, Rome, Italy.
*Disclaimer: the piece does not represent an official position...

On 24 July 2018, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), along with the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the Government of Kenya, hosted the first Global Disability Summit in London. This was preceded by a Civil Society Forum on 23 July. IDA was proud to be co-host of the Summit, so as to ensure that persons with disabilities and their representative organizations were meaningfully consulted and actively engaged in the preparation and formal proceedings of the Summit, including from the very beginning in the development of the content of the thematic working groups. 

Aim. DFID’s vision for disability inclusion is: ‘to ensure people with disabilities are consistently and systematically included in international development and humanitarian assistance’.  We will host a Global Disability Summit in July this year to galvanise the global effort to address disability inclusion in the poorest countries in the world and act as the start point for major change on this neglected issue.

Objectives. The Summit will:

  • raise global attention and focus on a neglected area;
  • bring in new voices and approaches to broaden engagement;
  • mobilise new global and national commitments on disability; and,
  • showcase best practice and evidence from across the world.

Event details. The Summit will be held in London at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 24 July 2018.

Partners. In line with the principle of ‘nothing about us, without us’, DFID will co-host the Summit with the International Disability Alliance (IDA).  This will ensure people with disabilities are central to the planning and delivery of the summit. The Government of Kenya will also co-host the Summit.

Participants. The event will be led by people with disabilities from the UK and the global community.  Attendance will be high-level: Government Ministers, heads of donor agencies and civil society organisations and CEOs of private sector companies.

Themes and priorities.In consultation with IDA, the UK Civil Society BOND Disability and Development Group, the IDDC, UN agencies, the World Bank and other important stakeholders – we have undertaken a process of consultation on the Summit themes and priorities. Whilst these are still to be finalised, a number of building blocks have been identified which will underpin the approach to catalysing change throughout the Summit:

  1. catalysing political will towards change and building collective responsibility;
  2. improving data and evidence to raise awareness of the scale of the problem and learning on how to address barriers and;
  3. supporting the leadership and representation of people with disabilities to increase voice, choice and control. 

Based on this consultation, the programme for the day itself will be built around these four themes:

  1. Tackling stigma and discrimination – commitments could include greater legislation at national level; quotas on representation and visibility of people with disabilities; and high-profile media campaigns.
  2. Inclusion in education - deliverables may include: minimum standards of accessibility in schools, and greater leadership and investment in teacher training and accessible learning materials/resources.
  3. Routes to economic empowerment – commitments may include: anti-discrimination laws, social protection and training schemes, vocational rehabilitation and universal design.
  4. Harnessing technology and innovation – This area has significant potential to change lives in low income countries[1]: In terms of deliverables we will target reduced prices and expanded access of five assistive devices[2] through new mass markets; and also improved access to cross the ‘digital divide’ through new technologies.

Commitments. As well as showcasing best practice, the Summit will aim to generate sustainable commitments from developing country governments, donors, civil society, foundations and the private sector.  We envisage these to focus on inclusive education, employment and livelihood opportunities, technology / innovation and tackling stigma and discrimination.

Read and search all the commitments made, here. 

Commonwealth Summit: Our approach to influencing will build on the Commonwealth Summit in April which will host 52 heads of state in the UK. Disability inclusion is likely to be a priority that runs throughout the Summit.

Country engagement: We will focus initially on 13 countries:  Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, India, Uganda, Zambia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Jordan and Zimbabwe. 

[1] DFID has a strong track record in doing this for low-costs drugs and solar energy devices.
[2] 1. Spectacles; 2. Hearing aids; 3. Mobility devices - especially wheelchairs; 4. Prosthetics; and 5. Personal digital assistance

IDA's Role as Co-Host to the Global Disability Summit

What does the co-hosting of International Disability Alliance, an Alliance of organisations of persons with disabilities, mean for the Global Disability Summit and the rights of persons with disabilities? Read our briefing here.

Logo of Global Disability Summit