- December 17, 2018

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  1. Highlights
  2. Treaty bodies review, Geneva 2017-2018
  3. Activities in the past weeks
  4. Upcoming activities
  5. IDA members
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  8. Job offers 


  • On 15 December, 2018 the global disability movement lost another leader with the untimely demise of Medi Ssengooba following a brief illness. Medi was one of the first persons with disabilities in Uganda to graduate from Makerere Law School and went on with a Ford fellowship to get his LLM from American University in Washington, D.C. Medi interned with the Disability Rights Initiative of Open Society Foundations and was a fellow at Human Rights Watch, doing important research into the situation for persons with psychosocial disabilities detained in prayer camps in Ghana. He was also DRF’s first Program Officer for Africa. He co-founded the legal aid organisation, Legal Action for Persons with Disabilities (LAPD), in Uganda. 


IDA seeks researcher for a consultancy on inclusive education in Nepal

  • The International Disability Alliance (IDA) is seeking support from experienced researchers to undertake a baseline data collection on the status of inclusive education for children with disabilities in Nepal. The purpose of the consultancy is to collect, review and analyse the data on the status of education for children with disabilities, produce a base of evidence for later reference and use for further planning and decision making, all within a determined time frame. This data and analysis will be shared with the IDA Inclusive Education Task Team during its second technical workshop in March 2019. A second phase of in-country data collection and consolidation of the analysis will be required after the workshop to collect and analyse the missing information and build up the policy scenarios. Letters of interest and a detailed proposal (with budget/quotation) should be sent to consultancy [at] latest by 4 January   2019. Note: The subject line of the e-mail should be “Application for Nepal Consultancy”. Download the ToRs here.

First ever open arria formula meeting of the security council on situation of persons with disabilities in armed conflict

  • In a landmark moment, the Security Council held an Open Arria-formula meeting on the situation of persons with disabilities in armed conflict on 3 December, 2018 at the UN Headquarters in New York. This was organised by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Poland to the United Nations, in partnership with the Permanent Missions of Cote D’Ivoire, Germany, Kuwait and Peru with support from UNICEF, OHCHR and the International Disability Alliance (IDA). The objective of the meeting was to recognise the disproportionate impact of armed conflict on persons with disabilities. The aim was also to discuss how to ensure a more inclusive and participatory approach towards persons with disabilities during conflicts and reflect on possible measures to implement adequate solutions and emergency responses in conflict zones, as well as to reflect on the role of the Security Council and the wider United Nations system in this regard. More information available here

First IDA global survey on DPO participation in development programmes and policies launched

  • The IDA Global Survey on DPO Participation in Development Programmes and Policies was launched on 3 December, 2018. This is the first ever attempt to measure participation and monitor the implementation of Article 4.3 of the CRPD across all development and human rights issues through all stages of development of policies and programmes (from design to evaluation). The IDA Global Survey is available in English plain language, which has been translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, and in International Sign, and is only for representatives of organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs). Only one response per organisation is allowed. Deadline to take the IDA Global Survey has now been extended to 5 January, 2019. More information available here 

First meeting of the IDA task team on women with disabilities

  • The first meeting of the IDA Task Team on Women with Disabilities was held in Cairo, Egypt form 7-9 December, 2018. The objective of this meeting was to identify the opportunities and define IDA's strategy towards inclusion of issues of women and girls with disabilities in the work of the UN and other development partners; and to promote leadership of women and girls with disabilities. This meeting saw participation from the Arab Organisation of Persons with Disabilities, the ASEAN Disability Forum, the European Disability Forum, the Pacific Disability Forum, the World Blind Union, and the World Federation of the Deaf. More information available here.


  • Congratulations to Jose Maria Viera, Chief Executive Officer of the World Blind Union for being elected to serve as the Permanent Representative of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities (SGPwD) for the next two years. As the Permanent Representative, Jose will facilitate the public representation of the SGPwD and promote and coordinate the active participation of members in national, regional and global meetings related to sustainable development. Read more about the SGPwD and information on HLPF 2019 in the first bulletin on the IDA website.



  • To date the CRPD Committee has adopted 21 views on individual communications under the Optional Protocol to the CRPD, addressing different procedural and substantive issues. Together with the concluding observations, the general comments and the reports on inquiry procedures, these views constitute an important part of the CRPD Committee jurisprudence. To facilitate access, IDA produces summaries of the views adopted by the CRPD Committee with links and instructions to access the full texts of the views adopted by the Committee. More information available here.


  • BRIDGE CRPD-SDGS MENA REGION MODULE 1: From 13-19 December, 2018, Cairo, Egypt is hosting the regional Bridge CRPD-SDGs training programme for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in Arabic. This is the first ever Bridge training initiative in this region and is being organised by the Arab Organisation of Persons with Disabilities (AOPD), with the support of the International Disability Alliance (IDA), the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) and their members, in particular CBM and ADD International;  and funded by AOPD, CBM,  the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland (MOFA), DRAF, and the IDA-CBM-HI Project on Inclusive Humanitarian Action for Persons with Disabilities (funded by DFAT). The 30 participants representing DPOs from nine countries of the region, bring with them a wide range of experience, including from persons with intellectual disabilities, deaf-blindness, cerebral palsy, albinism, physical disabilities, visual and hearing impairments. It is noteworthy that this Bridge CRPD-SDGs MENA region training has a particular focus on Article 11 of the CRPD on the situation of risks and humanitarian emergencies. More information available here.
  • BRIDGE CRPD-SDGS UGANDA MODULE 2: The second cycle of the national Bridge CRPD-SDGs training for Uganda was held from 13-19 November, 2018. This was organised by the African Disability Forum (ADF), the National Union of Disabled Persons Uganda (NUDIPU) and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) with the support of the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) and their members;  financed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Big Lottery Fund and CBM. The second module, attended by 23 participants, was focused on the design, implementation and monitoring of public policies, including on legal harmonisation, budget advocacy, data collection  and the use of UN monitoring mechanisms. More information available here.
  • MULTI-STAKEHOLDER WORKSHOP ON IASC GUIDELINES: A multi-stakeholder workshop was held in Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland on December 10-11, 2018, to review the second draft of the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. The workshop was aimed to receive feedback on the content of the draft Guidelines from members of the IASC Task team on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, to support the next phase of the Guidelines’ development. More information available here
  • WORKSHOP IN ALBANIA IN LEAD UP TO CRPD REVIEW: The International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the European Disability Forum (EDF) co-facilitated a one day workshop on 21 November, 2018 in Tirana, Albania in the lead up to the upcoming review of Albania by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2019. The workshop was organised be EDF and the Albanian Disability Rights Foundation, in partnership with the EU and UNICEF, prior to the National Conference “Translating generalities of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into tangible actions”. More information available here.
  • NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON HUMAN RIGHTS OF ALL CHILDREN & ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES: The International Disability Alliance (IDA) participated in a 2 days workshop “National  Workshop on Human Rights of all children and adults with disabilities: Dialogue for UNCRPD” in Ankara, Turkey on 13-14 December, 2018. This was organised by the Confederation of the Disabled in Turkey in partnership with the European Union, UNICEF, the International Children’s Center and the European Disability Forum under the programme “Protecting children from violence and promoting inclusion of children with disabilities in Western Balkans and Turkey”. More details available here.
  • EXHIBITION TITLED “FIFTEENPERCENT”: On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, 2018, OHCHR organised an exhibition titled “FifteenPercent” with artist photographer Christian Tasso in Palais De Nations, Geneva, Switzerland. The exhibition was intended to serve as a platform to bring together civil society organisations, mission and the UN family to celebrate  diversity and promote the human rights based approach to disability. It was also an occasion to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The exhibition was supported by the International Disability Alliance, along with other organizations. More information available here.
  • UK AID CONNECT CONSORTIUM PARTNERS’ MEETING: On 10 December, 2018 a meeting of the UK Aid Connect Consortium was held in London to discuss the progress since the in-country design workshops, shared principles for engagement for the consortium, and the way forward. Liz Haverda (II), Andrew Boys (DSI) and Priscille Geiser represented IDA at this meeting. Download supporting documentation.
  • HLPF 2019 WEBINAR SERIES: A webinar introducing the High Level Political Forum 2019 was held on 12 December, 2018. For more information on the webinars, please e-mail hlpf2019 [at] or visit the IDA website.



  • Global workshop on SDG monitoring in Geneva: A workshop for DPOs involved in national or regional SDG reports from the CRPD perspective will be held from 4 to 6 February, 2019 in Geneva.


  • The 2nd Technical Workshop of the Education Flagship will be held in Nepal the week of March 11, 2019.
  • The Bridge ToT Module A in French and Portuguese will be organised in Geneva in March 2019, alongside the next session of the CRPD Committee 


  • The IDA Programme Committee meeting will be organized on the first week of April 2019, location to be confirmed
  • The IDA Board meetings will be organized from 5 to 10 April, 2019 location to be confirmed


  • The first Module of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs training cycle will be organized in Tanzania from 6-16 May, 2019. 


  • What's coming up at the High Level Political Forum 2019? The 2019 High-level Political Forum will highlight the Sustainable Development Goals  4, 8, 10, 13, 16, 17  around the theme of 'Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’. Fifty-one countries will conduct voluntary national reviews during the last three days of the session. Learn more about the HLPF here. To know about the participation and engagement of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities here.



  • EDF launched a campaign called “European elections for all” calling on EU governments to make Europe more democratic by ensuring the right to vote for everyone. It had earlier launched its “EDF Manifesto on the European Elections 2019” that was adopted during the 4th European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities in December 2017. More information available here.
  • On 3 December, 2018 the European Commission, UNICEF and the European Disability Forum  showcased the key highlights and main end-results of the three year programme on “Protecting children from violence and promoting social inclusion of children with disabilities in Western Balkans and Turkey”. The event was held at the European Parliament in Brussels and was hosted by MEP Marek Plura and MEP Jana Žitňanská. More information available here.
  • EDF has condemned the sexist and ableist comments made by six members of the Icelandic Parliament about a prominent women in a bar, calling for their resignation. EDF has called the comments hate speech that objectify and dehumanise women and confirm that women with disabilities face double discrimination because of their impairment and gender. More information available here.

International Federation for spina bifida and hydrocephalus

  • On the occasion of World Toilet Day on 19 November, 2018, the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus called for accessibility of toilets for people with spina bifida as a human right issue. Read more on this in the IF newsletter 


  • On 22-23 November, 2018 the World Federation of the Deafblind (WFDB) held its first East Africa workshop in Kampala,  Uganda. The workshop was organised in partnership with the International Disability Alliance (IDA), which also assured the co-facilitation, with financial support from the  Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign of Finland. More information available here.


  • UN flagship report on disability and development 2018: The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) launched the first UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development on “Realization of the Sustainable Development Goals by, for and with persons with disabilities”. The report demonstrates that persons with disabilities are at a disadvantage regarding most SDGs and that concrete action is needed to make their situations visible in policymaking. Read the report here.
  • disability inclusive development in UNDP: UNDP has published a Guidance Note that elaborates on the institutional and instrumental value of disability inclusive development and the twin frameworks within which they can galvanise momentum – the CRPD and the SDGs which are mutually inclusive. Read the guidance note here.
  • global campaign on the good treatment of girls boys and adolescents with disabilities: On 29 November, 2018 the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), with the Special Envoy to the UN Secretary General on Disability and Accessibility, Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, and the Embassy of the Republic of Chile in Ethiopia organised the campaign on the “Good treatment of girls, boys and adolescents with disabilities” for the African region in Addis Ababa. The launch brought together more than 100  high-level government representatives, diplomatic missions based in Ethiopia,  UN agencies, civil society and persons with disabilities. More information here.
  • Global education meeting: From 3-5 December, 2018 Brussels, Belgium hosted the Global Education Meeting. This was organised by UNESCO in its mandated role as lead agency coordinator of the Education 2030 Agenda, with the support from the Government of Belgium. The meeting reviewed the progress towards the global education targets and commitments in the  2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. More details available here.
  • call for applications: For the 2nd year, the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women is opening a special window for grants focused on addressing violence against women and girls with disabilities. Grants will be for a minimum US $50,000 to a maximum of US $1 million for a period of three years. Deadline to send application is 18 January, 2019. More information available here.
  • registration for csw63: CSW63 registration for NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is open online via the United Nations INDICO registration system until 27 January, 2019. Please click here to register for CSW63.
  • launch of unfpa publication: On occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the International Human Rights Day (10 December), UNFPA launched a new publication entitled “Women and Young Persons with Disabilities: Guidelines for Providing Rights-Based and Gender-Responsive Services to Address Gender-Based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights”. These Guidelines are part of UNFPA's We Decide Programme, aimed at promoting the rights of persons with disabilities, in particular women and young persons with disabilities. Read the full report here


  • Article 49 of spanish constitution amended: In a landmark agreement, the Spanish government has decided to amend Article 49 of the Spanish constitution (concerning people with disabilities) in order to better protect the rights of persons with disabilities. Through CERMI, the Spanish Committee of Representatives of Persons with Disabilities, people with disabilities participated fully in the process to reword the article. The original Article 49 of the constitution was a major milestone in terms of safeguarding the rights of people with disabilities. While it recognised the population and set a framework for protection, four decades later the text had become outdated and, in the meantime, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities had been approved (2006), marking a turning point in acknowledging and protecting their rights. The rewording, which includes a language review as well as restructuring the article and updating content, brings the article up-to-date and in line with the CRPD.
  • NEW REPORT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: A new discussion paper to assess the policies of the Nordic countries on international disability issues, especially following the Global Disability Summit has recently been published. It discusses how Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland use the Global Disability Summit 2018 to further the Sustainable Development Goals and their emphasis on Leave No One Behind. Read the full report.
  • g3ict launches digital accessibility Rights evaluation index: G3ict has launched the DARE Index featuring individual country reports cards, rankings and analysis aimed at providing global benchmarks for disability advocates, governments and private sector organizations to assess their progress and identify opportunities in implementing digital accessibility for persons with disabilities. Read more about the index here.  
  • The Danish Institute for Human Rights has developed a matrix to demonstrate the links between the SDGs and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The matrix is available in English, French and Spanish. Read more here.


  • DISABILITY RIGHTS FUND (DRF) is seeking an Operations & Logistics Coordinator to manage complex logistics and provide administrative support to the organisation in its Boston Office. Deadline: 14 December, 2018. Read more and apply.
  • DISABILITY RIGHTS FUND (DRF) is seeking a Director of Development to, among others,  create a resource-mobilization strategy; developing and nurturing individual and institutional partnerships and networks; and developing and implementing strategic communications that will help grow and diversify funding. Read more and apply.
  • DISABILITY RIGHTS FUND (DRF) AND THE DISABILITY RIGHTS ADVOCACY FUND (DRF/DRAF) is seeking an evaluator (team) to conduct an evaluation on the organisation’s global grantmaking portfolio from 2017-2020. Total budget should in the range for  US $125,000. Deadline to apply is 17 December, 2018. Read more and apply.
  • NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTE (NDI) is seeking a  Senior Program Officer to join its Citizen Participation team to manage development programmes, contributing to organisation learning and support quality programmes across six regions related to the inclusion of marginalised populations including people with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous groups and LGBTI communities. Read more and apply.