About Innovative Policies

Innovative Policies are one of the three areas of research conducted by the Zero Project, together with Social Indicators and Innovative Practices.

The Zero Project’s Innovative Policies are laws, standards, policies, strategies or programmes, adopted by public authorities from all levels – from the local level, to the regional, up to the national level (local and regional councils, parliament, government, etc.).

Innovative Policies have achieved identifiable improvements on the ground, and have demonstrated a positive dynamic of change that can be easily replicated in many countries to advance the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CPRD). Like all innovation, some policies may be incomplete or dependent on other developments to maximize their impact. Some policies, no matter how positive, may also contain elements of old thinking. Since the implementation of the UN CRPD is a work in progress for all countries, these elements are taken into account in the overall assessment of innovation.

The nomination, research, and selection process for Innovative Policies is a multi-step approach, involving a network of experts along the way.

Typically, the nomination process is started by a call to the whole Zero Project network. After the nomination process, a first screening of the nominated policies is undertaken, filtering out those that do not fit into the established criteria. For the remaining nominations, selected experts from the Zero Project’s network are asked to shortlist those policies that are most innovative, with most outcome, impact and effectiveness, which are transferable, scalable and cost-efficient. In that process, usually up to 20 policies are shortlisted.

All shortlisted policies are researched by the World Future Council, which applies its Future Just Lawmaking Methodology (based on the International Law Association’s 2002 New Delhi Declaration – Principles of International Law). The research team conducts interviews with representatives from governments, academia and disabled peoples organizations about each of the policies and verifies the information provided in the nomination. Usually, more than 60 experts are involved in this process, answering generic questions and/or clarifying specific aspects of a policy’s development, implementation, impact and monitoring.

Thereafter, generally around September each year, more than 100 experts of the Zero Project network – including at least two from the countries where the policies are implemented in – are invited to participate in the final round to choose the Innovative Policies of the Zero Project. In that way, the Innovative Policies that were finally selected, come from all around the world and cover a broad variety of approaches and backgrounds.

Find out more about our Innovative Policies on employment, on accessibility, on independent living and political participation and on inclusive education and ICT.

The research topic of 2016/17 is, once again, employment.