Part 4 of our awardees blog brings you projects that work to influence policy, including self-representation, participation in politics and how to strengthen access to legal and human rights.
Self-representatives influencing policy-making
For meaningful and lasting change in policy, it is important for those that the policies affect are the same ones influencing it. FEPAPDEM in Ecuador runs a program which trains people to train persons with intellectual disabilities to become self-advocates and speak out about the issues that are important to them. Also in Ecuador, Fundación Discapacidad y Desarrollo works with local disabled people’s organisations to identify needs of residents with disabilities and address them through local regulations. And in the Pursat province of Cambodia, Light for the World trains representatives to advocate for inclusive policies in local commune and district meetings.
Participating in politics in low- and middle-income countries
Some of our 2019 awardees facilitate the conditions for people with disabilities to actively participate in politics in low and middle income countries. In Nepal, the Disability Empowerment and Communication Centre assists with inclusive voting and supports running for parliamentary elections. Similarly, the Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi is carrying out many methods to encourage voting and running for parliament, such as stakeholder engagement, lobbying and media coverage.
Strengthening access to legal and human rights
A small group of winning projects are aiming to improve access to legal and human rights through targeting change in national legislation. Mobility International USA’s Global Disability RightsNow! program is targeting change in seven countries by providing local disabled persons organisations with free technical training and mentorship to improve their own in-country plans. In India, the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People has conducted sustained and systematic advocacy to help push through a new national disability law, with funding from Mphasis. Finally, in British Columbia, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reducaiton has launched a 10-year strategy for improving the lives of people with disabilities, for example through simplified benefit applications and raising the benefit rate.