Innovative Practices 2015 on Independent Living and Political Participation
Training to actively engage in civic rights
“Reaching out to grassroots communities not only provides persons with disabilities with new opportunities but it creates a spirit of engagement and compassion among all involved.”
|Name of Innovative Practice:||Training to actively engage in civic rights|
|Organisation:||International Foundation for Electoral Systems|
Persons with disabilities are isolated and excluded from mainstream civic, political, and electoral activities in rural areas of Nepal, where disability is taken as a health issue. Consequently, the political participation of those with disabilities is seldom considered at the decision-making level. In addition, there are still legal restrictions preventing “persons of unsound mind” from voting.
SOLUTION & METHODOLOGY
In this project the civic, political, and electoral participation of persons with disabilities is not just the responsibility of self-help groups but includes other community groups as well. Working together, persons with disabilities and community groups jointly identify issues, create advocacy plans, and execute them. This has boosted the confidence of persons with disabilities and has encouraged community members to take on disability issues as their own.
OUTLOOK & TRANSFERABILITY
The project can be easily and inexpensively replicated since it is based on advocacy and awareness-raising. If self-help groups lead the advocacy process in collaboration with other community groups, it empowers everyone involved.
Nominated by: Suraj SIGDEL, Project Officer, International Foundation for Electoral Systems