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UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Volume 480: debated on Monday 6 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how he plans to ensure that his Department meets its obligation under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to (a) make development assistance inclusive and (b) include disabled people in all programme evaluations and reviews on ratification of the Convention. (218193)

The information is as follows.

(a) Inclusive development assistance

The Department for International Development (DFID) is aware of the importance of international cooperation as stated in Article 32 of the UN Convention. We understand the need to find ways to promote the inclusion of disabled people into mainstream development as well as looking for ways to build the capacity of representative organisations of disabled people. Our Civil Society Challenge Fund identifies disability as a cross-cutting issue so all applications need to demonstrate how they are engaging with disabled people. The latest round of applications saw a record number of projects with disability as the main focus (22 out of 145) which indicates that more international organisations are becoming aware of the need to promote the rights of disabled people.

We are supporting several initiatives aimed at increasing the capacity of disabled people's organisations. We have a Programme Partnership Agreement (PPA) with UK- based Action on Disability and Development which is working directly with disabled people's organisations (DPOs) in eight countries across Africa and Asia. Recently we also committed to providing substantial support to a new Disability Rights Fund (DRF) set up to empower DPOs to participate effectively in the implementation and monitoring mechanisms set out in the UN Convention. This is one of the first foundations to support organisations run by disabled people in the developing world.

As suggested by Article 32 DFID is also looking at ways to increase the amount of disability related research. We are currently funding the Southern Africa Federation of Disabled People Research Project (SRP) which is an innovative project designed and run by disabled people in the region. This project is helping local DPOs to research issues linked to disability and poverty and is already starting to produce evidence of the kinds of barriers disabled people face when trying to access basic services.

(b) Inclusion of disabled people in programme reviews and evaluations

All major country and thematic reviews are now quality assured to ensure they will address the exclusion of different groups. This includes disability as well as for example, gender and people affected by HIV and AIDS. Currently we are developing a new strategy for evaluation which will include reference to disability. The strategy will be available for public consultation.