The Australian aid program has had strategies to support disability-inclusive development since 2009. The 'Development for All' strategies have aimed to improve the lives of people with disabilities by making Australian development assistance more disability-inclusive and having broader impacts through advocacy work. Advocacy to shape the policies and programs of bilateral, multilateral and other development agencies has the potential to deliver exponential benefits for people living with disability above and beyond what can be achieved by Australian development assistance.
This evaluation assesses the effectiveness and credibility of DFAT's global advocacy. It focuses on advocacy work that has been the most significant, in terms of effort and funding:
- Advocacy in global policy processes
- Building the capacity of other advocates
- Improving data collection on disability
- Influencing partner agencies
- Building and working in coalitions
The evaluation found that Australia is seen and valued as a leader in disability inclusion in the development process. Recent major global policy frameworks especially the World Humanitarian Summit outcome and the post 2030 Sustainable Development Goals have seen unprecedented recognition and inclusion of the needs of people with disability due in no small part to DFAT’s advocacy. A hallmark of DFAT's success has been the way it has modelled the principle 'Nothing about us without us.' DFAT's support has helped build the capacity of DPOs and facilitated their involvement in major policy and reform processes.