Disability-inclusive development initiatives


Australia’s disability-inclusive development initiatives aim to ensure people with disabilities are included in, and benefit equally from, Australia’s development assistance in order to enhance the rights and quality of life of people with disabilities.

United Nations Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD)

$5.75 million, 2012-2016

The goal of our partnership with the United Nations Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) is to develop the capacity of national stakeholders, particularly governments and disabled people’s organisations, to effectively implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The technical secretariat for UNPRPD is hosted by the United Nations Development Programme.

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UNICEF Partnership on Disability: Rights, Education And Protection of children with disabilities 2 (REAP 2)

$4.5 million, 2015-2019

Australia is partnering with UNICEF to support the second phase of the Rights, Education and Protection (REAP 2) project. This partnership builds on the successes of the first phase of the REAP project, which piloted education and child protection activities in Vietnam and Bhutan, and in the second phase will include additional focus countries in the Indo-Pacific.

UNICEF Partnership on Disability-Inclusive Data Collection

$1.2 million (USD), 2014-2016

Australia is supporting UNICEF to partner with the United Nations Washington Group on Disability Statistics to complete a set of survey questions which countries can insert into their existing national data collection processes (such as censuses) to provide internationally comparable data on children with disabilities. This funding will also support the development of a second set of survey questions to understand the barriers and facilitators to children with disabilities accessing quality education. The survey is intended to be used on both children with disabilities who are in school and those who are out of school. Once completed, these survey questions will be used to improve data collection on children with disabilities in UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), one of the largest global sources of internationally comparable, statistically rigorous data on the situation of children and women.

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Strengthening disability statistics for the post-2015 development agenda

$4 million, 2015-2018

In partnership with the United Nations Statistical Division, Australia is supporting a project to strengthen disability statistics for the post-2015 development agenda. This project aims to enhance the capacity of national statistical offices in developing countries to produce and disseminate good quality and fit-for-purpose statistics on disability for evidence-based policy making and monitoring. 

The project is expected to accomplish: (1) formulation of international guidelines for measurement of disability taking into account existing measurement instruments, good national practices and country experiences; and (2) enhanced capacity of national statistical systems to collect and generate relevant and quality disability statistics based on international guidelines.

Supporting the institutional capacity of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics

$2.8 million, 2015-2018

Australia is supporting the Washington Group to disseminate existing tools to collect disability data, provide technical assistance to support their uptake and consistent use, and engage in new work on measures of participation and functional limitations related to mental health.

Funding will provide institutional support through University College London for the Washington Group on disability statistics in the form of staffing and resources to facilitate information transfer through regional workshops, travel support and the provision of technical assistance.

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World Health Organization (WHO) Partnership to Enhance the Lives of Persons with Disabilities

$6.16 million, 2011–2018

Australian support to the World Health Organization (WHO) has enabled the Western Pacific Regional Office to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities in the region. Support through the partnership has included strengthening community-based rehabilitation guidelines and services, and the provision of related technical assistance in the Western Pacific and Asia region. Other activities under this partnership include research on non-communicable diseases; strengthening data collection on the situation of people with disability, capacity building of national health ministries to deliver appropriate rehabilitation services, and the development of disability-related guidelines and information.

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Disability Rights Advocacy Fund

$5.2 million, 2014-2018

Australia is continuing to support the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund, a collaboration between donors and the disability community, to provide grants to country-level disabled people’s organisations (DPOs). The grants support DPOs to participate in ratification, implementation, and monitoring of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and promote a rights-based approach to disability equality at community and government levels.

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International Disability Alliance Partnership

$2.47 million, 2015–2019

Australia partners with the International Disability Alliance (IDA), whose mission is “to advance the human rights of persons with disabilities, as a united voice of organisations of persons with disabilities, utilizing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other human rights instruments.”

IDA is a network representing members that are global and regional disabled people’s organisations (DPOs). IDA’s unique composition as a network of international DPOs allows it to act as an authoritative and representative voice of persons with disabilities in the United Nations (UN) system, both in New York and Geneva.

IDA’s long-term goal is that “the United Nations framework (the General Assembly, Security and Human Rights Councils, treaty bodies and development agencies), bilateral and multilateral development agencies, regional organizations and human rights instruments contribute to create an enabling environment for DPO advocacy and government capacity to implement the UN CRPD at national level”.  Australian financing enables IDA to use its global reach to undertake capacity building activities with national and local DPOs in the Indo-Pacific region, and supports IDA in achieving its key objectives and goals.

Partnership to support Disabled People’s Organisations in the Pacific

$4.5 million, 2009–2016

Australia partners with the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF), an umbrella organisation of Pacific disabled people’s organisations (DPOs), to support their members to advocate for and advance their rights.  PDF works with governments, civil society and development partners to develop policies and actions that include people with disabilities in all aspects of public life on an equal basis with others. As a result, people with disabilities have been able to participate equally in developing and reviewing national disability policies in Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.  PDF also works with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, UN agencies, development partners, churches, regional civil society organisations and service providers to ensure that people with disabilities are included in national and regional plans and policies.

DFAT-CBM Australia Partnership:  Improving the quality of lives for people with disabilities: Building understanding and technical capacity for disability-inclusive development

$1.4 million, 2015–2017

The DFAT-CBM Australia Partnership “Improving the quality of lives for people with disabilities: Building understanding and technical capacity for disability-inclusive development” supports the provision of both short and long term demand driven technical support and broader capacity development to increase the capacity of DFAT’s policy and program officials and its systems in disability-inclusive development.

This Partnership builds on a previous Partnership arrangement (2011-2015) which developed a strong knowledge base of technical guidance and advice as well as extensive linkages to support disability inclusion in the aid program.

The new Partnership will assist DFAT staff to be well-informed and increasingly skilled to deliver disability inclusive aid programming, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. The long term global impacts of the Partnership are: more disability inclusive societies; greater participation of all people with disability, and reduced poverty.

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Disability-inclusive social protection systems research

$505,000, 2015-2016

Australia is supporting the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to conduct research into disability-inclusive social protection systems. The primary goal of the research is to identify elements of good practice in disability inclusive social protection systems in two focus countries in the Indo-Pacific and provide related guidance to inform good practice within the region more broadly.

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)

$250,000, 2015

Australia is supporting the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) to conduct a South Asia Regional Disability Dialogue on Political Participation for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states in Colombo, Sri Lanka in October 2015. This dialogue will serve as a forum for representatives of regional disabled people’s organisations (DPOs), civil society organisations (CSOs) and government agencies, (such as national electoral commissions) from SAARC countries, to share with each other policy innovations and good practices in upholding the political rights of people with disabilities. This conference will build on the success of similar regional dialogues which IFES has organised to promote the political participation of people with disabilities.

Australian Development Research Awards Scheme

$5.62 million, 2013-2016

The Australian Development Research Awards Scheme (ADRAS) supports nine competitive research proposals under the 2012 round (active from 2013-2016) that aim to improve the quality and accessibility of education, sexual and reproductive health, disaster management responses, employment, social and economic services and community based rehabilitation for people with disability in specific contexts, primarily in the Indo-Pacific region. Research outcomes will be shared broadly with all stakeholders as the programs conclude.

* The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to high standards of transparency and accountability in the management of the Australian aid program through publishing information on our website, including policies, plans, results, evaluations and research. Our practice is to publish documents after the partner government and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by the Australian aid program and therefore not all documents reflect our views. In limited circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and commercial sensitivity.



Last Updated: 29 April 2016