Since 2008, the Disability Rights Fund has supported change in the lives of persons with disabilities.
From the outset, we embraced a learning approach to our work. Within two years from our launch, we created a monitoring and evaluation system (with a theory of change and logframe) that guides our work to this day.
Country strategy development and annual assessments provide an in-depth analysis of trends, obstacles, and opportunities for movement building in advancing disability rights. Periodic evaluations allow us to reflect on achievements, gaps, and opportunities and change course, as needed.
In 2012, we commissioned Universalia, an external and independent evaluation firm, to conduct an evaluation that applied traditional evaluation concepts such as relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness to hard-to-grasp concepts such as advocacy and movement building. The evaluation was participatory, consulting ninety individual stakeholders and covered the period from January 2008 to March 2012 and five countries.
Given the fact that many of the grants were small and to marginalized grassroots organizations, we were surprised by the magnitude of the results achieved. The findings started by saying:
In less than four years, DRF has become a recognized donor for disability rights and has proven to be relevant in contributing to the achievement of results for the benefit of persons with disabilities.
Universalia DRF Evaluation Report, 2013
In 2015, Universalia submitted a learning evaluation that was focused on the period from April 2012 to September 2014 and on five countries. The process consulted 149 individuals and included three field missions and an extensive desk review. Among the findings was:
DRF’s comparative advantage is its ability to support representative organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) – the majority of which are small and grassroots. These organizations constitute the main social force fighting for the rights of persons with disabilities.
Universalia DRF Learning Evaluation, 2015
In spite of solid wins at the local and nation levels related to the advancement of rights for persons with disabilities, challenges still remain to realize these rights. Building on the learnings from the evaluations, DRF is committed to growing the local and global impact of the disability rights movement.