Funding Streams

With policymakers, governments, and other development stakeholders increasing recognizing the rights of persons with disabilities and the importance of inclusive development, DRF/DRAF pooled fund grantmaking supports the participation of OPDs in local and national development and human rights processes. This participation leads to changes in policy, legislation, budgets, data collection and government programs. These changes contribute to the equalization of opportunities for all persons with disabilities. DRF/DRAF supports these efforts through priority areas that apply to all pooled fund grants, as well as areas specific to each of the pooled funding streams: Small Grants, Mid-Level Coalitions, and National Coalitions.


Priority Areas Relevant to all Pooled Fund Grants
  • Promoting gender equality and SOGIESC diversity. In accordance with the DRF/DRAF Gender Guidelines and in recognition of intersectional discrimination, the inclusion and leadership of women and girls with disabilities as well as LGBTQ+ persons with disabilities is encouraged throughout all other DRF/DRAF priority areas. OPDs may apply under this priority area to support their work to integrate a gender lens across their structures, advocacy efforts and priorities. This priority area can also include supporting women’s rights and LGBTQ+ organizations to integrate a disability lens. Partnerships are especially encouraged between OPDs and women’s rights actors or organizations promoting LGBTQ+ rights. 
  • Advancing achievement of Global Disability Summit (GDS18 and/or GDS22) commitments. In July 2018, the UK and Kenyan governments and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) partnered to host a Global Disability Summit in London, unveiling ambitious new global and national commitments on disability inclusion. Following the Summit, the UK government provided funding via DRF for OPDs in Commonwealth countries to advocate for follow up by national governments on their commitments. In those DRF/DRAF target countries which made GDS18 commitments, OPDs have also used pooled fund grants to advocate for their implementation alongside the CRPD and the SDGs. Similarly, DRF/DRAF funding can be used by OPDs to advocate for new or renewed commitments made at the 2022 Global Disability Summit (GDS22), and to support ongoing efforts to monitor and advance implementation.
  • Advocating for ratification of the CRPD and/or the Optional Protocol (where not ratified), or of other international or regional human rights treaties relevant to the rights of persons with disabilities. Ratification of international or regional human rights treaties (whether the CRPD or its OP, or the Marrakesh Treaty, or the African Disability Protocol) is an important step towards institution of human rights for persons with disabilities. OPDs and other civil society organizations can play an integral role in advocating for adoption of treaties advancing the rights of persons with disabilities. While DRF/DRAF primarily support National Coalition efforts for treaty ratification, Mid-Level Coalition and Small Grant applicants may also be considered.
  • Ensuring the participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities in decision-making, planning, implementation, monitoring and data collection related to the SDGs, in alignment with the CRPD. In the context of the SDGs, it is critical that persons with disabilities are considered and counted as a target group in development planning and budgeting, and are involved at all levels of action planning, implementation, monitoring, data collection, and follow-up. The CRPD – often referred to as both a human rights and a social development treaty because of its expected impact in both areas – can be used by OPDs to advocate for and guide this inclusion. This priority area includes advocacy for participation of grassroots OPDs in development planning processes, policies, and strategies at local levels (e.g., in village development committees); and engagement in government SDG focal points, civil society SDG platforms, and statistics offices. For instance, OPDs may carry out advocacy to ensure that development plans, policies and programs are inclusive; or that the Washington Group on Disability Statistics short set of questions is used in censuses, household surveys and other mechanisms to collect data critical for inclusive development.  OPDs may also undertake projects which inform or demonstrate to government or other key stakeholders how specific SDGs can be implemented in an inclusive manner in line with the CRPD.
Priority Areas Specific to Small Grants

The Small Grants funding stream supports growth of a broader and more diverse disability movement to advance the CRPD and the SDGs at local levels. OPDs can use funds from DRF/DRAF to strengthen the capacity of persons with disabilities to participate in decision-making processes regarding CRPD implementation and monitoring, or to advocate for the advancement of rights defined in specific articles of the CRPD. In addition, this funding stream supports OPDs to participate in and influence decision-making processes related to implementation of the SDGs to ensure development efforts include all persons with disabilities. Small Grants should be aimed at one of the following priority areas (or an area relevant to all funding streams):

  • Increasing OPD capacity to participate in advocacy and decision-making processes regarding implementation of rights. This priority area builds OPD capacities (especially of marginalized persons with disabilities and emergent OPDs) to meaningfully participate in advocacy for rights (according to specific CRPD articles) as well as inclusion in decision-making processes (including those related to COVID-19).
  • Increasing OPD capacity to participate in advocacy and decision-making processes regarding implementation of rights. This priority area builds OPD capacities (especially of marginalized persons with disabilities and emergent OPDs) to meaningfully participate in advocacy for rights (according to specific CRPD articles) as well as inclusion in decision-making processes (including those related to COVID-19).
Priority Areas Specific to Mid-Level Coalitions

The Mid-Level Coalition funding stream supports sub-national efforts to ensure that national legislation and policy which promotes and protects the rights of persons with disabilities is implemented at state (in a federal system), regional, provincial, or district levels, including through regulatory frameworks or establishment of disability-inclusive budgets. In addition, this funding stream supports coalitions to advocate that development programs, policies and plans aiming to implement the SDGs at sub-national levels are inclusive of persons with disabilities and use the CRPD as a guideline. Advocacy at sub-national levels is especially critical in decentralized political systems – which make up the majority of DRF/DRAF target countries. Mid-Level Coalitions should be aimed at one of the following priority areas (or an area relevant to all funding streams):

  • Passage of specific sub-national legislation (including ordinances), policy, regulations, and/or budgetary priorities to accord with the CRPD. In federal or decentralized political systems, legal or policy changes (including those related to COVID-19) at national level must be followed up with similar changes at sub-national (state, regional, provincial or district) levels. In the process of budget planning, budget priorities at sub-national level must be disability inclusive. Civil society can play an important role in advocating for legislative and policy reform as well as budget priority setting at these levels. It is critical that OPDs, in particular, understand the process of government budget development, participate in it where possible, and demand sufficient resources and tracking to ensure that rights are made real.
  • Passage of specific sub-national legislation (including ordinances), policy, regulations, and/or budgetary priorities to accord with the CRPD. In federal or decentralized political systems, legal or policy changes (including those related to COVID-19) at national level must be followed up with similar changes at sub-national (state, regional, provincial or district) levels. In the process of budget planning, budget priorities at sub-national level must be disability inclusive. Civil society can play an important role in advocating for legislative and policy reform as well as budget priority setting at these levels. It is critical that OPDs, in particular, understand the process of government budget development, participate in it where possible, and demand sufficient resources and tracking to ensure that rights are made real.
Priority Areas Specific to National Coalitions

The National Coalition funding stream supports advancement of the CRPD through advocacy for national-level legislative, policy, and budgetary changes; monitoring and reporting on implementation of the CRPD or other human rights mechanisms relevant to persons with disabilities; and efforts to ensure that national development programs, policies, plans, and budgets aiming to implement the SDGs are inclusive of persons with disabilities and use the CRPD as a guideline. This stream is intended for organizations that are prominent in the disability movement at the national level. National Coalitions should be aimed at one of the following priority areas (or an area relevant to all funding streams):

  • Passage or amendment of specific national legislation and/or policies to accord with the CRPD. Some countries attempt to accord all national legislation and policies prior to ratification; others harmonize laws and policies after adoption. In either case, OPDs and other civil society organizations can play an important role in advocating for legislative and policy reform to ensure the CRPD is implemented, including in legislation or policy addressing pandemic response and recovery. 
  • Advocacy for regulations and/or budgetary measures to implement new or amended legislation or policy promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. Once national legislation or policies (including those related to COVID-19) are adopted or amended to address the rights of persons with disabilities, regulatory frameworks and budgets are needed to ensure implementation. OPDs can play a critical role in advising government about how best to ensure CRPD-compliance in regulations and budgets so that the lives of all persons with disabilities are improved. 
  • Production of and/or follow up to Alternative Reports to the CRPD Committee and other human rights treaty bodies or reports to the Human Rights Council for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Two years after entry into force of the CRPD within a ratifying State, the State must present its first national report on the baseline situation for persons with disabilities and any advancements in CRPD implementation to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee). Subsequent reports are due four years after submission of the baseline report.  At the same time, OPDs and other civil society organizations may present “alternative” reports, which give a non-governmental perspective on the realities for persons with disabilities. Once Concluding Observations are published by the Committee, OPDs can ensure that there is follow-up by government to implement those recommendations at national level. 
    • Committees of independent experts monitor implementation not only of the CRPD, but also other UN treaty bodies such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and regional mechanisms such as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Like other civil society organizations, OPDs may submit reports on the situation of persons with disabilities to any human rights treaty bodies, and monitor implementation of relevant Concluding Observations resulting from Committees’ reviews. 
    • The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a United Nations monitoring process which involves a review, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States once every four years.  As with treaty bodies, OPDs and other civil society organizations can provide reports for the Universal Periodic Review of their State and follow up on recommendations made by this body to governments. 
  • Advocacy to ensure inclusion of a disability perspective in national governmental implementation and/or monitoring of the CRPD. Once the CRPD is ratified, as mandated in Article 33, countries should establish national implementation and monitoring mechanisms, including focal points (which may be specific offices under the President/Prime Minister, various Ministries or National Councils on Disability) and coordination mechanisms that include representative organizations of persons with disabilities. To ensure that this happens, OPDs and other civil society organizations need to advocate for active and ongoing participation of persons with disabilities in the work of these mechanisms.