The Global Disability Summit (GDS) offers a concrete mechanism for collecting new, ambitious, and widespread commitments, which are critical to achieving real change for persons with disabilities. The first Global Disability Summit held in London in 2018 (GDS18) generated an unprecedented level of focus on and commitment to disability-inclusive development. The second Global Disability Summit to be held in Oslo and virtually in 2022 (GDS22) will build on the results achieved at the first Summit to further accelerate much-needed progress towards the fulfillment of the rights of persons with disabilities worldwide.
Since GDS18, the Disability Rights Fund (DRF) and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF) awarded 35 GDS-related grants totaling $1.61 million USD to 22 organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) in Africa, Asia, and Europe to support advocacy related to GDS commitments.
In 2018, DRF/DRAF were among the hundreds of national governments and organizations that made 170 sets of commitments during the GDS18. It was critical for us to contribute to global and national efforts for disability inclusion with a set of commitments that captured our values. As an organization, we track our commitments and their impact as one way to maintain the accountability we have to our grantees and partners. Learning and monitoring has shown that concretely outlining our strategies helps us to consistently achieve our objectives.
With this in mind, our Board and management team crafted the following four long-term commitments for GDS18 and GDS22:
- Ensure the majority of the members of our decision-making bodies (Boards and Grantmaking Committee) are persons with disabilities, and include representatives of marginalized groups (including women with disabilities);
- Endorse and support partnerships for inclusive education at global and national levels;
- Implement DRF/DRAF’s Gender Guidelines; and
- Equip our grantees with tools for data-driven policy recommendations and advocacy.
Since GDS18, DRF/DRAF and a number of our grantees have found that the GDS commitments are effective ways for national governments, OPDs, and disability rights supporters to focus the implementation of the CRPD within a national context of what is most pressing and most feasible. Within this national contextualization, we can see how GDS commitments are furthering the work of DRF/DRAF grantees in inclusive education, centering intersectional approaches, and internal learning as examples.
For more information, please visit the DRF/DRAF GDS22 webpage.