Guidance Document: the Role of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities in International Cooperation

In line with the strategy for International Cooperation ‘EDF in the World’, EDF has developed a Guidance note on the role of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPOs) in international cooperation. The guidance note is based on the experience of European DPOs and their partners. It aims to give guidance in general of the unique role that European DPOs can play- as representatives of persons with disabilities in all their diversity, in Europe, at the national, regional and international level. The guidance note is targeted at development agencies and development organisations, in order to illustrate why and how they should meaningfully involve European DPOs in their international cooperation work.

Our objective was to highlight the importance of actively engaged persons with disabilities and European DPOs in international cooperation – not just as beneficiaries but also as experts. Article 32 (international cooperation) of the CRPD outlines the measures states parties must take to fulfil their obligations regarding international cooperation. General Comment 7 on articles 4 (3) and 33 (3), relating to the consultation and involvement of persons with disabilities clarifies what the CRPD Committee expects in terms of meaningful involvement of DPOs. DPOs have a similar nature around the world, as described in the General Comment, different sizes and mandates, different levels of resources. However, the capacity of peer-to-peer learning between DPOs should be enhanced.

To publish this Guidance note:

  • We held an expert workshop in June 2019. Together with DPOs and partners, we brainstormed on the role of DPOs and came up with a number of recommendations. The workshop report is available here.
  • We launched a call for good practice to select a range of examples to document in detail, highlighting approaches to DPOs working in international cooperation. The good practices are available on this page.
  • We hired a consultant to assist in development of this Guidance Document

This initiative is undertaken in cooperation with the UKAid funded ‘Disability Inclusive Development (DID)’ programme of Sightsavers, implemented with a Consortium of 11 organisations: Sightsavers, the International Disability Alliance, ADD International, BBC Media Action, BRAC, the Institute of Development Studies, Humanity & Inclusion, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Light for the World, Sense International and Social Development Direct.