On the fifth anniversary of its Put Us in the Picture campaign for disability rights, Sightsavers has welcomed a new disability strategy launched by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID). The document sets out how DFID will make its work more inclusive of people with disabilities in the world’s poorest countries.
The strategy, which Sightsavers has called for as part of its campaign over the past five years, recognises that there has been insufficient progress on improving the lives of people with disabilities in developing countries. It commits to focusing its efforts on holding itself and other governments and organisations more accountable for commitments made at the Global Disability Summit held in London in June 2018.
By committing to greater participation of people with disabilities in development processes, the strategy aims to address the underrepresentation of people with disabilities themselves in making the decisions that affect their lives.
Natasha Kennedy, Sightsavers’ Head of Campaigns, said: “People with disabilities represent a significant proportion of the population in low-income countries and are some of the most excluded and difficult to reach. DFID’s new strategy acknowledges that there has been far too little progress on disability inclusive development to date, and that a ‘business as usual’ approach will not achieve the transformative change needed. We are now calling on DFID to clearly set out how it intends to implement this ambitious strategy and how it will measure change and by when.”