The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has published a report on its progress towards the UK government’s disability inclusion strategy, which was launched in December 2018.
The report highlights the progress made in the 18 months since the strategy was published (by what was then the Department for International Development) and shows the key lessons that have been learnt during that time.
Hannah Loryman, head of policy for Sightsavers, said: “The new FCDO report builds on the huge progress that the Department for International Development had been making since the International Development Committee inquiry and first Disability Framework that was published in 2014. It is positive to see the progress made in mainstreaming disability – with all offices now having a disabiltiy champion in place and a 36 per cent rise in programmes marked as disability-inclusive since 2017. It is also positive to see that some countries, such as Nigeria, have begun to work towards meeting the ‘higher achievement’ standards set out in the strategy. It is critical that work continues to ensure that all countries meet the standards as soon as possible.
She continued: “While the report shows progress has been made, there is still a lot to do to make sure the FCDO can meet its ambition and commitments on disability inclusion – in particular, the strategy needs to be updated for the FCDO and embedded across the department’s work. It is also critical that the influencing role that DFID played is built upon and that the FCDO uses its global leadership to support and influence others to do more in this important area.”
The publication of a disability inclusion strategy by the UK government was the first call of Sightsavers’ policy campaign (then known as Put Us in the Picture) for disability back in 2013. The launch of the framework in 2014 was an early campaign success, and in 2018 the publication of the UK government’s disability inclusion strategy marked a major campaign milestone. Sightsavers supporters have continued to call for world leaders to be held accountable for their commitments on disability inclusion through the organisation’s Equal World campaign.