32 – International Cooperation


UK DPOs and their representatives had been engaged by the Department for International Development (DFID) to carry out some innovative and important work on disability and development cooperation in the early 2000’s. However there has been no meaningful engagement with UK DPOs since 2008. The UK Government’s initial report to the United Nations on the CRPD reflects this position as it does not evidence any work with UK DPOs. What it does evidence is some good examples of mainstreaming programmes and valuable investment in the Disability Rights Fund (DRF). However the investment through the Civil Society Challenge Fund goes to charities for disabled people. The beneficiaries of the disability research contracts are mainstream charities or disability charities, none of which are DPOs.

DFID has no examples of work with UK DPOs in development co-operation since it signed and ratified the CRPD and the Optional Protocol. This has been confirmed in the findings and recommendations of the Parliamentary International Development Committee report on Disability and development. The enquiry found that:

… DFID should ensure disabled people have a central role in its work. It should step up its support for disabled people’s organisations. It should also ensure disabled people participate fully in the design and delivery of DFID’s own programmes. The more visible disabled people are in development work, the easier it will be to reverse the damaging patterns of discrimination that have, for so long, left disabled people behind.”[1]


[1] Parliamentary International Development Committee, 11th Report, ‘Report on Disability and Development’, (April, 2014). http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmintdev/947/94702.htm