Disability and Development Online Consultations March 8-28, 2013

Posted on 13 March 2013. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Education, Employment, Events and Conferences, Health, Housing, Human Rights, Inclusion, indigenous people, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Networking Opportunities, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation, Poverty, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, universal design, Women, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

These online consultations (from March 8 to 28th, ie RIGHT NOW) are an opportunity to influence important decisions about how people with disabilities will be included in efforts to reduce poverty around the world.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been profoundly influential in making decisions on how to prioritize foreign assistance and government funds in more than 100 developing countries. The global community is now working to identify what goals should replace them after 2015. This means that the next few months will be critical for ensuring that people with disabilities are not again forgotten.  It is important for the global disability community, our constituency organizations, and professionals in the fields of international development and human rights be engaged.

Read below and follow the links for more detail on how individuals can participate in this on-line dialogue.

Online Consultations
As part of the preparatory process for the United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on Disability and Development (HLMDD), the HLMDD Online Consultations (HOC) will be conducted from 8 to 28 March 2013. The consultations are co-organised by DESA and UNICEF under the existing platform of the World We Want 2015 (http://www.worldwewant2015.org/enable) in multiple languages.

Please register at: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/register.  If you have difficulty registering, then please email enable@worldwewant2015.org for assistance.

Simultaneous consultations will take place in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. The site is compatible with screen readers, however, if you are unable to access the site, please email your response to: enable@worldwewant2015.org. Please note that the forum is moderated, therefore your post will not appear immediately but will be posted within twenty-four hours.
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Report: Pacific Sisters with Disabilities at the Intersection of Discrimination

Posted on 4 June 2009. Filed under: Announcements, East Asia Pacific Region, Education, Employment, Health, Human Rights, Inclusion, News, Policy & Legislation, Rehabilitation, Reports, Resources, signed languages, Violence, Women | Tags: , , , , |

Both people with disabilities and also women experience discrimination in countries around the world, including within the Pacific region. Women with disabilities experience a double dose of discrimination. A newly released report, entitled Pacific Sisters with Disabilities: at the Intersection of Discrimination (PDF format, 981 Kb), reviews the situation of women with disabilities in the Pacific region. It includes discussion on the challenges of discrimination against women with disabilities; laws among Pacific Island governments; and policies and programs within disabled people’s organizations (DPOs), women’s organizations, and mainstream international development partners. The report concludes with recommendations for improving the situation of women with disabilities in the Pacific region. This April 2009 report, by authors Daniel Stubbs and Sainimili Tawake, covers the situation of 22 Pacific countries and territories. It was published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Pacific Center.

The research leading to this report found that a few helpful laws, policies, and systems of practice do exist in some countries. However, disabled women do still tend to fare more poorly compared to disabled men or compared to non-disabled women. Specifically, they are often less educated, experience more unemployment, face more violence and abuse, encounter more poverty, are more isolated, have less access to health care, and have lower social status. Women with disabilities also have less access to information about education, health care, their reproductive rights, recreation, politics, or even the weather.

Unfortunately, very limited documentation on the situation of women with disabilities exist in any region, including the Pacific. This report relies partly on extrapolation from what is known about women with disabilities in other regions. This information is supplemented, where possible, with local data, statistics, anecdotes, and other information specific to disabled women in the Pacific.

The full 90-page report can be downloaded for free, in PDF format (981 Kb) at: http://www.undppc.org.fj/_resources/article/files/Final%20PSWD%20BOOKLET.pdf.

I learned about this report via the Global Partnership on Disability and Development email discussion list.

Subscribe to We Can Do
Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com). You also can follow We Can Do via Facebook.

Other Resources at We Can Do
Catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

[Published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do). This post is copyrighted to the We Can Do blog. Please do not syndicate without permission.]

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

JOB POST: External Consultant, Gender and Disabilities, Afghanistan

Posted on 30 January 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities, South Asian Region, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


To identify best practices on how to include women with disabilities in the design of projects on disability

1. Introduction:

In 2005 and 2006 Handicap International has conducted a national survey on disability (NDSA, National Disability Survey in Afghanistan). In this study the number of persons with disability (PwD) in Afghanistan was estimated between 747,500 and 867,100, considering 2.7% as a prevalence rate of Afghan with disabilities. An average of 1 out of 5 households has at least one person with disability. More than half of persons with disabilities in Afghanistan are living in Central, Western and Southern regions of Afghanistan. The number of PwDs in Herat, Kabul and Kandahar Provinces are among the highest in the country. Many years of war, landmines, but also impairments acquired from birth, inadequate healthcare, congenital disabilities, accidents or malnutrition and preventable diseases such as polio or tuberculosis made hundred of thousands of Afghans disabled.

Considering Afghanistan contest Women with Disabilities (WWDs) suffer double vulnerability: first they are Women and second they are disabled

The government has limited programme interventions in addressing issues related with Disability and for the PwDs. For the last few years, a number of organizations in the non government sector have come up with programs and projects to the benefits of the PwDs. Little is know about Women with Disability and the constraints they face in their daily lives and the quality of life they enjoy in Afghanistan. That can be reliably need for designing understand projects.

2. Background

Handicap International is an international organization specialized in the field of disability. Non-governmental, non-religious, non-political and non-profit making, it works alongside people with disabilities, whatever the context, offering them assistance and supporting them in their efforts to become self-reliant. Since its creation, the organization has set up programs in approximately 60 countries and intervened in many emergency situations. It has a network of eight national associations (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and USA) which provide human and financial resources, manage projects and raise awareness of Handicap International’s actions and campaigns.

Handicap International has been working for Afghan people since the mid-1980’s when it started its activities for the Afghan refugees in Pakistan. The Belgium branch of Handicap International started implementing projects in Afghanistan in the early 1990’s while the French one started in the beginning of 2002. In April 2006, the two programs merged under the leadership of HI France.

Today, in response to the pressing needs of persons with disabilities, Handicap International Afghanistan works in the Southern (Kandahar), Western (Herat) and Central (Kabul) regions of Afghanistan, which covers more than half of the people with disabilities in the country. Handicap International in Afghanistan currently operates 8 development projects managed by more than 200 national staff and 7 expatriates. Hl works in four main sectors:

• Disability advocacy and awareness
• Physical rehabilitation and physiotherapy
• Socio-economic inclusion
• Mine risk education

At the advocacy level, HI coordinates its activities with the major international organizations working on disability issues in Afghanistan: Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), SERVE, and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). At the local level, HI provides technical assistance to CCD (Community Center for Disabled), is a member of the advocacy committee of the Afghan Civil Society Forum, and supports local DPOs in Herat by providing them technical support and materials, and conducting joint projects on disability awareness.

For the past three years, Handicap International provided rehabilitation services (physiotherapy and orthopedic devices) to an average of 20 000 individuals per year in the Southern region and Herat Province. Our inclusion programs in Herat and Kabul directly provided working opportunities, trainings and referral to other relevant services to an average of more than 3000 persons with disabilities per year. Our teams in Helmand and Kandahar provinces delivered awareness sessions on mine and UXOs related risks to over 200 000 persons at community level, in IDP camps, encashment centers and to Kochies populations (nomads). HI conducted awareness campaigns all over the country to raise awareness on the situation of people with disabilities through photo exhibitions, radio programs and TV spots broadcasted on the main national Medias.

3. Justification of support

Due to lack of expertise in HI Afghanistan and the time needed to complete this work an expert in Gender and Disability is needed to identify best practices on how to include women in the design and implementations of projects on disability”.

4. Ideal candidate

The ideal candidate
• An expert in Gender and Disability. Due to cultural sensitivities, the consultant must be female.
• Teaching, production of guideline and Capacity building supervision experience with DPOs/PwDs,
• Working experience in developing country (preferable)

5. Objectives:

5.1 General objective
To provide a guidelines on best practices on how to include women in the design and implementations of projects on disability

5.2 Activities:
• Review documentations on the situation of women with disabilities (WWDs) in Afghanistan
• Review HI Afghanistan projects documents
• To meet different stakeholders relevant to this study
• To visit Hi projects according to security.
• Assess the attitude and perception of the WWDs by Women with Disabilities themselves, their relatives, Communities and local authorities
• Identify the opportunities and barriers WWD face when accessing services.

6. Expected result:

• Guidelines on best practices on how to include women in the design and implementations of projects on disability
• An example of leaflet and booklet on best practices designed in English.

7. Preparation for the Mission
From HI-Afghanistan
1. To sign and send the contract to the resource person
2. To provide the consultancy fee
3. To provide HI projects
4. To organise all logistic and administrative arrangements for the resource person
5. To provide accommodation in the HI guesthouse in Kabul and Herat
6. To provide an HI support letter for the visa
7. To pay for the travel costs
8. To pay for the visa costs

From the consultant
1. To fulfil requirements of the TOR
2. To secure the visa for Afghanistan with the support of the HI letter
3. To provide insurance for herself
4. To sign the contract.

8. Background documentation required

1. All documents to be supplied upon request.

9. Duration of the mission

6 weeks consultancy excluding travel time, 3rd week of February 2009 in agreement with the HI Gender and Disability Consultant

10. Budget
Consultancy fee 125 USD per day of consultancy plus 2 days of travel plus 3 days preparation prior arrival
International Transport HI
Local Transport HI
Accommodation HI

Signature DP Signature Consultant

Sami ul Haq Sami
Advocacy and Awareness Coordinator
Handicap International
Mobile No.: 00 93 (0)799 30 61 32
Add: House # 548, Street # 5th, Qala-e-Fatullah, Kabul, Afghanistan
Email: samiulhaq@hiafgha.org
Web: www.handicap-international.org

Thank you to Sami ul Haq Sami for passing along this job post announcement.

Subscribe to We Can Do
Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).

Other Resources at We Can Do
Catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

[Published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do)]

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

Change for People with Disabilities: Time to Email Obama!

Posted on 7 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Inclusion, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Change for People with Disabilities: Time to Email Obama!

[Addendum, 21 January 2009: Please note that this blog site has no association with the Obama administration or the US government. This means that comments left here will NOT be passed along to the White House.  People who wish to contact Obama’s administration will wish to try the White House web site, or you may wish to communicate with the White House Office of Public Liaison.]

On November 4, 2008, millions of people with disabilities across the United States and around the world joined our non-disabled peers in watching the United States election results. Obama supporters cheered or wept to learn that the next US president would be Obama. Then we cheered or wept again when Obama mentioned people with disabilities in his acceptance speech. History was made–not only for America, not only for Black people, not only for Kenya and all of Africa, not only for Indigenous peoples, but also for people with disabilities.

But we cannot afford to allow the moment to end here. Whether we supported Obama, McCain, or another candidate, we all know there is far too much work ahead before we can say, “Yes, we have made real change for people with disabilities.”

It is time for people with disabilities, our loved ones, our neighbors, and colleagues to join together, across ideological divides, to reach out to Obama. We should all send an email to Kareem Dale, Obama’s National Disability Vote Director (at kdale@barackobama.com), WITH COPIES TO Anne Hayes, a volunteer on the Obama Disability Policy Committee (at ahayesku@hotmail.com).

First, we should thank Obama — and also Kareem Dale — for mentioning people with disabilities in Obama’s acceptance speech on November 4. Ensure that they understand how much it matters simply for us to be included. How did you feel when Obama mentioned us? Share your story.

Second, we should tell Obama and Kareem Dale that we are aware of Obama’s disability platform. He promised to increase educational opportunities; end discrimination; increase employment opportunities; and support independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities. And he promised to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the first international, legally-binding human rights treaty for people with disabilities. Tell Obama and Kareem Dale that we are ready to call Obama to account if he fails us. But more importantly, we are ready to work with him for change for people with disabilities.

It is important to send your disability-related emails to BOTH Kareem Dale AND Anne Hayes (kdale@barackobama.com AND ahayesku@hotmail.com) between now and inauguration day. Kareem Dale’s email address may change between now and January 20, 2009. Anne Hayes can help ensure that emails sent to Kareem Dale are not lost during this time of transition.

Both Kareem Dale and others who have worked on disability issues within the Obama campaign are ready to receive YOUR emails on disability-related issues for US President-elect Obama. Emails are welcome from across the United States and around the world. If you are a US citizen, then please say so in your email.

Learn more about Obama’s plan for people with disabilities at: http://origin.barackobama.com/issues/disabilities/

Yes, the video is captioned. And if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can download Obama’s Full Plan for people with disabilities in PDF format (62 Kb).

Read Obama’s acceptance speech at: http://www.barackobama.com/2008/11/04/remarks_of_presidentelect_bara.php

Want to read someone else’s letter to Obama before you write your own? Some links to a few letters to Obama are posted at: http://reunifygally.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/emails-to-obama-creating-change-for-people-with-disabilities/

Learn more about the CRPD at http://ratifynow.org/ratifynow-faq/

If you wish to contact Obama’s staff on some topic other than disability, then you can send an email via his web page at http://www.change.gov/page/s/ofthepeople

Please circulate this email freely, or post this at your own blog, web site, or Facebook page.

This text was first posted at https://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/disabilities-email-obama/ The most updated version will be here, so please consult before cross-posting.

“It is the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, DISABLED and not disabled — Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.”
–President-Elect Barack Obama
Acceptance speech, November 4, 2008; emphasis added

The above text, with some alterations, is also available in this slide show:

The above text was written by me, Andrea Shettle. Please do copy/paste and circulate the text above the line among other people. Let’s send as many letters as we can to Obama and his staff to ensure they know that people with disabilities around the world are looking to him to stand by us during his tenure as US president.

Subscribe to We Can Do
Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).

Other Resources at We Can Do
Catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 32 so far )

JOB POST: Associate General Secretary for Inclusion, American Friends Service Committee, Philadelphia, USA

Posted on 3 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, Employment, Inclusion, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Note from We Can Do: The American Friends Service Committee strives to be inclusive of people with disabilities in the work they do in developing nations, and also is interested in employing people who themselves have disabilities. The application deadline for this particular opportunity is October 3, 2008. Monitor the AFSC website for more job opportunities or volunteer opportunities in the future.

1501 Cherry Street • Philadelphia, PA 19102-1479

Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization which includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace, and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the Quaker belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.

Job Description

Job Title: Associate General Secretary for Inclusion

Region/Unit: Office of the General Secretary

Supervisor: General Secretary

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Summary of Responsibilities: The AGS for Inclusion will provide leadership for achieving and sustaining diversity as an indispensable element of AFSC’S program and administrative excellence. The AGS/Inclusion will hold responsibility for ensuring steady, broad engagement in the organization’s effort. Reporting to the General Secretary and working closely with the Human Resources Dept., s/he will take initiative in developing programs and procedures and securing resources to enable the recruitment and retention of a diverse staff. To do so, the incumbent will consult and collaborate regularly with AFSC’S leadership, the Diversity Council, the HR Department and, as needed, with departments, regions, programs, staff groups and individual staff members as well. The AGS/Inclusion will act as a resource for administrators and committees addressing related issues of equity; and for those promoting a fair and open workplace environment.

The AGS/Inclusion will serve as AFSC’S affirmative action officer and will hold primary responsibility and accountability for ensuring equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination in all areas and for developing and implementing the organization’s affirmative action plan. Working with the HR Department, s/he will ensure that AFSC’S employment policies and practices comply with all relevant Federal, State, and local requirements as an employer. The incumbent must regularly assess and report whether AFSC is fully complying with equal employment opportunity, non-discrimination, and affirmative action requirements as they apply to AFSC’S employees.

Because AFSC is committed to realizing diversity’s benefits to moving AFSC’S mission forward, the AGS will not only act to promote staff diversity but will contribute to program planning and staff development. The AGS will advise the General Secretary on Inclusion issues. The AGS will support and serve as a member of the Diversity Council. The AGS will also provide support and staff leadership to the Board Race Relations Committee and the National Affirmative Action Committee.


Work closely with the HR Department, General Secretary’s office, national and regional leadership to ensure that AFSC reaches its goals for a diverse staff and that the diversity of the staff is central to moving AFSC’S mission forward.

1. Initiate programs, trainings and discussions to foster institutional awareness of, and commitment to, diversity goals, including gender equity and equal opportunity.

2. Contribute to planning and action that will enable search committees to develop diverse pools of candidates for open positions

3. Work with the HR Department to strengthen recruitment and retention programs for staff.

4. Support and contribute to studies of institutional needs and trends in areas related to diversity; disseminate findings; implement strategies to address findings.

5. Along with HR colleagues, lead the design and planning of staff development programs that ensure a healthy working atmosphere and foster career development for members of under-represented groups.

6. Participate in panels, roundtables and workshops at the local state and national level on issues of diversity and inclusion.

7. With colleagues across the organization, design strategies to improve effective communication and collaboration.

8. Work closely with AFSC leadership to integrate change management methodologies into all planning.

9. Provide staff support and leadership to the National Affirmative Action Committee and the Board Race Relations Committee. Consult with the AFSC Board Nominating Committee, as needed.

Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination and Affirmative Action
Ensure that AFSC’S employment policies and practices comply with all relevant Federal, State and local requirements for equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action. Ensure that the spirit and letter of AFSC’S own Affirmative Action Plan is exceeded.

1. Represent AFSC on matters of diversity and on issues involving compliance agencies.

2. Review AFSC’S Affirmative Action Plan and update it annually, modifying the plan to conform to new regulations and changing law.

3. Develop and institutionalize and effective process for continual review and updating of the Affirmative Action Plan.

4. Direct the work of the Office of Inclusion, confidentially receiving, investigating and resolving complaints of discrimination in accordance with AFSC’S policies. Participate in other investigations of diversity related issues in coordination with the HR department and appropriate organizational leadership.

5. After an assessment, and working with the Finance director, develop an initial plan (with resources and timeline needed) to insure that all AFSC locations are ADA compliant.

6. In cooperation with the International Division, develop and maintain culturally appropriate diversity practices in the international programs.

1. Direct experience working with Equal Employment Opportunity and/or Affirmative Action issues. Working knowledge and understanding of all applicable EEO laws. Direct working experience with – issues of women, people of color, lesbians, gay men, and bisexual and transgendered persons, and people with disabilities. Demonstrated sensitivity to these issues.
2. 10+ years of senior level management experience.
3. Baccalaureate degree required, advanced degree preferred.
4. Demonstrated ability to exercise discretion; set and maintains standards for confidentiality, apply policies with consistency, use creativity in problem solving; ability to integrate information and use sound judgment and retain a positive outlook under pressure.
5. Experience with and commitment to the principles of AFSC in regard to issues of race, class, age, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Commitment to implement AFSC’s affirmative action policy of non-discrimination and plan for the inclusion of women, gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, people of color, and persons with disabilities.
6. Commitment to affirmative action as witness to the Quaker belief in the equal worth of all people. Experience working with a wide range of people from diverse racial, cultural, economic, and other backgrounds. Demonstrated ability to work and communicate with diverse staff and be sensitive to their personnel needs.
7. Belief in and the ability to represent AFSC’s faith-based organizational principles, including a commitment to nonviolence, equality and anti-oppression work, and a belief in the intrinsic worth of each individual.
8. Demonstrated ability to clearly convey information and ideas both verbally and in writing. Resiliency, flexibility and capacity to be effective, maintain productivity, keep focus on results and use sound judgment are required attributes.
9. Demonstrated ability in assessing staff development needs and implementing training solutions as needed.
10. Ability to work collaboratively, building relationships and teams across functions. Ability to negotiate, influence and compromise. Ability to provide and receive feedback.
11. Requires sound judgment and decision making decision skills.
12. Computer proficiency in MS Work, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Experience working with various types of software preferred.
13. Willingness and ability to travel 25% to 40% of the time, to attend evening and weekend meetings, and to be available for consultation within and outside office hours.

The American Friends Service Committee is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified persons are encouraged to apply regardless of their religious affiliation, race, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.

The AFSC National Office is a unionized workplace, represented by District Council 47 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO. This is a management position and is not represented.

AFSC is a smoke-free workplace.

Human Resources Department
GSO/Associate General Secretary – 08/08

All candidates are required to apply via the AFSC jobs webpage at www.AFSC.org/jobs. The resume submission deadline is Friday, October 3, 2008

Additional information regarding AFSC can be found on its website, www.afsc.org.

Thank you to Linda Lotz at AFSC for passing along this job announcement.

Subscribe to We Can Do
Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).

Other Resources at We Can Do
Catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Right to Food for People with Disabilities: Tell FAO What You Know

Posted on 2 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

English; Français; español

Does disability make a difference in who does, and who doesn’t, have access to food in your country? If so, what are the causes of this inequality? This call for information and comments from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is not specifically targeted at the disability community. However, this would be a good opportunity to share what you know about disability and food. The reports that FAO gathers can be used to help educate people about why people with disabilities may need special attention when protecting the rights of all people to have access to food.

Please read the following text closely then send your inquiries or comments to righttofood@fao.org, NOT We Can Do. Comments may be sent to FAO at any time. Feedback sent by September 10, 2008, might be shared at an upcoming Forum on the Right to Food, but is still equally welcome after that date. Thank you.

English; Français; español

The Right to Food Unit at FAO is currently working towards the creation of a database where experiences with the implementation of right to food at country level will be recorded. The aim is to gather, compile and make available information on various actions undertaken by governments, other administrative bodies and civil society to implement the Voluntary Guidelines for the progressive realization of the right to adequate food (Right to Food Guidelines, see www.fao.org/righttofood). In so doing, we need your help to assemble experiences and record specific examples of actions.

Your contributions to this exchange of practical experiences and lessons learned will be crucial to promote the implementation of the right to food in the context of national food security. Selected contributions will be compiled into a background document to be discussed at the Right to Food Forum which will be held from 1 to 3 October 2008 in Rome. The Forum’s purpose is to review achievements and draw lessons learned from the experiences of key players in the field of right to food. A number of country experiences will be presented and working groups will focus on five thematic areas: advocacy and capacity development; vulnerability information and assessment; legislation and accountability; strategies and coordination; and benchmarks and monitoring. Authors of the case studies selected will be acknowledged in the above-mentioned document.

In order to write your narrative of the specific case that you will report on, we have attached an outline, with a request to complete it following the guidelines provided below:

Please complete the first part of the outline providing:
– a short title for the case which typifies the lesson(s) that it provides,
– the country concerned,
– the year in which the action took place,
– your full name as the author/ narrator of the story,
– sources used to obtain specific information,
– the name and email of a person we can contact for further information, other than yourself, and
– any website or other internet link you deem relevant for your report.

We are looking for the best practices and good examples in one or more of the aforementioned five thematic areas. For organizational purposes, please check the category box to which your report corresponds. Contextual information about each area is provided below, as well as some examples of concrete experiences that could be shared in the narrative part:

Advocacy and Capacity Development: Actions found in this category are the first steps in the implementation of the Right to Food. Indeed, to be able to meet their obligations, duty-bearers must be informed of their responsibilities and rights-holders should know how to claim their right to food. Activities comprise actions which raise the public’s awareness on the right to food, or which empower individuals to actually claim their rights, capacity development of duty-bearers, awareness raising activities by duty-bearers and civil society organizations, etc.

Vulnerability Information and Assessment: It is important to identify the food insecure, the vulnerable and the marginalized and to understand why they are food insecure. Assessments of existing institutions, laws, policies and programmes will help identify gaps, shortcomings and priorities for action. Activities comprise the critical analysis of underlying and root causes of hunger; undertaking assessments of legal, institutional and policy frameworks for the realization of the right to food; the identification of vulnerable groups; the collection, analysis and availability of disaggregated data; efforts to ensure involvement of the most vulnerable in decisions affecting their lives; actions undertaken to combat discrimination, etc.
Legislation and Accountability: With enforceable justice, trusted institutions and a legal system oriented towards the human right to food, rights-holders will be in a position to hold duty-bearers accountable for guaranteeing food security. The allocation of obligations and responsibilities must be clear. Lessons learned relate to activities in promoting the legal recognition of the right to food; drafting and adopting a specific framework law; revising sectorial laws and harmonizing them with right to food principles and food security goals; improving the implementation of existing laws; the development and implementation of local regulations; training of judges and lawyers; experiences on how recourse mechanisms – judicial, quasi-judicial – have addressed right to food cases; the introduction and use of administrative recourse mechanisms in social programmes (e.g. school feeding); information about roles and responsibilities; initiatives to increase accountability, transparency, as well as the legal empowerment of rights holders, etc.

Strategies and Coordination: Through effective human rights-oriented policies, coherent strategies and coordinated functional programmes, duty-bearers can fulfil their obligations to enable people to feed themselves. Public policies should focus on those whose rights are not fully realized, and on their participation in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of processes. Experiences in this area will refer to the incorporation of the right to food in policies and strategies; the review of other policies and strategies in view of their impact on the realization of the right to food; the inclusion of human rights principles in food security programmes; eligibility criteria to access public services (e.g. social assistance); the improvement of coordination and coherence among different sectors and levels of government; the creation, mandate and legal clarity of institutional arrangements; the political empowerment of the most vulnerable; etc.

Benchmarks and Monitoring: By measuring progress towards achievable goals through ongoing, community-based, national and international evaluation, duty-bearers and rights-holders can contribute to sustainable food security for all. Governments or other relevant bodies should monitor the implementation of laws, strategies, policies, and programmes, to ensure that their implementation is conducive to the realization and protection of the right to food and to take remedial action in case they are not. Lessons learned with implementation of the right to food in this area comprise the definition of benchmarks and targets; the work of institutions mandated with right to food monitoring; the inclusion of human rights-based indicators, targets and benchmarks; the observation of human rights principles of transparency, participation, non-discrimination and empowerment in the monitoring process; the dissemination of right to food monitoring information to rights-holders and duty-bearers; the examination of public expenditure in view of making the best use towards the realization of the right to food; etc.

The last part of the narrative outline is the “Experiences” box where you should write the actual report. This should be analytical on factors of success and failure, rather than a descriptive account of actions. Your report should take a maximum of two pages (any background materials can be attached) and should follow the following structure:

1- Lessons learnt:
Briefly state the relevance of the action you are reporting on for the right to food. In essence, why is the action relevant or helpful to right to food advocates or practitioners, duty-bearers or right- holders?

2- Background:
Provide a brief background for the action in question. What initiated the action or the event you are reporting on? If you talk about a government activity, was this part of a larger programme? If you report on an advocacy or a training event, what triggered it? In general what were the objectives of the action? How should it foster the realization of the right to food? Lastly, explain how the action was put in place and what government bodies or other parties are responsible for its monitoring. Feel free to add anything else you judge relevant.

3- Implementation:
This is the most important section for this exercise. Has the action’s implementation resolved the right to food issues it was created for? Did the implementation process conform to human rights principles? Please also analyse the success or failures of the action. What were the external and internal factors that influenced, positively or negatively, a certain activity? How was success measured, (e.g. by the popularity of an action among the population or by its benefits to the marginalized groups of society)? Factors of failure may be found in the failure to follow human rights principles, failures in the design of the measure or institutional weaknesses. Also, please assess the impact of the action on peoples’ possibility to realize their right to food. Any figures you might have to support your argument should be included here.

4- Recommendations/ conclusion:
Based on the analysis you have presented, conclude with the main lessons learned and recommendations for improving the process and/or outcome of the action. If you refer to a case or recommendations drawn from a study by FAO, other UN bodies, NGOs, institutions or individual authors, please provide these and identify the organisation or author. Alternatively, please name the document from which we can extract the recommendations.

Any additional comments should be included in the “Remarks” box. Additionally, please attach any publications and supporting material that you deem relevant.

We appreciate your cooperation in developing the right to food implementation database and look forward to receiving your contributions. Please use our generic email account: righttofood@fao.org.

Note that in order for your contributions to be reviewed in time for the Forum, they should be sent no later than September, 10th 2008. Reports received at a later stage are equally welcome and will make a valuable contribution to the ongoing work on our database and the continuing exchange on how to promote the implementation of the right to food.

Should you have any questions regarding how to complete the form, please address your message to:
Mr. Frank Mischler, Tel. +39-06-57053919,
fax: +39-06-57053712.

For further information on the Forum, kindly consult our website: http://www.fao.org/righttofood/rtf_forum/index_en.html

Thank you for your time and collaboration.

Right to Food Unit
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

English; Français; español

L’Unité pour le droit à l’alimentation de la FAO est en train de développer une base de données qui regroupera les différentes expériences des pays dans la mise en œuvre du droit à l’alimentation. Le but est de regrouper, compiler, et de rendre accessible l’information sur les différentes actions entreprises par les gouvernements ou autres entités publiques et la société civile pour mettre en œuvre les Directives volontaires à l’appui de la concrétisation progressive du droit à une alimentation adéquate dans le contexte de la sécurité alimentaire nationale (Directives sur le Droit à l’alimentation, voir www.fao.org/righttofood). Pour ce faire, nous avons besoin de votre aide pour rassembler les expériences et enregistrer des exemples spécifiques d’actions entreprises.

Vos contributions à cet échange d’expériences et de leçons apprises seront cruciales à la promotion de la mise en œuvre du droit à l’alimentation dans le contexte de la sécurité alimentaire nationale. Les contributions choisies, seront compilées dans un document de base qui facilitera la discussion pendant le Forum sur le droit à l’alimentation qui se déroulera du 1 au 3 Octobre 2008 à Rome. Le but du forum est non seulement de réviser les accomplissements des différents pays, mais aussi de tirer des leçons de l’expérience de pays clef dans le domaine du droit à l’alimentation. Un bon nombre d’expériences seront présentés et des groupes de travaille se concentreront sur cinq domaines d’interventions: sensibilisation et formation; information et évaluation; législation et obligation de rendre des comptes; stratégies et coordination; et critères et contrôle. Les auteurs des rapports choisis seront reconnus dans le document de travail mentionné ci-dessus.

Pour faciliter la rédaction de votre narrative sur des cas spécifiques, nous vous proposons de suivre le plan en annexe, que nous vous demandons de compléter en suivant les instructions suivantes:

Veuillez remplir la première partie du plan en donnant:
– un nom assez court à votre rédaction qui résume la leçon que celle-ci contient,
– le nom du pays concerné,
– l’année dans laquelle l’action s’est déroulée,
– votre nom complet en tant qu’auteur de la narration ainsi que votre adresse,
– les sources que vous avez consultées pour obtenir les informations que vous présentez,
– le nom et le courrier électronique d’une personne, autre que vous-même, que nous pourrions contacter pour plus d’informations et,
– un site Internet ou autre lien Internet que vous jugez utile pour votre rapport.

Nous recherchons les meilleures pratiques et de bons exemples dans un ou plusieurs des cinq domaines d’interventions ci-dessous : .

Sensibilisation et formation: les actions que l’on trouve dans cette catégorie représentent les premiers pas vers une mise en œuvre du droit a l’alimentation. En effet, pour pouvoir s’acquitter de leurs obligations dans la lutte contre la faim, les porteurs d’obligations doivent être informés de leurs responsabilités et les titulaires de droits doivent savoir comment faire valoir leur droit à l’alimentation. Les activités comprennent des actions de sensibilisation du public, ou qui renforcent le pouvoir des individus de faire valoir leur droit, le développement des capacités des porteurs d’obligations, des activités de sensibilisation par la société civile.

Information sur la vulnérabilité et évaluation: Il est important d’identifier les titulaires de droits les plus démunis, les plus vulnérables et les plus marginalisés et de comprendre pourquoi ils sont dans une situation alimentaire précaire. L’évaluation des institutions en place, des lois, des politiques et des programmes aidera à identifier les lacunes, les limitations et les priorités pour agir. Les activités comprennent l’analyse critique des raisons et des causes profondes de la malnutrition; l’évaluation de la structure des institutions légales et des politiques institutionnelles pour la réalisation du droit a l’alimentation ; l’identification des groupes vulnérables ; la collection, l’analyse et la disponibilité de données désagrégées ; les efforts pour s’assurer de la participation des plus démunis dans la prise de décisions qui affectent leurs vies ; les actions entreprises pour combattre la discrimination, etc.

Législation et obligation de rendre des compte: A l’aide d’une justice exécutoire, fiable et d’un système juridique axé sur le droit humain à l’alimentation, les titulaires de droits seront a même de tenir les porteurs d’obligations responsables de la garantie de la sécurité alimentaire. La répartition des obligations et des responsabilités doit être claire. Les leçons apprises sont liées aux activités promouvant la reconnaissance légale du droit à l’alimentation; la formulation et l’adoption d’une loi cadre; la révision des lois sectorielles et leur harmonisation avec les principes du droit à l’alimentation et le but de la sécurité alimentaire; l’amélioration de la mise en place des lois existantes; le développement et la mise en place de réglementations locales; la formation de juges et d’avocats; diverses expériences sur la façon dont les mécanismes de recours – judiciaires et quasi-judiciaires – ont adressé des cas lié au droit à l’alimentation ; l’introduction et l’usage de mécanisme de recours administratifs dans les programmes sociaux (ex : alimentation scolaire); l’information sur les rôles et responsabilités de chacun; les initiatives pour améliorer la responsabilité, la transparence ainsi que le renforcement légal des titulaires de droits, etc.

Stratégie et coordination: À travers une politique orientée sur les droits de l’homme, des stratégies cohérentes et des programmes fonctionnels et coordonnés, les porteurs d’obligations peuvent s’acquitter de leurs obligations et permettre aux gens de se nourrir indépendamment. Les politiques publiques doivent se concentrer sur ceux dont les droits ne sont pas entièrement reconnus, et sur la participation de ceux-ci dans la formulation, mise en œuvre et évaluation des procédés de mise en oeuvre. Les expériences dans ce domaine se référèrent à l’incorporation du droit à l’alimentation dans les politiques et stratégies en vue de leur effet sur la réalisation du droit à l’alimentation; l’inclusion des principes des droits de l’homme dans les programmes pour la sécurité alimentaire; les critères d’éligibilité pour pouvoir accéder aux services publiques (ex : assistance sociale); l’amélioration de la coordination et la cohérence entre les différents secteurs et niveaux du gouvernement; la création, le mandat et la clarté légale des arrangements institutionnels; le renforcement du pouvoir politique des plus vulnérable; etc.

Critères et contrôle: Les porteur d’obligations et les titulaires de droits peuvent participer a une sécurité alimentaire durable pour tous, s’ils s’engagent avec des organismes nationaux et internationaux dans une évaluation continue des institutions mises en place et en mesurant les progrès fait vers des objectifs achevables. Les gouvernements et autres entités en rapport avec le droit à l’alimentation doivent contrôler la mise en oeuvre des lois, des stratégies, des politiques et des programmes, pour s’assurer que ces instruments mènent effectivement à la réalisation du droit à l’alimentation et prendre des mesures correctionnelles si ce n’est pas le cas. Les leçons apprises avec la mise en place du droit à l’alimentation dans ce domaine comprennent la définition de critères et objectifs; le travail des institutions responsables du contrôle du droit à l’alimentation; l’inclusion d’indicateurs basés sur les droits de l’homme; l’observation des principes des droits de l’homme de la transparence, la participation, la non-discrimination et l’autonomisation tout au long du processus de contrôle ; la diffusion aux porteurs d’obligations et aux titulaires de droits d’informations sur le contrôle; l’examen des dépenses publiques en vue d’en faire le meilleur usage pour le droit à l’alimentation; etc.

La dernière partie du plan de la narration est la case « Expériences » où vous écrirez votre rapport. Celui-ci devra être une analyse des facteurs de succès et d’échecs, plutôt qu’une description des actions. Votre rapport devra faire un maximum de deux pages (vous pouvez attacher tout document que vous jugez nécessaire) et devra suivre la structure suivante:

1- Leçons apprises:
Indiquez brièvement la pertinence de l’action que vous rapportez pour le droit à l’alimentation. Essentiellement, en quoi l’action que vous rapportez aide-t-elle les militants et pratiquants du droit à l’alimentation, les porteur d’obligations et les titulaire de droits?

2- Contexte:
Veuillez fournir un contexte bref pour l’action dont il est question. Quel a été le facteur initiateur de cette action? Si vous parlez d’une activité gouvernementale, l’action fait-elle partie d’un programme plus important? Si votre rapport porte sur un événement de plaidoyer ou de formation, quel a été le facteur déclencheur? En général quels ont été les objectifs de l’action? Comment peut-elle aider à la réalisation du droit à l’alimentation? En dernier lieu, expliquez comment l’action a été mise en place et quelles entités publiques ou autres parties sont responsables pour son contrôle. Vous pouvez rajouter toute autre information que vous jugez utiles.

3- Mise en place:
Cette partie est la plus importante de cet exercice. La mise en place de l’action en question a-t-elle résolu les problèmes liés au droit à l’alimentation pour lesquelles elle a été entreprise? Le processus de mise en place était-il conforme aux principes des droits de l’homme? Veuillez aussi analyser le succès ou l’échec de l’action. Quels ont été les facteurs internes et externes qui ont influencé positivement ou négativement une certaine action? Comment le succès a-t-il été mesuré, (ex : par la popularité de l’action chez la population ou par les bénéfices de cette action pour les communautés marginalisées)? Les facteurs d’échec peuvent être mesurés par le non suivi des principes des droits de l’homme, les problèmes issus de la conception des mesures ou de la faiblesse des institutions en place. Veuillez aussi évaluer l’effet de l’action sur la capacité de la population à réaliser leur droit à l’alimentation. Si vous disposez de chiffres qui puissent appuyer vos arguments, veuillez les inclure dans cette section.

4- Recommandations/ Conclusions:
Basé sur votre analyse, veuillez conclure en rappelant les leçons apprises les plus importantes et formulez des recommandations pour améliorer le processus de mise en oeuvre et/ou le résultat de l’action. Si vous vous référez à un cas ou à des recommandations documenté dans une étude de la FAO, ou d’une autre organisation des Nations Unies, ONGs, institutions ou auteurs indépendant, veuillez les attacher à ce document et identifier l’organisation ou l’auteur. Sinon, veuillez préciser le nom du document duquel nous pourrons extraire les recommandations.

Tout autre commentaire devrait être inclus dans la case « Remarques ». Aussi, veuillez attacher tout document et matériel de support que vous jugez utile.

Nous apprécions votre coopération dans le développement de la base de données sur la mise en place du droit à l’alimentation et nous réjouissons de recevoir vos contributions, que vous voudrez bien envoyer à notre adresse électronique: righttofood@fao.org.
Notez que pour que vos contributions puissent être retenues pour le Forum, elles doivent être reçues d’ici le 10 septembre 2008. Les rapports reçus plus tard seront également très utiles et constitueront une contribution importante pour base de données et pour l’échange continu en vue de la promotion de la mise en oeuvre du droit à l’alimentation.
Si vous avez besoin de renseignements supplémentaires, veuillez adresser votre message à: Frank Mischler, tel. +39-06-57053919, fax: +39-06-57053712. Pour plus d’information sur le Forum, veuillez consulter notre site Internet: http://www.fao.org/righttofood/rtf_forum/index_en.html

En vous remerciant sincèrement pour votre collaboration.

Unité pour le droit a l’alimentation
Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’Alimentation et l’Agriculture.

English; Français; español


La Unidad del Derecho a la Alimentación de la FAO se encuentra actualmente trabajando en una base de datos en la cual se recopilarán las experiencias relacionadas con la implementación del derecho a la alimentación a nivel nacional. El objetivo consiste en reunir, compilar y tener a disposición la información relacionada con las actividades desarrolladas por los gobiernos, la sociedad civil y demás entidades administrativas encaminadas a implementar las Directrices Voluntarias en apoyo de la realización progresiva del derecho a una alimentación adecuada (Directrices del Derecho a la Alimentación, ver www.fao.org/righttofood) . Para cumplir con tal objetivo, necesitamos que nos ayuden a reunir las distintas experiencias para así poder archivar ejemplos específicos de acciones que hayan sido emprendidas a nivel nacional.

Sus contribuciones en el marco de este intercambio de experiencias y lecciones aprendidas serán de gran importancia para promover la implementación del derecho a la alimentación en el contexto de la seguridad nacional alimentaria. Algunas de las contribuciones serán seleccionadas y compiladas en un documento que será discutido en el Foro sobre el Derecho a la Alimentación que tendrá lugar del 1 al 3 de Octubre de 2008 en Roma. El Foro tiene como propósito revisar los logros obtenidos y sacar provecho de las lecciones aprendidas por parte de aquellos actores clave en materia del derecho a la alimentación. Un gran número de experiencias relativas a diversos países serán presentadas y los grupos de trabajo se enfocarán en las siguientes temáticas: promoción y desarrollo de capacidad, evaluación e información, legislación y responsabilidad, estrategias y coordinación e indicadores y seguimiento. Los autores de los estudios de casos que sean seleccionados serán reconocidos y citados en la parte inicial del documento que será discutido en el Foro anteriormente mencionado.

Para redactar el caso específico sobre el cual deseen informarnos, hemos adjuntado un esquema que les pedimos completar, siguiendo las instrucciones siguientes:

Completen por favor la primera parte del esquema indicando:

– un breve título para el estudio del caso específico por medio del cual se ilustre la(s) lección(es) que de éste se ha(n) podido desprender.
– el país respectivo
– el año en el cual la acción u actividad tuvo lugar
– su nombre completo como autor/ narrador de la historia,
– fuentes utilizadas en la obtención de información específica
– el nombre y el correo electrónico de una persona distinta a usted que podamos contactar para mayor información, y
– algún sitio o página de internet que usted considere relevante para nuestro informe.

Estamos en búsqueda de las mejores prácticas y de los mejores ejemplos aplicados en una o en varias de las áreas temáticas anteriormente mencionadas. Por motivos de organización, por favor señale la casilla correspondiente a la categoría a la cual pertenece su informe.

Promoción y Capacitación: Las actividades enmarcadas dentro de esta categoría constituyen los primeros pasos para la implementación del derecho a la alimentación. De hecho, los titulares de obligaciones sólo pueden cumplir éstas mismas si han sido previamente capacitados sobre sus responsabilidades y los titulares de derechos sólo saben cómo reclamar su derecho a la alimentación si han sido previamente informados. Las actividades incluyen acciones destinadas a aumentar la sensibilización del público en materia del derecho a la alimentación, a dotar a los individuos de capacidades para que puedan reclamar sus derechos, incluyen igualmente desarrollo de capacidad por parte de los titulares de obligaciones, actividades de sensibilización destinadas a los titulares de obligaciones y a las organizaciones de la sociedad civil.

Información y evaluación: Es de gran importancia identificar la inseguridad alimentaria, las personas más vulnerables y aquellas que se encuentran en condiciones marginales y así poder entender las razones que generan tal inseguridad. La evaluación de ciertas instituciones, leyes, políticas y programas ayuda a identificar los vacíos, las limitantes y las prioridades al momento de actuar. Las actividades incluyen el análisis de las raíces y las profundas causas del hambre, evaluaciones sobre el aspecto legal, institucional y el marco político de la realización del derecho a la alimentación; la identificación de los grupos más vulnerables; la recolección, análisis y disponibilidad de datos individualizados, esfuerzos para asegurar la participación de las personas más vulnerables en las tomas de decisiones que afectan sus vidas, acciones realizadas para combatir la discriminación, etc.

Legislación y responsabilidad: A través de una justicia efectiva, instituciones fidedignas y un sistema jurídico orientado hacia el derecho humano a la alimentación, los titulares de derechos podrán hacer responder a quienes tienen la obligación de garantizar su seguridad alimentaria. La repartición de obligaciones y responsabilidades debe ser clara. Las lecciones se encuentran en relación con la promoción del reconocimiento legal del derecho a la alimentación, la elaboración y la redacción de un marco legal específico, la revisión de las leyes correspondientes a cada sector y su respectiva armonización con los principios del derecho a la alimentación y con los objetivos de la seguridad alimentaria. Otras actividades se encuentran destinadas a mejorar la implementación de leyes, a desarrollar nuevas regulaciones, a la formación de jueces y abogados, experiencias relativas a la forma mediante la cual los recursos de tipo judicial o cuasi judicial han abordado los casos del derecho a la alimentación, la interposición y el uso de recursos de tipo administrativo al interior de programas sociales (ej. alimentación escolar), información sobre los roles y las responsabilidades, las iniciativas destinadas a incrementar la responsabilidad de quienes son titulares de obligaciones, la transparencia y la capacidad de los titulares respecto de sus propios derechos, etc.

Estrategia y coordinación: Mediante políticas eficaces orientadas hacia los derechos humanos y mediante estrategias coordinadas basadas en el derecho humanitario, los titulares de obligaciones pueden cumplir con su deber de hacer posible que los titulares de derechos se alimenten por sus propios medios. Las políticas públicas deberían enfocarse en la formulación, implementación y evaluación de ciertos procesos. La experiencia hace referencia a la incorporación del derecho a la alimentación en las políticas y estrategias, la revisión de otras políticas y estrategias teniendo en cuenta su impacto para la realización del derecho a la alimentación, la inclusión de principios de derechos humanos en los programas de seguridad alimentaria, criterios de elegibilidad para tener acceso a los servicios públicos (ej. protección social); los avances en materia de coordinación y coherencia dentro de los diferentes sectores y niveles del gobierno, la creación, el mandato y la claridad legal de los acuerdos institucionales; el empoderamiento a nivel político de aquellos que son más vulnerables, etc.

Indicadores y seguimiento: Mediante objetivos realizables y mediante una evaluación de base comunitaria y continua a nivel nacional e internacional, los titulares de derechos y los titulares de obligaciones pueden contribuir para lograr una seguridad alimentaria para todos. Los gobiernos y demás actores que resultan relevantes deberían hacerle seguimiento a las leyes, a las estrategias, a las políticas y a los programas con el objetivo de asegurar que su implementación esté encaminada a la realización y a la protección del derecho a la alimentación y a tomar medidas en caso de que así no sea. Las lecciones que deja la implementación del derecho a la alimentación en esta área comprenden la definición de indicadores y objetivos, el trabajo de instituciones cuyo mandato consiste en hacer seguimiento al derecho a la alimentación; la inclusión de objetivos e indicadores basados en los derechos humanos; el respeto a la transparencia, la participación, la no-discriminación y el empoderamiento como principios de derechos humanos aplicables en la etapa de seguimiento, difusión de información relativa a dicho seguimiento; el análisis del gasto público esperando que éste sea destinado a la realización del derecho a la alimentación, etc.

La última parte del esquema es la casilla de “experiencias” en la cual deberán escribir su informe. Este debe contener un análisis de los factores que han producido éxito y fracaso en vez de ser un informe que contenga una mera descripción de actividades. Sus informes deberán contener un máximo de dos páginas (cualquier material adicional podrá ser adjuntado) y deberán seguir la siguiente estructura.

1- Lecciones aprendidas:
Establecer brevemente la relevancia de las actividades sobre las cuales nos está informando en materia del derecho a la alimentación. ¿Por qué la acción resulta ser relevante o de ayuda para la promoción del derecho a la alimentación en manos de quienes lo defienden así como para quienes son titulares de derechos y titulares de obligaciones?

2- Antecedentes:
Brindar un breve conjunto de antecedentes para el tema en cuestión. ¿Qué suscitó el inicio de la acción o el evento respecto del cual usted nos está informando? En caso de estar haciendo referencia a una actividad gubernamental, ¿se encontraba ésta al interior de un programa de mayor escala? Si nos está informando sobre un evento relativo a promoción o capacitación, ¿qué o quiénes le dieron tal impulso? ¿Cuales eran los objetivos iniciales de tal acción? ¿En qué sentido esta acción resulta ser positiva para el derecho a la alimentación? Finalmente, explique por favor la manera por medio de la cual esta acción fue puesta en práctica así como las responsabilidades que los órganos del gobierno y otros actores tienen en lo relativo a su seguimiento. Por favor adjunte información adicional si considera que ésta puede resultar relevante.

3. Implementación:
Esta es la parte más importante de este ejercicio. ¿La acción llevada a cabo ayudó o no a resolver las problemáticas para las cuales ésta fue creada? ¿El proceso de implementación respetó o no los principios de derechos humanos? Por favor tenga en cuenta y analice el éxito o el fracaso de esta acción. ¿Cuáles pudieron ser los factores externos e internos que influenciaron de manera positiva o negativa una determinada actividad? ¿Con qué criterio fue determinado el carácter exitoso de tal acción (ej: por su popularidad dentro de la opinión pública o por los beneficios que ésta aportó a los grupos más marginados de la sociedad)? Es posible que los factores de fracaso tengan como origen la mala aplicación de los principios de derechos humanos, un diseño no adecuado de la medida como tal o simplemente la fragilidad institucional. Por favor formule una evaluación del impacto que la acción haya tenido sobre la posibilidad de que las personas logren realizar su derecho a la alimentación. Cualquier tipo de elemento que pueda dar sustento a su argumentación deberá ser incluido en esté acápite.

4- Recomendaciones/ conclusiones:
Tomando como base el análisis que usted ha presentado, concluya a partir de las principales lecciones aprendidas y brinde las recomendaciones que considere pertinentes para mejorar el proceso o el resultado de determinada acción o actividad. Si usted hace referencia a un determinado caso o a recomendaciones cuyo origen es un estudio realizado por la FAO, otros organismos de Naciones Unidas, organizaciones no gubernamentales, instituciones o individuos, por favor cítelos e identifique la respectiva organización o el respectivo autor. Podrá igualmente inserir el título del documento a partir de cual se pueden extraer dichas recomendaciones.

Los comentarios adicionales deberán ser incluidos en la casilla “Comentarios”. Adicionalmente, por favor adjunte al informe las publicaciones y el material de base que considere relevante.

Apreciamos su cooperación para desarrollar la implementación de la base de datos del derecho a la alimentación y esperamos recibir sus contribuciones. Por favor diríjase a nuestro correo electrónico general righttofood@fao.org.

Tenga presente que para que podamos revisar sus contribuciones con anterioridad al Foro, éstas deberán ser enviadas a más tardar el 10 de septiembre de 2008. Los informes recibidos con posterioridad a la fecha indicada serán igualmente bienvenidos, constituirán de igual forma una valiosa contribución para el desarrollo de nuestra base de datos y serán de gran importancia para una continua retroalimentación encaminada a la promoción de la implementación del derecho a la alimentación.

Para mayor información relacionada con el diligenciamiento del presente formato, por favor dirigirse al Sr. Frank Mischler. Tel +39-06-57053919, fax: +39-06-57053712.
Para mayor información relacionada con el Foro, tenga la amabilidad de consultar nuestra página web: http://www.fao.org/righttofood/rtf_forum/index_en.html

Gracias por su tiempo y por su atención,

Unidad del Derecho a la Alimentación
Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación

English; Français; español

I received this notice via the Global Partnership for Disability and Development email discussion list.

Subscribe to We Can Do
Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).

Other Resources at We Can Do
Catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

NEWS: Advocates urge UN Social Development Commission to Make Development Agenda Disability-Inclusive

Posted on 18 March 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Inclusion, News, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In February 2008, delegates urged the United Nations Social Development Commission to help ensure that people with disabilities are included in efforts to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in developing countries.

A panel of experts with disabilities pointed out that people who are poor are at higher risk for acquiring disabilities due to poor nutrition, health care, and living conditions. Meanwhile, people who have disabilities are at higher risk for poverty because they encounter barriers to education, employment, and public services.

The Commission also was reminded that people with disabilities have the same desire and rights as everyone else to feel needed and be part of society. This makes it critical to remove barriers to the participation of people with disabilities and mainstream their concern into overall development efforts in developing countries. Doing so improves the lives of people with disabilities and also improves society as a whole by increasing productivity.

A more detailed summary of each speaker’s remarks to the UN Social Development Commission, and the outcome, is available at


The information given in this blog post is summarized from the Media-Newswire press release referenced above. We Can Do first learned about this link from the RatifyNow email discussion group.

Subscribe to We Can Do
Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).

Other Resources at We Can Do
Catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

We Can Do Copyright
This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com). Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts in full: BlogAfrica.com and www.RatifyNow.org. Other sites are most likely plagiarizing this post without permission.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

SURVEY: HIV/AIDS Among Jamaicans with Disabilities

Posted on 13 February 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Health, HIV/AIDS, Latin America & Caribbean | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Graduate student Nalini Asha Reyes at San Diego State University in California, USA, is conducting a survey about HIV/AIDS among people with disability in Jamaica. Her survey is based on an earlier, similar global survey by researcher Dr. Nora Groce at Yale University.

Nalini Asha Reyes is looking for people to participate in her survey. She is particularly looking for people in or from Jamaica but will also welcome survey results from elsewhere in the Caribbean. If interested in participating, please read her letter below then contact her at naliniasha@gmail.com to request a copy of the survey. She can send it to you in Word document or PDF format.

HIV/AIDS and Disability in Jamaica Survey

Please help:

Today, little is known about HIV/AIDS among people with disability. We would like to know how the epidemic is affecting individuals and groups with all types of disability in Jamaica and we ask you to help. We are interested in disabled people of all ages, and disabled people living with their families, on their, own, or in institutions.

We send this survey with the request that you fill it out on behalf of the organization or advocacy group you work with. (If you think someone else in your organization would know more about these questions, please give it to them to fill out). Your information has been provided either through the public website of the National Aids Committee of Jamaica, or by an Internet search using the words, “HIV/AIDS,” “Jamaica,” and “Disability.”

We are interested in hearing both from organizations that are working on HIV/AIDS issues and from organizations that are not currently involved in HIV/AIDS issues.

We will be looking for information about programs that provide HIV/AIDS education, interventions and services to disabled people and communities. We would also welcome stories from Disability advocates about attempts to get help for HIV/AIDS in one’s community, examples about not being able to get help for one’s community, stories about governments and HIV/AIDS voluntary organizations that have tried to reach disabled people and so forth.

You must be over the age of 18 to complete and return this survey.

This survey should require less than 30 minutes of your time, and can be saved and emailed back as a PDF or MS Word document. Please note that there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers to any of these questions. Also, feel free to leave blank any questions for which you may not know the answer or which you may not feel comfortable answering. However, keep in mind we realize there is often little information available on this topic and so we are also interested in people’s ideas, impressions, knowledge, practices and attitudes. All information submitted will be kept completely confidential and will never be linked to your organization or team. Also, please note that we are not asking (and do not want) personal information or names of individuals who might have HIV/AIDS – we feel it is very important that we do not invade anyone’s privacy.

If you already have information about HIV/AIDS and Disability from your own organization or educational materials, information on training, studies, meetings, newspaper articles, or other materials relating to HIV/AIDS that you would like to share with us, we would appreciate it. If you know of a program or project that you think we should learn more about, please let us know. Finally, if you know of other Disability organizations, advocates, or government agencies who might have information about HIV/AIDS and Disability, we would appreciate it if you would forward this announcement on to them.

Language: If it is easier for you to write in a language other than English, please fill out the form in whatever language is easiest for you.

Sincerest thanks,

Nalini Asha Reyes
Graduate Student and Special Education Teacher
San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-1170, USA
Phone: + 858.531.0847
e-mail: naliniasha@gmail.com

John R. Johnson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
San Diego State University
College of Education; Department of Special Education
5500 Campanile Dr., San Diego, CA 92182-1170
Phone: +619.594.3841; Fax: +619.594.6628
Email: johnson7@mail.sdsu.edu

Again, people interested in participating in the survey should send an email to Nalini Asha Reyes at naliniasha@gmail.com to request a copy of the survey.

Thank you to Nalini Asha Reyes for alerting me to this survey. I hope to be able to eventually post or link to the results of this survey.

Also at We Can Do: catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities that might be helpful for your organization; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

FELLOWSHIP: Intl Fellowship Program for West Africa for 2009/10 Academic Year

Posted on 6 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Education and Training Opportunities, Fellowships & Scholarships, Opportunities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Addendum, Feb. 17, 2009: Please note that this blog post is more than one year old and advertises the 2008 application round for the 2009/10 academic year. However, this is an annual opportunity. The application deadline for the 2010/11 academic year is February 27, 2009. Please consult the International Fellowship program site directly for updated information at either http://www.aau.org/ifp/ or at http://www.pathfind.org/ifp]

***************OLD INFORMATION FOLLOWS BELOW THIS LINE, Consult http://www.aau.org/ifp for updated details************

The International Fellowship Program invites all people in certain West African countries, including people with disabilities, to apply for a scholarship. The deadline is February 29, 2008 for the 2009/2010 academic year.

This paragraph is taken from the IFP web site: The International Fellowships Program (IFP) is a program supported by the Ford Foundation, and coordinated in West Africa by the Association of African Universities (AAU) in collaboration with Pathfinder International in Nigeria and the West African Research Center (WARC) in Senegal. IFP provides fellowships for advanced study to exceptional individuals who will use their education to further development in their own countries and greater social and economic justice worldwide. IFP fellowships will be awarded to applicants from diverse backgrounds, including social groups and communities that lack systematic access to higher education.

IFP is planning to award 37 fellowships in West Africa for the 2009/10 academic school year. These fellowships are meant for students who have already completed one degree and are ready to attend graduate school anywhere in the world.

People who wish to learn more about this opportunity should read about it at the IFP web site at:


Inquiries about the scholarship program can also be directed to the following contact:

Pathfinder International Nigeria Country Office
35 Justice Sowemimo St., Asokoro
Abuja FCT
Tel: 09-314 7378
Email: ifpnigeria@pathfind.org

The Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities of Nigeria (JONPWD) also has further information about the scholarship program. JONPWD can be reached at duhkb@yahoo.com.

We Can Do first learned about this scholarship opportunity through the Disabled People International (DPI) on-line newsletter. People can subscribe to the DPI newsletter for free, or read it online, by following the link. (Any text at We Can Do that is underlined or presented in a different color is a hypertext link to an appropriate web page.)

Also at We Can Do: catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities that might be helpful for your organization; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 14 so far )

CALL FOR PAPERS: Human Security, Social Cohesion and Disability

Posted on 29 January 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Cross-Disability, Disability Studies, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, Human Rights, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation, Poverty, technology, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Call for Papers – Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal (www.rds.hawaii.edu)

Human Security, Social Cohesion and Disability

Guest Editors: Gregor Wolbring, Program in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, Dept of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary;

Anita Ghai, Department of Psychology Jesus and Mary College, New Delhi;

Kirk Allison, Program in Human Rights and Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota;

Human security and social cohesion are two central requisites for the medical and social well being of disabled people. Science and technology (S&T) advances often seen as essential for disabled people also impact on human security and on social cohesion. Human security according to the Commission on Human Security is concerned with safeguarding and expanding people’s vital freedoms. It requires both shielding people from acute threats and empowering people to take charge of their own lives. The Commission identified economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, personal security, community security, political security, freedom from fear, and freedom from want as primary concerns.

Social cohesion in very general terms means: All that which brings people together (European New Towns Platform). In Canada the following description is in use: “Social cohesion is the ongoing process of developing a community of shared values, shared challenges and equal opportunity within Canada, based on a sense of trust, hope and reciprocity among all Canadians.” (Jeannotte and Sharon, 2001). This has also been articulated complementarily in terms of social capital which has been defined among others as “features of social organization such as networks, norms, and social trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit” (Putnam 1995).

More about the concepts can be found in the below references:

  • Gregor Wolbring (2006). Human Security and NBICS http://www.innovationwatch.com/choiceisyours/choiceisyours.2006.12.30.htm
  • Gregor Wolbring (2007). NBICS and Social Cohesion http://www.innovationwatch.com/choiceisyours/choiceisyours-2007-01-15.htm
  • Caroline Beauvais and Jane Jenson.(2002) Social Cohesion: Updating the State of Research. Canadian Policy, Research Networks, Canadian Heritage, Ottawa. http://www.cprn.com/doc.cfm?doc=167&l=en
  • European New Towns Platform. (2005). “The Top 8 Specific Challenges for Social Cohesion in New Towns.” http://www.newtowns.net/themes
  • Definitions of Social Capital http://www.analytictech.com/networks/definitions_of_social_capital.htm
  • Social Captial Initiative, Working Paper 1, 1998, http://go.worldbank.org/W8FMEK6FR0
  • We are honored that the theme for an issue of The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal will be human security, social cohesion and disability. This topic is chosen because the discourse around human security and social cohesion is of central importance for disability studies and for the well-being of persons with disabilities. At the same time discourses in disability studies can crucially clarify and test the discourses of human security and social cohesion.

    Thus, we urge potential contributors, regardless of their fields of training, to articulate their ideas about human security, social cohesion and disability. We especially encourage contributors to envision:

    • Future threats to human security and social cohesion including threats linked to new and emerging sciences and technologies processes and products and their impact on disabled people.
    • How disability studies discourses have generated tools and will continue to generate tools which can be used to minimize future threats to social cohesion and human security.
    • Other possible prevention strategies and fixes to possible future threat to human security and social cohesion.

    We encourage the submission of empirical case studies and theoretical models and we especially encourage contributions which cover the topic from a low income country background.

    Potential contributors to this Special Issue might consider:

    1. What is the “disability,” the discrimination angle of human security and social cohesion?
    2. What is the body image angle of human security and social cohesion?
    3. What is the importance of the disability studies angle on human security and social cohesion for other marginalized groups, for the marginalized majority of the world?
    4. What are potential future threats to human security and social cohesion and what would the impact be on disabled people?
    5. What are the cultural angles of human security and social cohesion?
    6. What is the role and potential of law?
    7. What empirical evidence and theoretical models illuminate the processes and effects?
    8. What is the impact of emerging social concepts such as transhumanism, which is?
    9. What is the impact of new and emerging sciences and technologies?
    10. What role does or could disability studies be playing in the interaction between new and emerging sciences and technologies and human security and social cohesion?
    11. How do or do not the human security and social cohesion discourses serve the needs of disabled people?
    12. What are the connections between human security and violent conflict?
    13. What are the relationships between development and poverty reduction, human security, and the prevention of violent conflict?
    14. What is the impact of natural disasters on those with disabilities in terms of security and cohesion
    15. How can social capital be discussed in context of disabled people, human security and social cohesion?

    Send via email 250-word abstracts, by March 31st, 2008 to Guest Editors Gregor Wolbring gwolbrin@ucalgary.ca ; Anita Ghai anita.satyapal@gmail.com and Kirk Allison alli0001@umn.edu. Please be sure to send abstracts to all editors. For those abstracts that are selected, we will request completed articles of approximately 3000-5000 words two months after the note of invitation to submit a full article was sent. Note that an invitation to submit an article based on an abstract does not guarantee publication of that article in The Review of Disability Studies.

    For more information about The Review of Disability Studies, please go to www.rds.hawaii.edu

    We Can Do received this announcement via the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) email distribution list, which can be joined for free.

    The Review of Disability Studies journal has been featured before at We Can Do: see an earlier, more generic call for papers at RDS, or see a listing of previous RDS articles relevant to people with disabilities in developing countries, with abstracts.

    Check for other calls for papers.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

    RESOURCE: How to Include Disabled Women in Your Organizations

    Posted on 23 January 2008. Filed under: Case Studies, Cross-Disability, Inclusion, Resources, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    [Originally published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/yv5ouo]

    Certain resources can help women’s organizations and international development agencies better include disabled women in their program activities. Skip to the resource list.

    Women with disabilities confront many of the same challenges that other women in developing countries face, such as gender-based discrimination. But they also face some additional challenges, such as discrimination based on their disability. Some women’s organizations would like to advocate for the needs of disabled women in the same way that they advocate for all women. And international development agencies also want to ensure that they meet the needs of disabled women in the same way that they strive to meet the needs of all the poor people in the countries where they work.

    But sometimes mainstream organizations aren’t sure how to begin. What barriers might they unknowingly create that make it harder for disabled women to participate in their programs’ activities or to make their needs known to their organization? What further barriers exist in society that may need to be overcome before an organization can more effectively serve women with disabilities? How can women’s organizations and international development agencies remove these barriers?

    Several resources, listed below, can help. Mainstream organizations may wish to use these as guides to make their programs more accessible. Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) may wish to use these when communicating with mainstream organizations to persuade them to make change.

    MIUSA’s “Checklist for Inclusion”
    Mobility International USA (MIUSA) has a free checklist available (PDF format, 10 Mb). This 19-page self-assessment guide is written for mainstream international development agencies. It provides a series of questions that women’s organizations and international development agencies can use to help them identify what they’re already doing right and what things could be improved upon. For example: when you choose a meeting location, do you make sure that it is wheelchair accessible (ground-floor location with doors wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, etc.)? Does your organization make its print materials available in non-print (Braille; diskette) and also large-print versions? Does your organization make qualified sign language interpreters available for its training, conference, and other program activities?

    MIUSA’s International Development and Disability (IDD) Program
    MIUSA’s International Development and Disability (IDD) program strives to bridge the disability community and the international development community in promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities as leaders and participants in development. It provides technical assistance and advice to both disabled people’s organizations and development agencies on gender and disability inclusion. In addition to their Checklist for Inclusion, organizations may wish to learn more about MIUSA activities, publications, videos, and other resources at MIUSA’s IDD web site:


    In particular, note that the checklist on inclusion was originally written as part of a more comprehensive guidebook on disability inclusion entitled Building an Inclusive Development Community: A Manual on Including People with Disabilities in International Development Programs.

    Can’t afford the book? Or want to supplement it with free resources? Consult MIUSA’s page of links to free resources:


    Also, read some “best practice” stories (case studies) of other organizations that have successfully promoted disability inclusion in their activities:


    Another item that might be of interest is an article written by Sarah Rosenhek at the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) about her experience learning about gender and disability through participating in MIUSA’s August 2006 Gender Disability and Development Institute (GDDI). Her article, entitled “Strengthening Women’s Rights Organizations through Inclusion: Lessons Learned from the Gender, Disability and Development Institute,” includes pragmatic advice for other women’s organizations that Rosenhek learned at the institute.

    VSO’s Handbook on Mainstreaming Disability
    Volunteer Service Overseas has a publication available on-line for free entitled A Handbook on Mainstreaming Disability (PDF format, 2 Mb). This handbook guides mainstream international development organizations in finding ways to overcome the stigma that can be associated with disability; how to actively integrate more disabled workers in the workplace; how to integrate more disabled participants in program activities; and how to integrate disability into organizational policy. Each chapter has case studies that describe how other organizations have implemented the advice given in this handbook. Download the handbook itself at

    http://www.asksource.info/pdf/33903_vsomainstreamingdisability_2006.pdf (PDF format, 2 Mb)

    The VSO’s Handbook on Mainstreaming Disability was previously featured at We Can Do, with an overview of its contents.

    Siyanda On-line Database of Gender and Development Materials
    Siyanda is targeted at development specialists who want to integrate gender equality issues into their work,whether or not they specialize in gender issues. This database makes iteasy to search for, and locate, full-length materials, that can bedownloaded for free. Its library of documents includes items in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, and others. Try a key word search for “disabilities.”

    We Can Do learned about the MIUSA resources and the Siyanda on-line database through contacts at MIUSA.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )

    REPORT: State of Disabled People’s Rights in Kenya (2007)

    Posted on 17 January 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Blind, Cognitive Impairments, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Human Rights, Mobility Impariments, Reports, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    [Originally published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/27gxpy]

    A recent publication, entitled “State of Disabled People’s Rights in Kenya (2007) Report,” analyzes national and regional Kenyan legislation on disability; government programs and policies on disability, and case law in disability. The report also presents the results of interviews with disabled people in three selected regions within Kenya about their human rights situation, in respect to dignity, autonomy, equality, and inclusion. Deaf people, blind people, and people with mobility impairments, and intellectual disabilities were interviewed. An overview of the disability rights movement in Kenya is given.

    The examination of legislation and policies found that the Constitution of Kenya guarantees the human rights and liberties of all citizens. However, although the constitution outlaws discrimination on grounds such as race, tribe, or color, it does not specifically outlaw discrimination on the basis of disability. Further, anti-discrimination laws have not been enforced in cases where disability-related discrimination has occurred.

    Interviews with individual disabled people in Kenya found that nearly three-quarters had been denied the right to make decisions affecting their own lives. Also, 80% report experiencing segregation, isolation, and lack of support for their needs. More than one-third reported that their own families had committed abuse or violence on them, and more than 45 percent said their families did not allow them to participate in family activities on the same basis as other family members.

    The report recommends strengthening the capacity of Disabled People’s Organizations to address human rights issues; mainstreaming disability rights issues into government bodies and the national development strategy; involving disabled people and their organization in improving anti-discrimination legislation; and making the court process more accessible to disabled people so they can more effectively challenge disability-based discrimination.

    The “State of Disabled People’s Rights in Kenya (2007) Report” was commissioned by the African Union of the Blind in collaboration with the Kenyan Union of the Blind, the World Blind Union, and the Centre for Disability Rights Education and Advocacy (CREAD), with support from the Swedish International Development Agency, the Swedish Association of the Visually Impaired, and Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI).

    The report can be read on-line at http://www.yorku.ca/drpi/Kenya07.html#startContent

    The report also can be downloaded in PDF format (1.2 Mb) at http://www.yorku.ca/drpi/files/KenyaReport07.pdf

    This article has been reposted at the RatifyNow.org web site with permission of author. RatifyNow is an organization working to maximize the number of countries signing, ratifying, and implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

    Finding Resources, Toolkits, and Funding Sources

    Posted on 15 January 2008. Filed under: Case Studies, Cross-Disability, Funding, Introduction to "We Can Do", Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    [Original publication at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/28hh6h.]

    I have now created a new page, linked from the top navigation bar, entitled “Resources, Toolkits, and Funding. In this page, you can find the following types of materials:

    I added this page to help readers quickly locate pragmatic resources, announced or linked from We Can Do, that you can use to help disability communities in developing countries access human rights and public services or escape poverty.

    I want to continue improving this page. Please do share your feedback or suggestions in the comments area, either here or at the Resources, Toolkits, and Funding Sources page.

    This new page joins other pages in the navigation bar that can help you

    Still not sure how to find the materials you are looking for? See if the Navigating We Can Do page can help. I have recently revised and updated this page. I will probably continue to make further improvements in the Navigation page to make it easier to use. Please feel free to make suggestions or feedback.

    Want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming resources, toolkits, funding sources, or other informative posts at We Can Do? Consider subscribing to We Can Do so you can receive an email alert when new material is posted here.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

    RESOURCE: Finding Disability-Related Laws and Policies

    Posted on 15 January 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Policy & Legislation, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    [Original publication at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/24xans.]

    Sometimes it is not “impairments” that disable people, but our environment. And sometimes we are disabled most when law, policy, judicial precedents, or regulations remain silent while others discriminate against disabled people. Or worse, some policies may actively strip away the rights of people with disabilities.

    Legislators, policy makers, policy analysts, lawyers, human rights specialists, and grassroots disability advocates may need to work together to remove barriers created by law or policy. But to do so, they must first understand what their law says. And before they can create better laws for their country, they may wish to understand what other, similar laws in other countries already say. Or they may find it helpful to review other legal literature and documents from around the world. Several resources are available that can help advocates and policy makers find the materials they are looking for.

    Disabilities Rights and Education Defense Fund (DREDF)
    The Disability Rights and Education Defense Fund (DREDF) website has links to many international resources on international laws and international conventions. Go to

    DREDF’s Country Law Index
    Of particular interest for people who wish to compare national laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities is DREDF’s country law index. Users will want to note that this listing of national laws is not comprehensive. The entry for the United States, for example, lists the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but does not mention several other important US federal laws such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). But the country law index can be a good starting point. At http://www.dredf.org/international/lawindex.shtml

    Global Legal Information Network
    Researchers and advocates may also wish to try a search at the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN). GLIN is a public database of official texts of laws, regulations, judicial decisions, and other legal sources contributed by governmental agencies and international organizations. Texts are submitted in the original language, usually with a summary in English. Try a key word search for laws related to people with disabilities. A few hundred options turn up for words such as “disabilities,” “disabled,” or “discapacidad” (Spanish for “disability”). Try other synonyms or translations, too. Click on “More Search Options” to narrow down your search by country, or to narrow down your search to laws, judicial decisions, legislative records, or legal literature. http://www.glin.gov/search.action

    At FindLaw, you can find a range of articles, news, commentaries, and case summaries related to legal issues in countries all around the world. Search by country, or try a key word search. This is not a disability-specific resource, though some of the materials at this site may be relevant. http://www.findlaw.com/12international/countries/

    Have I missed any key, international law-related resources? Please let me know via the comments area below.

    Thank you to Stephanie Gray at Mobility International USA (MIUSA) for helping alert me to the resources at DREDF. I found the other web sites listed here by browsing the DREDF website and subsequent links.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 20 so far )

    NEWS: Nepal signs disability rights treaty and protocol

    Posted on 10 January 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Latest Development: Nepal signs the CRPD
    Nepal became the most recent signatory to the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the accompanying optional protocol on January 3, 2008. A total of 121 countries have now signed the CRPD and 68 have signed the optional protocol. Most of these countries, however, have not yet ratified either.

    Ratifying versus Signing a Treaty
    Signing a treaty is not the same as ratifying it. A signatory country is not required to obey the treaty: it only needs to avoid actively violating it. A country does not become a “states party” to a treaty until they fully ratify it. Becoming a states party (ratifying a treaty) means the country agrees to be legally bound by the treaty.

    The CRPD needs to be ratified by 20 countries before it can take full force; it has now been ratified by 14, including Bangladesh, Croatia, Cuba, El Salvador, Gabon, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Mexcio, Namibia, Nicaragua, Panama, South Africa, and Spain. The Optional Protocol needs to be ratified by 10 countries before it becomes enforceable; it has now been ratified by 7, including Croatia, Hungary, Mexico, Namibia, Panama, South Africa, and Spain.

    Both the full list of ratifications and the full list of signatories are available on the web.

    The Background: The CRPD and the Optional Protocol
    The CRPD is an international human rights treaty meant to protect a range of rights for people with disabilties. A few examples include the right to liberty; to freedom from torture, violent exploitation, and abuse; to healthcare; to education; to privacy; to sign contracts; to accessible public transit and public accommodations.

    Although several other international human rights treaties are already in force–most famously, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights–many of these treaties do not mention disabled people at all. The few that do usually do not cover their right to full participation in society.

    The Optional Protocol gives people who have suffered human rights violations another option for pursuing justice. In countries that only ratify the CRPD without the Optional Protocol, a person who feels their rights under the treaty have been violated can use the appropriate channels within their country to correct that violation. For example, they may be able to file a complaint with local or national legal authorities or bring a lawsuit through the courts. But if all national-level systems fail to achieve justice, then the Optional Protocol allows a person to pursue redress by applying to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

    For more background on the CRPD, consult a FAQ written by the organization RatifyNow. More information about the CRPD is also available at the United Nations web site on disabilities.

    Individuals and organizations seeking to join the global movement to maximize the number of countries ratifying the CRPD and the Optional Protocols may wish to join the organization RatifyNow. Individuals may also participate in email-based discussions on the global movement by joining the RatifyNow Listserve.

    We Can Do learned about Nepal becoming a signatory via an announcement sent out by Ghulam Nabi Nazimani.

    Catch up on the latest news about the CRPD and other topics.

    This blog post is cross-posted both here and at RatifyNow with permission of the author.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

    TRAINING: Community-Based Rehabilitation Training and Management

    Posted on 9 January 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Cross-Disability, Education and Training Opportunities, Opportunities, Rehabilitation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Please note that this blog post contains two separate announcements for two separate training opportunities from the same Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) training program in the Netherlands. Read carefully to determine which is best suited to your needs. Inquiries should be made directly to Huib Cornielje.

    Two week Training of Trainers in CBR programme in The Netherlands
    Enablement (Alphen aan den Rijn) in collaboration with a number of training experts are in currently developing a new course: TOT in CBR. The course is scheduled for the 25th of August to the 5th of September. This course is of particular importance if you want to know more about training and education with a special focus on training staff in CBR. Besides some theoretical background the course in particular will focus on practical applications; participatory methodologies; case study writing; group dynamics and facilitation skills.
    More information will follow. If you do have an interest to participate please do contact Huib Cornielje at h.cornielje@enablement.nl

    Announcement of the 2008 CBR Management course in The Netherlands
    Enablement is pleased to inform you that in 2008 (from September 15 to October 10) again a 4-week International Course in Management of Disability and Rehabilitation is being offered to rehabilitation professionals and disability and development workers and activists. Serious candidates should apply well in advance and if you intend to attend this course or intend to send someone to this course please fill out the online application form at www.enablement.nl

    Participants who attended the 2007 course came from a number of interesting projects in the following countries: Malawi, Rwanda, China, Japan, Germany, Nicaragua, The Philippines, Mexico, Cambodia, Indonesia and The Netherlands.

    The courses are conducted under the leadership of Huib Cornielje and Roelie Wolting. Besides, a number of Dutch trainers and international experts will play an important role in the training. The following international disability and CBR experts and trainers are on a regular basis involved in the course:

    • Prof. Patrick. Devlieger, University of Leuven, Belgium
    • Dr. M. Miles, Birmingham, UK
    • Dr Maya Thomas, senior consultant, India
    • Mr David Werner, CBR expert, USA
    • Mr Peter Coleridge, consultant, UK
    • Mrs Susie Miles, specialist in special needs education, UK
    • Mr Nick Heeren, CIEDEL, France

    Huib Cornielje

    We Can Do learned about this opportunity through the “Disability Information Dissemination Network,” which is managed by the”Centre for Services and Information on Disability”(CSID),Bangladesh and currently sponsored by Sightsavers International. Individuals may receive announcements like this one via the CSID mailing list for free by sending an email to csid@bdmail.net, csid@bdonline.com, or info@csididnet.org with the word “join” in the subject line.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 7 so far )

    RESOURCE, NEWS: Making the XO Laptop Accessible

    Posted on 5 January 2008. Filed under: Children, Cross-Disability, Education, News, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    If you’ve seen the media hype about it, then you know that the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project wants to put a low-cost laptop into the hands of every child in primary schools in developing countries. The idea is to give children a tool for taking their own education into their own hands so they will learn more. Now people on an email list called “accessibility”, and people in the on-line wiki community, are working on ways to ensure that these laptops will be more accessible and usable for children with disabilities.

    In November, I wrote an opinion piece about the XO Laptop project. Basically I said I thought it was a great concept. And I still think that–in fact, I have now bought one of the XO laptops for myself through a short-term “Get one, Give one” program that ended in December 2007. One laptop is being shipped to me (meaning, no, it hasn’t arrived yet). Another laptop is being shipped to a child in a developing country somewhere. But I had, and still have, concerns about its accessibility for disabled children. And I find it disappointing that OLPC has not made it a stronger, and clearer, priority to make it usable by children with various vision, mobility, and other impairments.

    But the good news is that an on-line community exists for people who want to help make the XO laptop more accessible to children with disabilities in developing countries. Specifically, the Accessibility mailing list at:


    And there is also a “wiki” web site devoted to accessibility issues for the XO laptop. A “wiki” site enables people from around the world to collaborate with each other, via the web, on a common goal. In this case, the wiki laptop accessibility community enables people with the needed technical skills to work together to make the XO laptop more usable for users with disabilities. Start here to see a list of specific problems that have been identified with the XO for children with various disabilities:


    Both on-line communities appear to be relatively small. But both would surely welcome new members with fresh energy and ideas. People with disabilities could share feedback about the features they need that would make the XO more accessible to them. If you have an XO of your own, you could play around with it to identify accessibility barriers that need more work. This is especially important if you discover that the barriers you identify, or the ideas you have for fixing it, have not already been listed at the wiki community page.

    Even better: if you have an XO, and you know a disabled child, you could watch them while they try out all the different features of the XO. Ask them for their reactions, and observe where they run into problems. Share the results with the on-line community.

    And, of course, if you have computer design, programming, or other relevant skills, then maybe you could help develop a way to improve the XO. And not just in terms of software. Also think about the needs of children with mobility impairments who might have trouble physically operating the XO as it is currently designed.

    Before becoming active in the on-line OLPC accessibility discussion/brainstorming groups, you may wish to browse through the archives of past discussions:


    Thank you to the anonymous individual who left a comment at my opinion essay to alert me to the mailing list on XO accessibility.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

    RESOURCE: Listening to Poor People with Intellectual Disabilities

    Posted on 5 January 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cognitive Impairments, Families, Inclusion, Poverty, Reports, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    In Their Own Words
    A report from Inclusion International can help people better understand poverty among people with intellectual disabilities in developing countries.

    Nobody knows more than a poor person what it means to live with poverty or what the biggest barriers are to escaping it. And nobody knows more than a person who is excluded how devastating it can be to be constantly pushed to the margins of society. And it is poor, excluded people who see most clearly exactly what needs to change to bring them out of poverty and into the mainstream.

    It is the obligation of anyone who wants to improve the living conditions of the poor and the excluded to listen to their stories–and their proposed solutions–in their own words. If we fail to listen, we will inevitably fail to help.

    Documented Information = A Tool for Advocates
    For some We Can Do readers, listening to the poor and marginalized in developing countries can be as easy as stepping out their front door and talking to the people in their local communities. But even the most knowledgeable advocates may struggle to communicate what they know to non-disabled people in their country in a way that others will both understand and believe. In particular, they may need a way to strengthen their voices when educating funding agencies that have the power to support or turn away their organization. Advocates can use published research or reports to help others understand that poverty and exclusion among people with disabilities are not just “isolated cases” or “too few in number” to be worth targeted efforts.

    A report entitled “Hear Our Voices: A Global Report: People with an Intellectual Disabilities and their Families Speak Out on Poverty and Exclusion,” published by Inclusion International in November 2006, helps share insights into how intellectual disability can lead to poverty and exclusion. “Hear Our Voices” also makes recommendations for action. The report was made possible with the partnership and financial support of the Norwegian Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, NFU, and the Atlas Alliance of Norway.

    How “Hear Our Voices” Was Made
    Inclusion International (II) is a global federation of family-based organizations advocating for the human rights of people with intellectual disabilities worldwide. It spoke with people with intellectual disabilities, their families, and supporters in more than 80 countries about the experience of intellectual disability and poverty. “Hear Our Voices” combines personal with secondary research sources to analyze how well each of the eight Millennium Development Goals for fighting poverty are being met for people with intellectual disabilities. The report makes recommendations for how civil society organizations, governments and donor and international agencies can each play a role in ending poverty and exclusion among people with intellectual disabilities.

    In the acknowledgments page of their report, Inclusion International points out that people with intellectual disabilities “are too often invisible,” which means that “their stories are not influencing decisions that affect their lives.” Inclusion International explains, “We wanted to bring about change on a global scale – by convincing governments, multi-lateral institutions, and communities of the current injustice of exclusion. Where before our members’ voices were not being heard because they were isolated, we wanted to bring them together into a loud chorus. We wanted to link those local voices to bring about global change.” (p. viii)

    What Next?
    Here, Inclusion International’s focus is on people with intellectual disabilities. But people who are deaf, blind, have mobility impairments, autism, psycho-social disabilities, or other disabilities are also “invisible” in society—whether or not they are poor. And all poor people also are invisible–whether or not they have disabilities. Disabled poor people, their stories, and their ideas for how to solve their own problems, are too rarely heard when people with power make choices that affect their lives.

    Perhaps Inclusion International’s report could inspire other global organizations to do the research for more reports like it. Advocates could then use these reports to help amplify the voices (and signs) of disabled (and deaf/Deaf) people living in poverty around the world.

    Read the Report, Watch the Video
    The full 79 page report can be downloaded for free in English in PDF format (500 Kb) at


    The report is also available in a 10-minute DVD (video). This video is not captioned. There are many pictures and only an occasional line of text on the screen that is used to highlight key statistics or other information. I’m guessing there is also some kind of narration–but this is not accessible to deaf viewers. I’m not in a position to evaluate whether this DVD would be accessible or usable to hearing people with vision impairments. If you are, please do comment below.

    The DVD can be viewed at:


    The report and DVD are also available in Spanish at:


    We Can Do learned about the “Hear Our Voices” report by browsing Inclusion International’s web site. The information for this blog post was gathered from their web site and particularly from the report itself.

    Find more information about disabled poor people around the world by click on “reports” or “resources” under “categories” in the right-hand navigation bar on this page. Or consult the recent Retrospective post under “Finding sources of information.”

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 6 so far )

    JOB POST (short term): Training for Sign Language News Program in Albania

    Posted on 4 January 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Deaf, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Training for Albanian Sign Language News Programme

    From: Colin Allen <colinja20@hotmail.com>
    Subject: Training for Albanian Sign Language News Programme

    Dear friends,

    Albanian National Association is looking for the trainers (Deaf and Hearing) to provide a short term training for the Sign Language News Programme in Albania.

    Please note the application closing date is on Friday, 14th January 2008.

    Wish you a very joyful year!

    Warm regards


    ANAD is looking for two trainers to work as a team – one Deaf person and one sign language interpreter. The trainer team is jointly responsible for creating a training plan appropriate for the setting and for training of each specific target group

    The Deaf Trainer shall be responsible to work with the team of Deaf News Presenters to prepare the news bulletin presentation from the written language to Albanian Sign Language. The Deaf News Presenter will be responsible to present the news in Albanian Sign Language. Before his/her presentation the Deaf presenter needs to work with the Sign Language Interpreter for better understanding of the given written material by the TV editors.

    The Sign Language Interpreter shall be responsible to work with the team of Albanian Sign Language Interpreters to prepare the news bulletin presentation from the spoken language to Albanian Sign Language. The Sign language Interpreter will be responsible to work together with the Deaf presenter on the written news prepared and given by the News editors on Albanian Television.

    Assignment Contract

    ANAD will prepare a contract with each trainer including compensation of:

    Travel Expenses:
    ANAD will pay for an economy class travel between the trainer’s home city and the city of Tirana by using the most economic carrier; visa and passport charges; and airport tax will be covered by the project.

    ANAD will provide with accommodation during the assignment period. Trainers will share an apartment with electricity, heating and warm water.

    Financial Benefits:
    The Trainers are responsible for payment of taxes and social security including Trainer’s pension and travel insurance for the trip.

    Assignment Fee:
    The applicants are asked to send ANAD their propositions for fee calculated for the entire period of six weeks. The fee request need be announced as a total payment as the candidates are responsible for the payments of any taxes, social security or pension payments of their home country. Please note that ANAD is an organization with very limited funding and relies on voluntary assistance. As a result ANAD is incapable of offering payments on the level of the European consultancy fees.

    Organizational Name
    Albanian National Association of the Deaf (ANAD)

    Street Address
    Bulevardi “Zhan D’Ark”, Kulla 4, Shkalla 1, Ap. 9,
    Tirana, Albania

    Postal Address
    P.O.Box: 2401/1
    Tirane, Albania

    Email Addresses

    Contact Person(s)
    Eduard Ajas, Manager: anad.organisation@gmail.com

    Albana Izeti Project Co-ordinator: albana.izeti@gmail.com

    Project Consultant, Colin Allen: deafbalkan@hotmail.com

    The goals of the Albanian National Association of the Deaf (ANAD) are as follows:

    1. To achieve equal opportunities and full participation in Society for people who are Deaf in accordance with the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other general acts and recommendations of the United Nations Organisation and its specialised agencies.
    2. To become and remain an ordinary member of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and to operate in accordance with its principles and objectives.
    3. To ensure that Albanian Government observes all international and national declarations, recommendations on human rights and rights of Deaf people and people with other disabilities.
    4. To promote the creation and development of Provincial Clubs of Deaf people and organisations providing services to Deaf people where such organisations do not already exist in the Republic of Albania.
    5. To promote the unification of Provincial Clubs for Deaf people in the Republic of Albania.
    6. To organise and stimulate the exchange of information and experiences among organisations of and for Deaf people and among professionals specialising in the study of deafness in the Republic of Albania.
    7. To provide advice, assistance and support either directly or indirectly to organisations of and for Deaf people, upon their request whenever appropriate, in the Republic of Albania.
    8. To distribute relevant information about deafness and the current needs of Deaf people through a variety of media and to the government of the Republic of Albania.
    9. To promote the conduct of research and studies in all fields of deafness, including the Albanian Deaf Community, its language and culture.
    10. To promote the establishment, development and maintenance of education programmes and support services which recognise the specific requirements of Deaf children and adults.
    11. To ensure adequate funding of services for Deaf people by governments and/or other relevant institutions and agencies.
    12. To promote the recognition and acceptance of methods of communication preferred by Deaf people in the Republic of Albania.
    13. To encourage the development and availability of appropriate technology for Deaf people in the Republic of Albania.
    14. To provide a forum where Deaf people can come together as equals to learn about and discuss relevant issues and express their ideas and aspirations in the Republic of Albania.
    15. To foster pride in the Deaf Community, its language and culture.


    Brief Summary
    The Albanian National Association of the Deaf has initiated this project based on the big need of Albanian Deaf Community for access to information.

    Lately The Albanian Government and the Albanian Public Television -TVSH have committed to introduce the News Edition in Albanian Sign Language during the peak hour. The signed language news will be a news bulletin of fifteen minutes during the weekdays.

    The reading and writing skills of Deaf people in Albania are limited. There are a small number of Albanian Sign Language Interpreters who are currently receiving the training under the organisation’s Interpreter Training Programme.

    ANAD secured a limited funding from the Finnish Association of the Deaf and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Finland to implement six week training. ANAD is seeking for two trainers’ one deaf and one hearing that have a good knowledge and experience in the environment of TV news bulletin in signed language.

    After the training, ANAD is seeking to appoint preferably three teams consisting of a Deaf person and a sign language interpreter working together. The teams will rotate by presenting the 15-minute daily news bulletin for 5 days in a row.

    Suggested Components of the Training:
    The suggested training is outlined as follows:
    Translation Process of the News Bulletin:
    For Hearing Sign Language Interpreters:
    The hearing sign language interpreter should work together with the Deaf presenter before the filming of the TV news and he/she will be responsible for translating the news bulletin prepared by the TV editors from the spoken language to the Albanian Sign Language for the Deaf presenter; different techniques of translation; the ways of news bulletin delivery; grammatical adaptations etc.

    For Deaf News Presenters: The TV signed news will be signed by Deaf people after doing some practise on the given material. The Deaf people will need some training on how to sign the news bulletin from auto cue to the Albanian Sign Language; different techniques of translation; the ways of news bulletin delivery; grammatical adaptations etc.

    The time for presenting a news bulletin is radically limited; the News Sign Language Interpreters should know how to deliver the news bulletin in a well managed manner

    Suitable outfit to contrast between clothes and hands, make –up etc.

    Present a professional image role of the News Sign Language Interpreter on camera.

    Please note: Both Deaf and hearing trainers are responsible to prepare a training component in their respective area.

    The trainers will capacitate the News Bulletin Teams including the hearing camera crew on how to shoot the footage in appropriate angles so that the presentation in sign language is visually optimal for Deaf viewers. The capacitating includes technical advice on how to arrange appropriate sign language presentation during inserted news stories etc.

    Time frame of the training
    At least two weeks prior to the workshop, the Workshop Announcement shall be distributed to the members of the Albanian Deaf Community and the Interpreter Training Programme. The Announcement will seek for interested team members and it describes the selection process that will take place during the workshop. At the end of the workshop, a team of evaluators will review each participant and discuss the best candidates to be invited attend to the Intensive Training for at least two weeks.

    The aim of the intensive training is to have at least 5-6 candidates from both Deaf and hearing target groups, i.e. maximum 12 persons to work in the Sign Language News program.

    At the end of two weeks intensive training each team i.e. a working pair – a Deaf person and a sign language interpreter would need to prepare 15-minute news bulletin presentation for the evaluator team’s review. Out of the projected six candidate teams the evaluators would then select three teams to be appointed for the program work.
    The selected three teams would need to attend a week of further training.

    During the final training week, all teams need to have an opportunity to rehearse their presentations at the News Television Studio with the studio crew before the actual broadcasts start.

    The proposed training plan:

    Week One (28 January – 1 February 2008)

    • Arrival and preparation for the meetings with the Television Station, Project Co-ordinator and ANAD staff members
    • Workshop
    • Evaluation to select 6 Potential Deaf and 6 Potential Hearing people for the Intensive Training.

    Week Two and Three (4 – 15 February 2008)

    • Intensive Training for two weeks (hours/days)

    Suggested training hours:

    Monday – Friday from 16.00 – 20.00

    Saturday from 10.00 – 17.00

    Week Four (18 – 22 February 2008)

    • Select three teams of Deaf person and Sign Language Interpreter to attend the further training.

    Week Five (25 – 29 February 2008)

    • One week training at the Television News Station.

    Week Six (3 -7 March 2008)

    • Final evaluation of the teams’ capacities and organizing of further training if necessary
    • Training Project Report

    Commencement Date:

    Monday, 28th January 2008 – Friday, 7th March 2008 negotiable

    ANAD welcomes anyone who wishes to apply for the position of Deaf Trainer and Sign Language Interpreting News Trainer.

    Please, do address ANAD a letter with following information: reason(s) for applying, contact details, Curriculum Vitae, tentative training plan/program corresponding to the post you are seeking.

    Please send your application package to:

    Ms Albana Izeti
    Project Co-ordinator
    Albanian National Association of the Deaf
    P.O.Box: 2401/1
    Tirane, Albania

    Ms Inkeri Lahtinen
    Project Home Coordinator
    The Finnish Association of the Deaf, FAD

    Mr Colin Allen
    Project Consultant
    The Finnish Association of the Deaf, FAD


    We Can Do received this job post via the Intl-Dev email distribution list. Intl-Dev can be subscribed to for free.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

    Free Rice for the Hungry, Free Vocabulary Fun for You

    Posted on 1 January 2008. Filed under: Poverty, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    URL for this page: http://tinyurl.com/255u9a
    The Fun Part
    You can give free rice to hungry people, play a free game, and improve your vocabulary, all in the same key stroke at a new web site called FreeRice.


    If you’re one of my regular readers at We Can Do: my apologies. I know you usually come here to find new resources, information, news, or announcements related to poverty and human rights among disabled people in developing countries. Usually I do try to stay very tightly focused on issues of disability and international development at this blog. But this post IS still about poverty, even though it’s not specific to disabled people. And, more importantly, it IS still a holiday for most readers. So what the heck. I’ll indulge, this once. And I hope you’ll indulge with me.

    (For those of you who have been paying attention to the last few posts at this blog: the holiday season in general is one reason why I have been posting fewer new resources and devoting more time in the past week to long-term improvements to this web site. For example, see the new pages on accessibility; announcements for conferences, events, call for papers, and training opportunities; navigating We Can Do to help new readers quickly find the resources they need at this blog site; and news. I WILL start posting more fresh content soon, so do stay tuned. And consider subscribing to We Can Do so you don’t miss anything.)

    If you’ve been reading the right blogs lately, then the image near the top of this page might look familiar. For those of you who are not able to view this image, I’ll describe it: this is a horizontal “banner.” At the left-hand side is a brown wooden bowl with a few grains of white rice in it. (Hm. Wouldn’t brown rice be healthier?) At the right-hand side, the text says: “Free Rice” on the first line in large letters and “Play and Help!” on the second line in medium sized letters. The background on the left side is a medium/dark green; on the right side, it’s a lighter shade of green with what I think is supposed to be a blurry image of rice plants. FreeRice has a number of other similar-looking banners available. [Sorry–I’m describing the image here instead of using alt tags because I don’t have a clue how to use alt tags. If you do, please take a few moments to advise me in the comments area below and I’ll fix it.]

    So how does FreeRice work? Simple. Go to www.freerice.com. You will see a vocabulary word at the top of the screen and four possible definitions or synonyms. Choose the one you think is the closest match. If you guess correctly, FreeRice will give 20 grains of rice to hungry people. Then, if you like, you can continue playing. If you’re sighted and able to view images with your computer equipment, then you’ll also see a picture of a bowl of rice filling up each time free rice is given.

    This game is tailored to the vocabulary skill of each player who participates. If you answer three vocabulary questions in a row correctly then it gives you a more challenging word. If you continue to guess correctly, the words become harder and harder. If you miss one, it gives you an easier word. If you keep missing, the words become easier and easier. Until you start to answer correctly again. There are 50 vocabulary levels. So nearly all people should be able to find a level that is comfortable for them whether you’re learning English as a second language or whether you’re a vocabulary geek.

    You might wonder: if this game is free, then where does the money come from to pay for all the rice that’s going to hungry people? It comes from advertisers. There is an advertisement banner at the bottom of the screen. The ad in this banner changes every time you guess a new word. The more you play, the more ads you see. And the advertisers are obviously hoping that more people playing FreeRice will translate into more sales for their products, or more donations to their charitable causes.

    You can guess one word or guess a million. Play for just one day or play every day the rest of your life. Or anything in between. It’s all up to you. The more you play, the more rice you give–and, in theory, the more vocabulary you learn. I say “in theory” because I’ve read some criticism somewhere (sorry, don’t remember where) that says vocabulary games like this one may not be necessarily the best way to learn vocabulary. But I’m sure it can’t hurt. And if you’re serious about it, you could use the game to develop a vocabulary study list and find other ways to rehearse the words you see. (Hint: double check your understanding with a dictionary. And use it in a sentence.)

    Accessibility for Blind People
    I’m not able to evaluate whether the FreeRice site is accessible to people who use screen readers. If this is you, I would be curious to learn about your experience there. Since the game itself is text-based, I’m guessing there should not be any major problems with it. Though I’m also guessing that the ads won’t be very accessible, unless a given advertiser thinks to use the alt tag for their images. And you won’t see that rice bowl filling up.

    The Serious Part
    This blog post deviates from the usual We Can Do post in two ways. One, as noted above, it’s not about disability. (Though disabled people do certainly starve also. In fact, given that disabled people are more likely to experience poverty, it’s probably safe to assume that people with disabilities are also more likely to go hungry.) Two, my normal focus in this blog is on finding long-term solutions to long-standing problems. Thus, things like how to better include disabled people in large-scale, long-term poverty reduction strategies. Or how to ensure that disabled children in developing countries are not left behind when their governments try to bring more children into the classroom.

    In this view: one criticism I do have for the FreeRice site is that it offers a temporary fix for something that is, for far too many people, a chronic problem. In the long run, it’s not enough to keep shipping free rice to hungry people. That feeds them today, but it doesn’t help them feed themselves tomorrow or next year. That means we also need to invest in more long-term strategies for fighting poverty. That means more schools so that the 77 million children out of school can enter the classroom for the first time. And we need more textbooks and better quality teachers–and possibly more computers–so that children already in the classroom will learn something while they’re there. Poor people who have entrepreneurial skills need small business loans so they can lift themselves out of poverty with their own hard work. And we need to give more aid dollars directly to organizations based in developing countries who are running great projects to fight HIV/AIDS, deliver clean drinking water, or abolish poverty.

    But this is not a slam against FreeRice, per se. In fact, I sometimes play this game myself. Yes, more chronic forms of hunger do need a long-term fix. But hunger can also be a short-term emergency, such as during a time of war (though wars, unfortunately, can sometimes be long-term) or in the first few months after a natural disaster. And short-term emergencies, unfortunately, will always happen. Therefore, we will always, to some extent, actually need short-term fixes like FreeRice.

    I just feel compelled to point out the need for long-term solutions because I worry that some people in industrialized countries are too quick to donate time (or money) to easy, “feel-good” causes that don’t actually solve problems. If you really want to help, then don’t just help. Instead, make it possible for people to help themselves.

    But, there’s nothing wrong with also having a little fun at freerice.com.

    In that spirit: Here’s wishing you a Happy New Year. May the year 2008 be delightful and fruitful for you. And for those of you who work to ensure that disabled people are not left out when governments and organizations fight poverty and speak out for human rights: I hope all your endeavors this year will be successful ones.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 9 so far )

    PAPER: Independent Living Movement in Developing Countries by Shoji Nakanishi

    Posted on 30 December 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Guest Blogger, Latin America & Caribbean | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    URL for this page: http://tinyurl.com/2eeldt

    Independent Living Movement in Developing Countries

    by Shoji Nakanishi
    Disabled People International (DPI) Japan

    It has been many years since experts of rehabilitation recommended training and educations to people with disabilities to enable them to get jobs as non disabled people do. The experts believe that independence means only economical independence. As a result, parents think it impossible for their disabled children to live independently in their communities. Parents tend to put these children into a residential institution for them to live permanently. Following these ideas, the government is promoting to build more institutions and to train more experts for people with disabilities.

    The Independent living movement by severely disabled people in America denied institutions that lead to isolation and discrimination. In 1972 The First IL center was established in Berkeley, the second one in Houston, in 1974 the third in Boston. A lot of IL centers have come into the world in a very short time. All disabled people in the whole country were united, and then won the amendment of rehabilitation law in 1978. As a result, IL centers got great opportunities to get subsidies from the federal government. “Independent Living: From Social Movement to Analytic Paradigm”, An academic paper written by Gerben DeJong, published in 1978, drastically changed the way of thinking toward disabilities, from rehabilitation to independent living. With this paper, the philosophy of independent living was accepted as a social movement on a academic basis. These two events rapidly promoted the establishment of IL centers nationwide.

    Independent Living Movement In Developed countries

    The IL movement, which gave dreams and wishes to disabled persons, has grown to service provision systems by disabled peoples themselves and advocacy activities by IL centers in these 30 years in all developed countries, except the Oceania region.

    Ed Roberts, the founder of the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley and other activists with disabilities said, “People with disabilities should live in communities.” “People with disabilities are neither patients to be cared for, children to be protected, nor Gods to be worshipped.” “People with disabilities themselves can identify their necessary assistance and manage it.” “People with disabilities are the victims of social prejudice rather than victims of disabilities.” This philosophy was soon accepted in many parts of the world. On the grounds of this philosophy, IL centers are providing these services below:

    1. Dispatch of Personal Assistants.
      • There are two ways of dispatching personal assistants; one is the way of direct dispatching like in Japan, another in the way of introducing through IL centers like in the U.S.
    2. Peer Counselling
      • Counselling, talking or sessions among peers who have the same or similar experiences of disabilities.
    3. Independent Living Skill Training
    4. Advocacy Activities
    5. Providing information
      • Housing and social welfare referral are included.

    Now the organizations of IL centers are established in each country and region, such as NCIL in America, CAILC in Canada, JIL in Japan, and ENIL in Europe. In 1999 The first summit of World independent Living was held in Washington D.C, U.S.A . Since then, three summits have taken place in different areas where a great number of disabled leaders, including leaders from developing countries became involved.

    Conditions concerning Independent Living in developing countries

    The Idea of independent living, which insists on self-decision and self-management, also fascinated people with disabilities in developing countries. But because of lack of social resources, it is thought to be difficult in developing countries to achieve environments where there are enough services and accessibilities. Moreover, quite a few people thought by mistake that independence means only economical independence, so that they believed that nobody can live an independent life except for a lightly disabled person. It is nearly impossible for people with disabilities to get jobs in Asia, where only 5 or 10 percent of disabled children can have school education.

    As a result, almost all developing countries tried to get disabled people to be independent through CBR (Community based rehabilitation) produced by experts, in the same period of the IL movement. Services based on institutions could be only beneficial for disabled people living in urban areas. The main target of CBR is for disabled people who live in rural areas, occupying 7 or8 percent of the total population. Non-disabled people in their communities were voluntaries trained as CBR workers, and then they did some simple rehabilitation work and help the daily lives for disabled people. Indeed, the quality of life for disabled persons might get improved to some extent, through basic physical training, walking training, sign language education, inclusion by CBR workers, and financial aids of private companies like Micro Credit. But CBR did not necessarily bring independent living for disabled persons though disabled persons had joined as official members since the beginning of providing services. That is because CBR was firstly positioned as extentions of institutions, so that disabled persons were kept under control or management of experts without disabilities.

    It is often the case that disabled people who have loved the idea of IL also name their activities IL in some developing countries. For example, a certain disability organization In Mexico established a new organization named “International Organization of Independent Living for People With Disabilities”, arranging the curriculum for disabled people which included lessons about fitness, physiology, swimming, manipulation of wheelchair, driving of remodeled cars, sexuality and family life, urology, training of daily living activities etc. In Thailand, one of the staff with disabilities working at Sirindorn National Medical Rehabilitation Center suggested the Independent Living Unit, providing much the same program as Mexico’s organization did. Even though these trials may not always share the same meaning of original independent living, it indicates that there are also many disabled people having a try at independent living by themselves, in developing countries.

    Scheme for spreading IL in developing countries

    In 1980, American disabled people who had got involved in the IL movement began to act in other countries to spread the philosophy abroad. Nowadays, Japan is taking charge of propagation of IL in the Asian region, while in America, IL centers or other organizations like Mobility International are inviting other countries’ disabled leaders to their training seminars.

    One of 4 activities is often adopted as a way of spreading the IL philosophy in developing countries; first is promoting theoretical framework of IL, second, advocacy, third, participation of severely disabled persons in self-help organizations, and the last, showing a role model as an example of IL.

    1. Activity to promote the theoretical framework of IL
      Firstly it is necessary to correct the mistake about IL that independence means doing everything alone without any help. In spite of someone’s help, it is regarded as IL, if only self-decision and self-management can be done. This idea welcomes people with disabilities as “very good news”. But, in most cases, this acceptance does not immediately bring grassroot activities. For instance, a lot of disabled people were excited to meet American activists who came to Japan for an IL promotion tour in 1982, but the IL movement in Japan did not start untill the first IL center was established in 1986. It is very important to follow up on their experiences.

    The first IL seminar in Asia was held in Bacolod, the Philippines in 1994, mainly promoted by STIL, Sweden and the Human Care Association, Japan. Three Asian persons with quadriplegia joined this seminar. After the seminar, Motab from Bangladesh tried to expand his job at the Center for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed to the activity of independent living but in vain because of his death 3 years ago. Male participants from the Philippines, all of whom had already married, got quite interested in the IL movement, but they found it difficult to make a movement in their own country, because they had to prepare for their family before they join the movement. On the other hand, Topong from Thailand, on the grounds of the ideals of the IL movement, held a demonstration for better access of Sky Train, and educated other organizations in local areas. The Human Care Association supported his activities, and then offered him to come to Japan for training

    Famous disabled activists participated in the 1999’s seminar in Malaysia held by the Asia Disability Institute. One of them was Christine Lee, who had staged a demonstration for access of the mono railway at the risk of being arrested. All participants were wildly enthusiastic on the last day of the seminar, and promised each other to promote the IL movement more actively from now on. But actually, few of them were able to increase their activities in the IL movement. There may be two reasons. One is most of the participants have their own jobs and have no time for the IL movement; the other is that severely disabled persons who really need IL have not joined the movement yet.

    Promoting activities are very essential to support and spread the IL movement

    2. Advocacy
       The IL movement in Brazil was based on advocacy. Rosangela Berman Bieler, a Brazilian woman with quadriplegic who happened to visit an IL center in America was so impressed with its philosophy that she joined the IL movement. In 1988 CVIRJ, the first IL center in Brazil, was establish by her in Rio de Janeiro. CVIRJ began to start a movement for easy access to the city, such as getting rid of steps on side walks. The problem of accessibility is very meanful not only because it is a problem that applies to all kinds of disabled people, but also because it will bring visible outcomes as advocacy. The IL center in Brazil made the movement more powerful by keeping contact with IL centers in America. Now in Brazil, there are 25 IL centers established, and the national union of IL centers has been united.

    In South Korea, the IL movement has made rapid progress in a short time, because the Korean people getting involved with the IL movement have already created activities of advocacy on a large scale. Chon Manfu, a severely disabled person who applied for the role model of IL in 2000, was empowered through the experiences of joining big demonstration in 2001 and a long-term hunger strike in May 2002, triggered by the death of a wheelchair user at a subway station. These events were arranged by Pack Gyoung Souk, the principal of a night school for the disabled people. A lot of his students, who have studied IL, are taking part in the IL movement, which is one of the reasons why the Korean IL movement has such power. Now, the main issue in Korea is to train disabled people as peer counselors. The physical and mental conditions for developing IL in Korea are being prepared; 3 IL centers in Japan, Human Care Association, CIL Tachikawa, and HANDS Setagaya, collaborated with each other to establish a new project team that dispatches peer counselors to Korea several times a year and provides long-term training in Japan for Korean disabled leaders. As a result, some of them have reached the high standard of peer counselors that JIL is setting. There are 5 IL centers in Korea.

    3. Participation of severely disabled persons in self-help groups

    In Thailand, many disabled people used to sell lottery as a job, which made enough money to prepare for their own family. But because of this job, the disability movement did not grow among people with disabilities in Thailand. Under these circumstances, Topong, as I said before, thought it was only the IL movement that would change the environment of disabled people in Thailand. He tried to promote the IL movement in collaboration with 3 organizations of disabled people, Nontabri,Chonbri,Nakonpatom, three of which were very conscious about the rights of people with disabilities. To support his activities, the Human Care Association invited him to come to Japan for an IL seminar.

    Each of these three organizations were democratic self-help groups, which provided home visiting services for disabled persons. Leaders of these organizations were willing to accept the idea of IL. The first step of a three year project is to open a seminar by Japanese disabled leaders, ten participants from three organizations were all studying hard, but none of them were severely disabled. So, the project team gave a task for them that they should find at least five severely disabled persons and take them outside their homes until the next years’ seminar was held.

    After this, three organizations began to train students to be a voluntary staff, and ask them to take severely disabled persons outside. Some of disabled persons went outside for the first time in their lives; some of them were strogly opposed by their families, so that they were forced to refuse staff visits; some of them gave up to go outside because of their bad health; some of them had lifters fixed in their bathroom by staff who saw families lift the disabled person with great difficulty. As a result, many of them attended the peer counselling workshop held in 2002 empowered physically and mentally. As they are finished learning skills of managing an IL center in 2003-2004 year, the real activities are ready to start.

    4. Showing role model of IL

    Young disabled persons who belongs to the MileStone Society in Pakistan came to Japan for the Duskin Training Program, including the 9 month IL seminar at several IL centers, such as Human Care Association and Main Stream Association. It is almost a year since they have gone back to Pakistan and begun to start the IL movement. They looked around Lahore to discover severely disabled persons confined in their homes, and persuade them to attend training workshops held at an office. They asked some promising participants to experience IL in a room in the corner of the office.

    In the end, a young girl with muscular dystrophy made a decision to live independently. She learned various IL skills such as how to take proper care from others and how to tell personal assistants what she wanted her PA to do by actually living in a special room arranged in a corner of her house. In the day time, now she works as a member of the Life IL Center the renamed office, riding in a power wheel chair taken from Japan. It is very meaningful that she began to live independently for the first time in Pakistan, moreover in such an Islamic society, where women are likely to be conservative. After her independence, two male disabled persons, who have been encouraged by her, want and even practice now to live independently.

    Spreading the correct philosophy of IL

    It is true that more and more people have heard about IL, and especially in developing countries, where their expectation toward IL is getting bigger and bigger. Nevertheless, most of them have given up their dreams, making excuses like these: “We have no resources to use in our country.” “Prejudices against disabled people are still deeply rooted.” “Government does not still prepare sufficient welfare systems.”

      One of the strategies to achieve the targets of the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action is “Strengthened community-based approaches for the prevention of causes of disability, rehabilitation and empowerment of persons with disabilities.” It says that “Many developing countries in the region are now beginning to augment and replace traditional institutional and centralized rehabilitation programmes and projects with approaches better suited to their social and economic environments of poverty, high unemployment and limited resources for social services. Community-based rehabilitation programmes form the hub of such strategies. The community-based approach is particularly appropriate for the prevention of causes of disability, early identification and intervention of children with disabilities, reaching out to persons with disabilities in rural areas, raising awareness and advocacy for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all activities in the community, including social, cultural and religious activities. Education, training and employment needs could also be met by this approach. It is essential that persons with disabilities exercise choice and control over initiatives for community-based rehabilitation..” It even recommends in Strategy 10 that “Governments, in collaboration with organizations of persons with disabilities and civil society organizations, should immediately develop national policies, if that has not yet been done, to promote community-based approaches for the prevention of causes of disability, for rehabilitation and for the empowerment of persons with disabilities. Community based rehabilitation (CBR) perspectives should reflect a human rights approach and be modeled on the independent living concept, which includes peer counselling.”

    Many people tend to think it nearly impossible to introduce IL to their countries. Naturally the idea of IL can apply to all disabled people in all countries by all ages. The problem is whether you can have the courage of doing what you have not done yet, and whether you have many peers and friends who will support your activity. Pioneers have a lot of difficulties, but have a great impact on other people. Nowadays a variety of IL programs and seminars are prepared for such people. People in developed countries including US are ready to assist you to be a leader of IL movement. We are showing the achievements and good news of IL at all times.

    Thank you to author Shoji Nakanishi for granting permission to publish this article at We Can Do. Shoji Nakanishi is currently Chairperson of DPI Asia Pacific and Treasurer DPI World Council. He founded the Japan Council on Independent Living Centers.

    I first learned about this paper when Ghulam Nabi Nazimani passed it along.

    Have you written an article that you think would be appropriate for publication at We Can Do? Please review the We Can Do Wish List for Written Materials and Resources and contact me. You may either leave a comment somewhere at this blog or sent me an email to ashettle [at] patriot.net.

    To find more academic papers or research related to people with disabilities in developing countries, click on Academic Papers and Research under “Categories” in the right-hand navigation bar.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

    Finding What You Want at We Can Do

    Posted on 28 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Introduction to "We Can Do" | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

    We Can Do has a growing collection of information on resources, funding sources, academic papers and research, case studies, conferences and other events, call for papers, education and training opportunities, job and internship opportunities, and volunteer opportunities. But how do you find everything that might be helpful to you in the work you do with disability communities in developing countries?

    I have now created a new page to help guide you. Click on Navigating We Can Do in the top navigation bar for some quick tips on:

    • finding particular types of information
    • finding information by theme or topic
    • consulting an overview of all We Can Do posts
    • finding announcements for upcoming (or on-going) conferences, events, call for papers, education, and training opportunities
    • making sure you haven’t overlooked any recent posts at We Can Do
    • browsing all past posts in the We Can Do Archives; finding the most popular–and the most under-rated–We Can Do posts
    • finding information and resources elsewhere; making sure you don’t miss future information posted at We Can Do

    Please do share any ideas you may have for how I can make it easier for you to “navigate” We Can Do. I want you to be able to quickly find the information you need to help you fight poverty among disabled people in developing countries and advocate for human rights. I also welcome feedback on making We Can Do more accessible to readers with disabilities, including people who use screen readers or screen magnifiers.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

    RESOURCE: Atlas on Country Resources in Intellectual Disabilities

    Posted on 27 December 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cognitive Impairments, Education, Employment, Families, Health, Human Rights, News, Reports, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Montreal PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health have released an atlas that presents global data on intellectual disabilities. The Atlas: Global Resources for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities: 2007 (PDF format, 5.6 Mb) was launched during the Second International Conference on Intellectual Disabilities held in November 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand.

    WHO initiated the Atlas in recognition that “global data collection in the field of intellectual disabilities has long been neglected” (Preface, p. 11). The Atlas gives an overview of the extent to which resources and services for children, adolescents, and adults with intellectual disabilities are available throughout all the member states of WHO. This includes information on health services; education; services specific to intellectual disabilities; work-related services such as sheltered or supported employment and vocational training; services to families; and other types of services such as leisure activities, transportation, assistive technology, rights or advocacy support, or food/meal supplies. Data is also given for how these resources and services are distributed by region and by income level.

    This information was gathered in the hope that it can be used to help stimulate advocacy and planning efforts in support of people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Specifically, it helps identify specific gaps and needs in the resources and services available for people with intellectual disabilities and their families throughout the world. This information could be used to advocate with governments or foundations for the resources needed to fill these gaps. The Atlas also has developed two instruments that can be used at the country or the regional level to help map where intellectual disability services are available (in Appendix III and IV of the Atlas). Furthermore, the Atlas has helped produce a network of contacts in the intellectual disability field (in Appendix II of the Atlas).

    The Atlas also was developed in acknowledgment that disability is increasingly recognized as a human rights issue. Health and other public services for people with intellectual disabilities are a human right, as recognized by the new international disabilities rights treaty. The Atlas was enabled by a new linkage between WHO and the intellectual disability field, via the Montreal PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research in Mental Health and its associated partners, the Lisette-Dupras and the West Montreal Readaptation centres for persons with intellectual disabilities.

    This new resource is primarily targeted at individuals and agencies responsible for planning health and social policy and services within countries. However, it also is meant for those who provide services to people with intellectual disabilities; for international and national NGOs active in the intellectual disability field; human rights advocates and activists; public health professionals and students; and for civil society in general.

    The entire Atlas is available for free in PDF format (5.6 Mb). You can download it by clicking on the link to:


    You can also read more background information on the Atlas, including the contact person at WHO, at:


    We Can Do first learned of this resource through the web site for the International Conference on Intellectual Disabilities/Mental Retardation. The information in this blog post was gathered partly from

    What other resources are available via We Can Do that you might have overlooked? See the We Can Do Retrospective: The First 100 Posts (and Then Some) for an overview.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 9 so far )

    Finding Conferences, Training Opportunities, and Call for Papers

    Posted on 24 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Education and Training Opportunities, Events and Conferences, Introduction to "We Can Do" | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Until now, the only way someone could quickly look up all conference and event announcements, or training opportunities, or call for papers was to look under “Categories” in the right hand navigation bar and click on “Events and Conferences, “<a href=”Education and training opportunities, or “Call for Papers.

    This probably worked fine for people who monitor We Can Do on a regular basis. When a new announcement went up on the site, you could be sure it wasn’t too late to apply (because, after all, it was a new announcement). And you could see at a glance if it was of interest to you. But for someone new to the site, I imagine it might have been more difficult to browse through the large, and growing backlog of various types of announcements. Some of the newer announcements are already dated–for events that have now come and gone. But some of the older announcements are still perfectly valid–for events that still won’t take place for many more months.

    Now there’s a better way to quickly locate announcements for upcoming events, conferences, call for papers, and education or training opportunities. If you look up at the top of this page, you will see there is a new link entitled Conferences, Events, Call for Papers, Training Opportunities. You can click on that page at any time to see events organized by date. You might notice that I cribbed most of this new page from the work I did on my Retrospective post, which links to the first 100-plus posts at We Can Do.

    I will still post announcements for events, education and training opportunities and so forth as I receive them. But from now on, I will also try to link to these announcements from the new page. And from time to time, I will remove links to dated announcements.

    If you subscribe to We Can Do, then you can receive a free email alert each time a new post goes up at We Can Do. That way, you can be sure you won’t miss any new announcements or other material of interest at We Can Do.

    Please let me know what you think of this new feature. Also please do let me know of any suggestions you may have for other ways I can improve We Can Do.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

    We Can Do Retrospective: The First 100 Posts (and Then Some)

    Posted on 22 December 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Arts, autism, Blind, Call for Papers, Case Studies, Children, Cognitive Impairments, Commonwealth Nations, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Cross-Disability, Deaf, Democratic Participation, Disability Studies, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, East Asia and Central Asia, East Asia Pacific Region, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Education, Education and Training Opportunities, Employment, Events and Conferences, Families, Fellowships & Scholarships, Funding, Guest Blogger, Health, HIV/AIDS, Housing, Human Rights, Immigration, Inclusion, Interpreting, Introduction to "We Can Do", Jobs & Internships, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, Mobility Impariments, Multiple Disabilities, News, Opinion, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation, Poverty, Psychiatric Disabilities, Rehabilitation, Remittances, Reports, Resources, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, technology, Violence, Volunteer Opportunities, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Skip introduction, go straight to the Table of Contents

    If you’re new to We Can Do, what interesting information, news, or resources might you have overlooked from the past few months? Although some older items may no longer be interesting, others may still be relevant and helpful a year or three from now. This post can help guide you through the first 100-plus posts at this blog. You can click from the table of contents below to any section of this page that interests you–and then another click on “table of contents” can take you back to the contents, or “top of this page” takes you back to this introduction.

    Top of this page

    Table of Contents

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    About We Can Do

    To learn more about the purpose of We Can Do, see About We Can Do. For more on its guiding philosophy, go to Why We Can Do.

    Thinking about submitting your own written materials, job posts, conference announcements, or resources to We Can Do? Check the Wish list for written materials and resources.

    Want to receive an alert in email when a new post goes up at We Can Do? You can Subscribe to We Can Do for free.

    I changed the organization and appearance of We Can Do in early October to its present format.

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    The Five Most Popular We Can Do posts

    The five listed here are the ones that have attracted the most “page views” since We Can Do began in late July. You may notice that not all of these are featured in the 10 “most popular posts” listed in the right-hand navigation bar. That’s because the navigation bar only lists posts that have received a lot of traffic very recently (I think within the past few days; its done automatically by wordpress so I’m not sure how it works). But here I’m listing the five that have the highest TOTAL page views.

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    The Five Most Under-Rated We Can Do posts

    Are these posts really under-rated? You’ll have to read them and decide for yourself. But in choosing these five, I used two criteria: 1. These are posts that have received fewer than 100 visitors–sometimes far fewer. 2. These are posts that I think could be helpful or interesting to readers and maybe deserve more attention than they have gotten. These are in no particular order:

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Finding Practical Resources and Case Studies or Helpful Organizations

    Finding organizations; Resources for inclusive development; Human rights resources; Case studies; Other helpful resources

    Finding organizations
    Mainstream international development agencies sometimes say that they don’t know how to find people with disabilities, or their representative organizations, in the developing countries where they work. Reviewing the July post entitled Finding Local Disability Organizations may help point you in the right direction. Also see Disability Organizations in Afghanistan, Asia, Kenya, Uganda.

    Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) sometimes aren’t sure where to find mainstream development organizations and resources that might be willing to collaborate with them.

    There is an international network of organizations for families of people with Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome.

    Top of Finding practical resources; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Resources for Inclusive Development
    Both disability advocates and mainstream development organizations want to ensure that people with disabilities are not left behind when countries and organizations fight poverty or improve public health, education, water, and other services. But it can be a challenge to figure out how to make projects and government policies more inclusive. The following resources can help:

    Top of Finding practical resources; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Resources on the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    By now, you may be aware that a global movement is taking place to ratify the international disability rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Many relevant resources are now being produced in relation to the CRPD, some of which have been posted or featured here at We Can Do:

  • Read the CRPD “translated” into plain English.
  • UNICEF has developed a child-friendly version of the CRPD to help children understand disability rights
  • Disabled People International offers two toolkits on ratifying and implementing the CRPD for disability advocates who want to help ensure that all disabled people have their human rights recognized.
  • A handbook on disability rights targeted at parliamentarians can help parliamentarians, people who work in close contact with government agencies, and disability advocates in general, better understand the CRPD.
  • The United Nations’ new web site, UN Enable, is one of the best, and most official, places to find information on the CRPD.
  • Handicap International has produced its own Teaching Kit on the CRPD.
  • The International Disability Equality Agency (IDEA) has issued Equalize It! A Manifesto for Disability Equality in Development Cooperation that expresses their position on how to ensure disability equality in the international development field.
  • Top of Finding practical resources; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Case Studies
    Reviewing case studies of projects implemented elsewhere can be a valuable source of ideas that could help you figure out how to run or implement your own projects. I would love to post many more best-practice and failed-practice case studies than I have available right now. If you think you have something worth sharing, please check my Wish List of Written Materials and Resource and contact me at ashettle [at] patriot.net.

    But for now, here are two case studies:

    Top of Finding practical resources; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Other Helpful Resources

    Top of Finding practical resources; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Finding Useful Sources of Information and Research

    Finding academic research, papers, resources, or statistics
    Looking for academic research and academic papers; resources that can be used by people working in the field; or sources of statistics? Some of the following posts may be helpful:

    Information on people with disabilities
    Interested in learning about the living conditions of people with disabilities in specific nations, or in specific thematic areas? Some of the following may be of interest:

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Funding Sources

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Academic Papers

    We Can Do has published, or re-published, academic papers, or linked to same, on a range of subjects, including:

    Table of Contents; Top of this page


    September 2007; October 2007; November 2007; Early December 2007

    September 2007
    At one point in September, the international disability community prematurely thought we might be On the Verge of Making History by ratifying the disability rights community.

    Top of News; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    October 2007

    Top of News; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    November 2007

    Top of News; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Early December 2007

    Top of News; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Opinion Pieces

    So far, the opinion pieces here are all by me. But I would like for We Can Do to be host to an active exchange of ideas and differing perspectives. If you have a strong opinion about something, please consider submitting it. Yes, that includes opinions that disagree with mine! Consult the Wish list for written materials and resources for ideas of the kinds of topics I’m trying to cover at We Can Do.

    Meanwhile, here are a few of my own opinion pieces:

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Call for Papers (for Conferences, Journals, Other)

    You might be just now starting your academic career as an undergraduate or graduate student. Or perhaps you have been doing quantitative or qualitative research, or writing policy analysis, or case studies, or social analysis, for years. Either way, if you’re looking for opportunities to present, publish, or otherwise disseminate your papers or run a workshop, then check out these upcoming or ongoing opportunities:

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    International Conferences and Events

    Looking for a conference to attend? Here are a few upcoming events:
    January 2008; February 2008; March 2008; April 2008; May 2008; August 2008; September 2008; November 2008

    January 2008
    The South Asian Conference on Autism is being held in New Delhi, India in January 2008.

    Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    February 2008

  • The Disabilities Initiatives in Development Seminar, also in Bangladesh also in February 2008.
  • One for all: Persons with Disabilities Initiative in Development, again in Bangladesh in February 2008.
  • The International Centre for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, UK is holding a conference on sign language research in the UK in February 2008.
  • A conference on the deaf community, sign languages, social issues, civil rights, and creativity will be held on the campus of Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • The Techshare India 2008 Conference on accessibility will be held in New Delhi, India, in February 2008.
  • Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    March 2008
    The 8th annual meeting of the Gulf Disability Society will meet in United Arab Emirates in March 2008.

    Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    April 2008

    Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    May 2008

    Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    August 2008

    Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    September 2008

    Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    November 2008
    The Association on Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)’s International Forum on Women’s Rights and Development will be held in Cape Town, South Africa in November 2008. A call for proposals is open until January 28, 2008.

    Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Jobs, Internships, Volunteer Opportunities

    We Can Do will probably never be a comprehensive job-board. Serious job, internship, or volunteer placement hunters will want to explore other means of finding opportunities. For example, jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities in the international field generally, or in the disability field generally, can sometimes be found at www.idealist.org. But I do occasionally happen to come across a job announcement. Here are a few that may still be open to applications:

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Education and Training Opportunities

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Missed Opportunities

    Missed call for papers; Missed training opportunities; Missed job, internship, and volunteer opportunities; Missed events and conferences

    Some of the material I post at We Can Do is time-sensitive material. That means the conferences announced here have come and gone; job posts have been filled; and deadlines are over. So, if it’s too late for you to do anything about any of the following announcements, then why bother listing them? First, some conference organizers issue compilations of papers and presentations or other interesting materials after their event is over. If a topic interests you, it may be worth communicating with event organizers to see if any follow-up publications are available. Second, organizations that offer one conference, job opportunity, call for papers, etc., may offer something similar in the future. Many conferences, for example, meet every one, two, three, or four years. Monitoring, joining, or communicating with organizations of interest to you could help ensure that you learn about the next opportunity in time to plan for it.

    Top of Missed Opportunities; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Missed Call for Papers
    The German Journal for Disability and Development called for papers on art and disabilities to be submitted by the end of November 2007.

    Also browse through the listing of upcoming conferences and missed conferences.

    Top of Missed Opportunities; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Missed Training Opportunities

    In October 2007, the International Labour Organisation had a training course for professionals from developing countries.

    Top of Missed Opportunities; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Missed Jobs, Internships, and Volunteer Opportunities
    Remember that it is too late to apply for these specific opportunities. These are listed here in case you want to check out the sponsoring organizations for future opportunities like these:

    Top of Missed Opportunities; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Missed Event and Conference Opportunities

    Top of Missed Opportunities; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    What’s Next for We Can Do?

    I am not yet satisfied with We Can Do. I still see many gaps that I want to repair. I want to find, and post, more materials of a pragmatic nature. By which I mean, material that people in the field can put to immediate use in improving the lives of disabled people in developing countries. If you think you can help me locate helpful materials, please review my Wish list for written materials and resources and contact me.

    I also want to reach more development professionals at mainstream development organizations and more employees and volunteers at international disability organizations. And I want to reach more small DPOs and individual advocates in more developing countries. The knowledge shared at We Can Do cannot help until it is brought to people with disabilities living in poverty in developing countries. That “final mile” can only be bridged by readers like YOU.

    If you want to help, I hope you will consider telling your colleagues and contacts about We Can Do. If you run a web site or a blog, please consider linking to We Can Do at https://wecando.wordpress.com. If you have the skills, the time, and the commitment to launch a We Can Do mirror site translation into some other language, please talk to me (leave a comment or email me at ashettle [at] patriot.net). And please do feel free to print out the more helpful We Can Do posts to share with people you know in developing countries who do not have easy access to the Internet.

    For those of you who like numbers: We Can Do had 285 page views in July; 851 in August; 1305 in September; 2936 in October; 4862 in November; and more than 5100 in the first three weeks of December. And who is responsible for making these numbers happen? Why—you, of course! So, thank you for visiting We Can Do.

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

    NEWS: El Salvador, Mexico Ratify Disability Rights Treaty

    Posted on 21 December 2007. Filed under: Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Press Release from Rehabilitation International (RI)
    Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua Ratify the UN Disability Rights Convention
    RI Calls on Governments to Recognize the Human Rights of All by Ratifying the CRPD

    (United Nations, New York, USA, 17 December 2007): RI congratulates the Governments of Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua for ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), bringing the number to 14 States Parties. Mexico also ratified the Optional Protocol. RI calls on all governments which have not yet ratified the CRPD and its Optional Protocol to do so as a matter of priority and without reservations and declarations. Furthermore, RI urges all States Parties to begin the process of implementation by developing laws, programs and policies to ensure that ALL persons with disabilities, regardless of the type of disability, enjoy all of the rights in the Convention.

    Libre Acceso President Federico Fleischmann said, “We recognize the great efforts of the Government of Mexico for being a leader in promoting the human rights of persons with disabilities, as embodied in the Convention. RI and its member in Mexico, Libre Acceso, are committed to working within its broad network to ensure that Mexican laws are strengthened to comply with the high standards set by the Convention.”

    As part of its Global Advocacy Campaign, RI partnered with Libre Acceso, representatives of the Mexican government, the Mexican law firm Barrera, Siqueiros y Torres Landa, S.C., the international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and local disability experts to develop recommendations on how Mexico’s National Disability Law can comply with the Convention. These recommendations, presented to the Mexican Government on October 18, 2007, were formally adopted by Partido Accion Nacional (PAN), the political party of the Mexican President, as the official proposed amendments to this national law. The Senate and Chamber of Deputies will now discuss the amendments, which may be adopted as early as next year. This RI project has been made possible because of the generous support of an anonymous donor and Irish Aid.

    “We are very happy today to deposit the instrument of ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Setting up the legal framework is only the first step. The real challenge is to build a culture where the human rights of every person are fully respected,” said Senator Guillermo Tamborrel, President of the Commission on Vulnerable

    Groups and a member of PAN. Senator Tamborrel, together with Senator Maria los Angeles Moreno Uriegas of Partido Revolucionario Institutional (PRI), were present when Mexico deposited its ratification instrument today.

    The CRPD, the first human rights treaty of the 21st century, represents an essential legal instrument prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities in all areas of life, and includes specific provisions related to rehabilitation, habilitation, education, employment, health and access to information, public facilities and services, among others. The Optional Protocol concerns how individuals or groups can seek redress for violations of the CRPD once national remedies are exhausted. The Convention will become international law after 20 ratifications.

    For more information, also consult the recent We Can Do post entitled “12 Countries Ratify International Disability Rights Treaty. Background information on the CRPD, a list of signatories, and a visual map of ratifying countries, can also be found at the United Nations Enable web site. Resources and ideas for how to become involved with the global campaign to ratify the treaty can be found at the RatifyNow organization web site.

    # # #

    For more information on the UN Convention and contact details of experts within the RI membership, please contact Tomas Lagerwall (sg@riglobal.org), RI Secretary General, or Shantha Rau (shantha@riglobal.org), Senior Program Officer, at +1-212-420-1500.

    About RI
    Founded in 1922, RI is a global and diverse organization bringing together expertise from different sectors in the disability field, to advance and implement the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities. RI is currently composed of over 700 members and affiliated organizations in 93 nations, in all regions of the world.

    RI works closely with other disability organizations, actively participating in the International Disability Alliance (IDA) – a network of eight global, democratic organizations of persons with disabilities – and was an active member of the International Disability Caucus (IDC) – a coalition of disability organizations and NGOs that participated in the negotiations toward the Convention. RI also maintains official relations with the United Nations and its agencies and institutions as well as with other international organizations, NGOs and universities.

    For more information about RI, please visit their accessible website: http://www.riglobal.org

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

    Accessibility CONFERENCE: Techshare India 2008

    Posted on 18 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Events and Conferences, Inclusion, South Asian Region, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Techshare India 2008 Conference titled “Breaking the Barriers” is a conference and exhibition on accessibility targeted at people with disabilities, the corporate and government sectors, non-government organizations (NGOs), educators, and product producers. The conference will be held February 4 and 5, 2008, at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

    The conference is meant to allow participants to share insights and knowledge; network with professionals in the field from around the world; and meet people with disabilities working with assistive technology at the first known Experiential Lab at Techshare India. This is a pan-disability (i.e., all disabilities) conference and exhibition aimed at addressing barriers present in the mindset of people; infrastructure; education; and technology. The goal is to break down barriers and include people with disabilities into mainstream society.

    To learn more, please go to http://www.barrierbreak.com/conferenceregistration.php

    Need funding to attend conferences like this one? Be aware that available funding will be limited and cannot help everyone. Each funding source has its own criteria for determining who is or isn’t eligible for possible funding and for what purposes, so read carefully. Information at https://wecando.wordpress.com/2007/11/29/funding-for-conference-participation-from-developing-nations/

    We Can Do learned about this conference via the free, weekly electronic newsletter from Disabled People International (DPI).

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )

    NEWS: 12 Countries Ratify International Disability Rights Treaty (CRPD)

    Posted on 17 December 2007. Filed under: Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The United Nations (UN) has announced that 12 countries have now ratified the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Six of these countries also have ratified the optional protocol.

    This international disability rights treaty is meant to “promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities,” including self-determination, physical and programmatic access, personal mobility, health, education, employment, habilitation and rehabilitation, participation in political life, and equality and non-discrimination. (Source: RatifyNow.) The CRPD will become legally binding after 20 countries have ratified it. The optional protocol is a separate document that would allow individuals to seek redress (justice or compensation) for treaty violations internationally after they have exhausted everything that can be done at the national level. The optional protocol will be legally binding after 10 countries have ratified it.

    The most recent four countries to ratify the convention (treaty) are: Bangladesh (November 30); Spain, for both the convention and the optional protocol (December 3); Namibia, for both the convention and the optional protocol (December 4); and Nicaragua (December 7). The other eight ratifying countries are Croatia, Cuba, Gabon, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Panama, and South Africa; of these, Croatia, Hungary, Panama, and South Africa also ratified the optional protocol.

    A total of 118 countries have signed the convention, and 67 countries have signed the optional protocol. Signing the convention and optional protocol does not legally bind a country to obey them. However, signing these documents does commit the country to take no action that would conflict with the goals of the CRPD.

    If you are sighted, you can view a global map that shows visually which countries have signed or ratified the CRPD or the optional protocol. I am not sure if this map is accessible to people with visual impairments. If not, then please consult the UN Enable web site accessibility statement, which encourages people to contact them regarding accessibility issues at their web site.

    More information on the CRPD is available in the RatifyNow factsheet and the RatifyNow FAQ. More information on the optional protocol is also available at the RatifyNow website.

    We Can Do learned about these ratifications in part through the AdHoc_IDC (International Disability Caucus) email list. This on-line, email-based news and discussion service can be joined for free. I also gathered additional background information from the RatifyNow and UN Enable web sites.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

    JOB POST: Senior Social Affairs Officer, P-5

    Posted on 16 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The United Nations has a job opening for a Senior Social Affairs Officer, who would be focused on issues related to people with disabilities. This position is located in the UN Division for Social Policy for Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The Senior Social Affairs Officer reports to the Director of the Division. Responsibilities would include social analyses, intergovernmental support, technical cooperation, and program support. The application deadline is January 14, 2008.

    For more detail on the nature of this job, the entailed responsibilities, the required skills and background, and how to apply, please review the job post at:


    We Can Do learned about this opportunity via the email distribution list for the Global Partnership on Disability and Development (GPDD), which can be subscribed to for free. Thanks to Rosangela Berman Bieler for alerting the GPDD list to this opportunity!

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

    CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Forum on Women’s Rights and Development

    Posted on 16 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Events and Conferences, Human Rights, Opportunities, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The 11th AWID International Forum on Women’s Rights and Development

    The Power of Movements

    November 14-17, 2008
    Cape Town, South Africa

    (Click here to download the PDF of the full Call for Proposals)

    From November 14-17, 2008, up to 1,500 women’s rights activists from around the world will gather in Cape Town, South Africa to debate and strategize about how to build stronger women’s movements globally. The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) invites you to contribute to this urgent discussion by submitting a proposal to organize a session at the 11th AWID forum: The Power of Movements.

    We Can Do readers will note that this forum is not specifically focused on disability issues. However, it would be an opportunity for Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) and other interested parties to introduce topics of relevance to movements among women with disabilities in developing countries. We Can Do readers may also wish to consider submitting proposals for sessions on including women with disabilities among the wider women’s movements generally. You could also explore how to build bridges between women’s movements and disability movements, or explore what lessons each movement has to learn from the other.

    Session proposals should consider one of the following questions:

    Understanding social movements and collective power

    • What is a movement and what is movement building? What are the diverse ways in which movements can be built?
    • What are the strengths and limitations of movements? How do you recognize a movement in decline?
    • What role does constituency building play in movements? How do you build constituencies?
    • What makes a movement “feminist”, and how do its character, approaches and strategies differ from other movements, even if they are led and constituted by women?

    Unpacking the architecture of feminist and women’s movements

    • What kinds of organizational structures have evolved through time to successfully support feminist and women’s movements? What other structures do we need to strengthen or build in order to build up the institutional capacity and impact of women’s movements?
    • What role (formal and informal) do organizations play in movements? How can the relationship between women’s organizations and movements be understood?
    • What forms of organizing have appeared in recent years, both in women’s movements and in other social movements? What can we learn from these forms, and what other forms do we still need to develop?

    Challenges to effective movement building work

    • What are the key obstacles to movement building today? What are some innovative and effective responses to these obstacles?
    • How can we strengthen and build new and innovative leadership styles and models that contribute to movement building? Which models obstruct or impede movement building?
    • How do we deal collectively and constructively with the politics and tensions within our movements over issues such as over-specialization, North-South/East-West tensions, unequal access to resources, leadership, succession, competition, etc.?
    • What are the movement building challenges faced by social movements in areas or countries under occupation, armed conflict or war? What are examples of effective ways to support their efforts? What are alternatives to movement building in countries where social movements are routinely targeted with threats and intimidation?

    Overcoming fragmentation and building inclusive movements

    • How do we build more inclusive movements? What mistakes have we made in the past, and how do avoid them going forward? What have been key lessons learnt in dealing with issues such as class, race, age, religion, ethnicity and other conditions in trying to build inclusive movements?
    • How do we overcome the fragmentation and overspecialization in our movements-e.g. the increasing specialization on particular issues, sectors or themes-to build bridges, common political agendas and shared strategies?
    • How can we build better linkages and do more effective strategizing across levels of activism-e.g., between those doing grassroots work and those doing advocacy at the public-policy level?
    • What other linkages do we urgently need to build, and how do we build them?

    Building sustainable, multi-generational movements

    • What are the diverse needs and contributions of different generations of women, and how can we draw upon them to create stronger and more sustainable movements?
    • How can multi-generational dialogues work to strengthen our movements? What are some good experiences of such dialogues and what impacts-good or bad-have they had?
    • How can women’s movements build spaces that significantly incorporate and support-rather than tokenize-young women’s contributions to gender equality and women’s rights struggles?
    • How do we create more sustainable models of activism? How do we renew and sustain our movements and ourselves (and each other)?

    Building effective alliances with and learning from other social movements

    • How do we move beyond women’s movements to identify, build and expand solidarities and collective actions with other social movements – and why should we do so? What is the cost of remaining insular?
    • In working with other social movements, where do we draw the line between strategic compromise and marginalization of a women’s rights agenda?
    • What are other movements doing right? What can we learn from them?
    • What have been some organizational experiences in local, national, regional and global joint work with members of other social movements your organization has had? Tell us about your challenges and achievements.

    Mobilizing resources for movement building

    • What does funding for movement building look like? Are there any specific examples of experiences that demonstrate how this might be done in an effective way?
    • How does the way in which money is given by donors support or undermine movement building work? What changes are needed in donor policies and strategies to strengthen women’s movements?
    • What changes do we need to make in how we mobilize resources for movement building work? What are the successful strategies that we can learn from?
    • How do we expand the resources for our movement building and for our work in general?

    Measuring the success of movements

    • How do we know when we’ve achieved our goals? What constitutes “success”? And how do we measure our impact?
    • What kinds of evaluation methodologies contribute to movement building? How can we use the data from these methodologies to strengthen our movement building work?
    • How do we capture and evaluate the movement building aspects of our work? What are some examples of innovative indicators and evaluation frameworks?

    New directions in movement building

    • What new tools, processes, methodologies and innovations are available for movement building? What are their benefits as well as some of their pitfalls?
    • What new language, terminology and ideas around women’s rights can we build that are accessible, make sense to and motivate larger numbers of women, and will increase our political impact? What are other innovative ways of reaching out to the broader public and having greater societal impact?
    • What are some innovative ways that movements can deal effectively with emerging challenges, such the rise of religious fundamentalisms, the potential abuses of new technologies, the feminization of HIV and AIDS, the emerging environmental crisis, etc.?

    The Power of Movements

    Submit your proposal online at www.awid.org/forum08

    Email or call AWID for more information or a
    Word version/hard copy of the application form
    +1 416 594 3773

    JANUARY 28, 2008

    Are you a person from a developing country who would need funding in order to attend this or other conferences? Learn about possible limited funding sources for participating in conferences at:


    We Can Do learned of this opportunity through contacts at Women Leaders at Mobility International USA (MIUSA). Most of the text in this announcement originates with AWID, except for the paragraph targeted at We Can Do readers.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 10 so far )

    Equalize It! A Manifesto for Disability Equality in Development Cooperation

    Posted on 15 December 2007. Filed under: Guest Blogger, Human Rights, Inclusion, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    From the International Disability Equality Agency (IDEA):

    Equalise It ! A Manifesto for Disability Equality in Development Cooperation

    This manifesto has been written to identify the issues for the disability movement, clarify any confusion there may be for disability and development professionals and set out a programme for change in order to create real equality for disabled people and our democratic, representative organisations (DPOs) in the development process. The adoption of the UN Convention on the rights of People with Disabilities by a growing number of countries makes the implementation of the principles in this manifesto a matter of urgency.

    Disability, Poverty and Development Charities.

    As disabled people….
    Throughout the world we face discrimination.
    Throughout the world we are socially excluded.
    Throughout the world we cannot get equal access or any access at all to education, employment or decent health care.
    Throughout the world we are ignored in development programmes
    And so…

    Throughout the world we, disabled people, remain the poorest of the poor!

    The fact of this poverty has been used by global development organisations and charities to raise millions of dollars both from the public and from development agencies. However, only a small proportion of this money ever filters down to us or our organisations, DPOs. Even a smaller proportion ever succeeds in effecting sustained improvement in our lives.

    At the same time we often have little or no control over what is being done ‘to us’ ‘for us’ or ‘on our behalf.’ There tends, therefore, to be little agreement between what many non-disabled professionals and charities think disabled people need and what we actually want. As a consequence, development projects can leave behind little but disappointment. Because of this the big development organisations and disability charities are frequently seen by disabled people as part of the problem, not part of the solution. Nonetheless, disabled people in the South and Southern DPOs have had little choice but to continue working with them and to smile while doing it. The disability businesses, charities and generalist development organisations have access to the money and with that comes power and control.

    These organisations retain control because they are corporate organisations alive to a new funding environment which is demanding that boxes are ticked for such things as ‘human rights’, ‘inclusion’ and ‘listening to the voice of disabled people.’ They have all ticked the boxes, adopted the appropriate language and changed their public image. This is part of their corporate funding strategy. However, the reality is that their operations have not changed very much at all. They continue to be managed by non-disabled people and employ few, if any disabled people.

    This reality on the ground is that for us, especially in the South, non-disabled professionals from the North continue to come and to go. Projects come and projects go. Through this never-ending process the disability organisations and charities go from strength to strength, while our DPOs continue to live from hand to mouth.

    This manifesto sets out how to begin to overturn this situation and the unequal power relations which feed it.

    “Nothing About Us Without Us”

    “Nothing About Us Without Us” was the slogan adopted by Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) at its founding in 1981. DPI was established after Rehabilitation International (RI), then the world’s leading disability charity, refused to permit adequate representation by disabled people. This slogan has been particularly effective in capturing a key idea of our struggle for human rights – self determination is essential for achieving true equality.

    This was clearly acknowledged in the 1993 UN Standard Rules on the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. Rule 18 says, “States should recognise the rights of persons with disabilities to represent persons with disabilities at national, regional and local levels. States should also recognise the advisory role of organisations of persons with disabilities in decision-making on disability matters”.

    “Nothing About Us Without Us” is also in line with the more general human rights approach to development cooperation. For example the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) holds that “The human rights approach to development means empowering people to take their own decisions, rather than being the passive objects of choices made on their behalf.’

    The ideas of self-determination and human rights developed and fought for by us in our international disability movement and encapsulated in “Nothing About Us Without Us” are also at the very heart of the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

    Disability – a Human Rights Issue

    UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognises that ‘disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.’

    There are eight guiding principles that underlie the Convention and each one of its specific articles:
    1. Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of person
    2. Non-discrimination
    3. Full and effective participation and inclusion in society
    4. Respect for difference and acceptance of disabled people as part of human diversity and humanity
    5. Equality of opportunity
    6. Accessibility
    7. Equality between men and women
    8. Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.

    In particular the Convention emphasises the importance of self-representation through DPOs and commits State Parties to working “in partnership with relevant international and regional organizations and civil society, in particular organizations of persons with disabilities” (Article 32).

    The Office of the United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights

    Four core values of human rights law that are of particular importance in the context of disability.

    • the dignity of each individual, who is deemed to be of inestimable value because of his/her inherent self-worth, and not because s/he is economically or otherwise “useful”;
    • the concept of autonomy or self-determination, which is based on the presumption of a capacity for self-directed action and behaviour, and requires that the person be placed at the centre of all decisions affecting him/her;
    • the inherent equality of all regardless of difference;
    • and the ethic of solidarity, which requires society to sustain the freedom of the person with appropriate social supports.


    As participation is a legal right which we can claim, it is the duty of states and society to ensure that right. Our participation and inclusion must not only be in the systems, structures and services of society, but in the policy-making process as well.

    As can be seen, the UN Convention calls for disabled people and our organisations to be in the driving seat. However, this will not happen unless there is a fundamental change in the unequal, neo-colonial relationship which currently exists between disabled people and the large corporate charities, government agencies and international development institutions.

    It seems clear that at this phase of our struggle for equality and human rights “Nothing About Us Without Us” is no longer enough. As disabled people we and our organisations need not only to be included, we need to assume the leading role.

    Professionals On Tap, Not On Top

    Some time ago, David Werner, one of the founders of the Projimo Project in Mexico, wrote:

    “Women in most countries are now demanding their right to leadership in the institutions that represent their concerns. It is high time for disabled people everywhere to make similar demands. It is time for planners and administrators to provide the necessary opportunity, encouragement and appropriate skills training.

    “And, most urgently of all, it is time for non-disabled professionals to recognise the right of disabled persons to self control, and therefore to gracefully step to one side, into a role where they, as professionals, are no longer on top but rather on tap – as allies.

    This was an attempt to understand the real relationship between disabled people and non-disabled professionals and to alter it. Redefining the relationship is an essential step to achieving a human rights based, empowering and emancipatory approach to disability and development. Without it we will remain no more than the passive raw material for international and national NGOs.

    It doesn’t have to be this way. As with other social movements such as black power in the USA, women’s equality or the anti-imperialist struggles, as disabled people we must assume real leadership in our own liberation. We must fight to realise the promise of the UN Convention. And, those non-disabled professionals and organisations who want to help, need to move over and accept a new, more appropriate and equitable relationship. They need to be on tap, not on top. They need to become our genuine allies.

    A Check List for Allies

    To become genuine allies in the liberation of disabled people funders, development agencies, disability organisations, INGOs and other intermediaries must take steps to transform themselves and how they operate. Among other things, they need to:

    • Ensure that the need for programmes and policies are identified by disabled people and that we are not included simply to legitimise funding applications.
    • Ensure that disabled people are involved in all areas of the programme, not just as recipients or beneficiaries, and preferably through our own democratically run organisations (DPOs).
    • Ensure programmes are committed at every stage to full human rights and equality of opportunity.
    • Ensure that resources are transferred to DPOs in order to build capacity and sustainability.
    • Empower and resource disabled people to represent ourselves through our own organisations.
    • Champion disabled leadership both inside and outside your organisation.
    • Be prepared to change your internal and external policies and practices through engaging with the authentic voice of disabled people in the North and South.
    • If you are a disability organisation or charity, to reform your governance, staffing and operations structures to move towards disabled people being in the majority positions at all levels of the organisation.
    • If you are a donor or generalist development agency, ensure that your governance, staffing and advisory bodies are representative of society and you have at least 20% representation of disabled people at all levels of your organisation.

    The signatories to this manifesto are ready and willing to work with, support and assist any organisation that wishes to travel this road with disabled people. At the same time we will continue to challenge those who ignore our legitimate demands for control of our own destiny.

    Thank you to Mark Harrison at the International Disabilities Equality Agency (IDEA) for permission to publish the Equalize It! Manifesto at We Can Do.

    IDEA is looking for more organizations to sign the manifesto and join their campaign. For more details, see the IDEA web site. For questions related to this manifesto, or to ask about your organization signing it, please contact Mark Harrison directly at Mark.Harrison@uea.ac.uk.

    The text of the Equalize It! manifesto can also be viewed at the IDEA web site at:


    Or, you can download the Equalize It! Manifesto in PDF format at:


    People interested in learning more about the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) may also wish to follow the link to the RatifyNow web site at


    RatifyNow is a global campaign to maximize the number of countries that ratify the CRPD.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

    THREE JOB POSTS, Luanda, Angola

    Posted on 15 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Jobs & Internships, Rehabilitation, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Read carefully. This post contain THREE separate job announcements, all in Luanda, Angola. The first is for a Technical Expert who is experienced in social and health projects. The second is for a Project Coordinator who is a technical expert in severe disability rehabilitaiton. The third is for an expert in the identification of sanitation and hospital services, services of continous support to target group. All job posts are meant to begin in February 2008 and continue for 12 months. The deadline for all three job posts is December 31, 2007.

    Technical Expert – Experienced in social and health projects

    Country of assignment and location
    Angola, Luanda

    GTZ International Services in consortium with MundiServiços has been shortlisted for this World Bank-financed project.

    The project
    In the sequence of the Lwena Memorandum of Understanding complementary to Lusaka Protocol, the Angola Government has prepared the Angolan Program for Demobilization and Reintegration which is being implemented at National level by The Institute of Socio-Professional Reintegration for Ex-combatants (IRSEM). In the scope of this program assistance is been delivered to facilitate economic and social reintegration of 138.000 Ex-combatants. 105.000 are from Ex-FMU (Unita Forces) and 33.000 from FAA (Angolan Armed Forces).
    Among the program beneficiaries can be distinguished special groups as follows:
    Female Ex-combatants, Widows of Ex-combatants eligible for PGDR (Minors whose parents are Ex-combatants or their guardian, Ex-combatants with disabilities, designated as a “Vulnerable Group” to whom PGDR has designed a specific strategy to assist them.

    Estimated are that 1750-2000 of the 28000 disabled who will be demobilised are severely disabled: para-, hemi-, tetraplegic, multiple limb amputees, deaf, blind, mentally disabled,… They are the specific target group of this project.

    The objective of the project is to deliver technical assistance to IRSEM to create conditions for social reintegration and physical rehabilitation in order to prevent or minimise the dependency for specialised services for ex-combatants with severe disabilities.

    Your tasks
    Provide TA, organise and identify specialists for the following activities which will be defined by the results of the needs assessments of each Person with a Disability and of the service provision sector:


    • Identification of failure in terms of social services, psychological support and human support.
    • Formulating an action plan to improve Angolan service delivery to target group


    • Contracting out social reintegration of the disabled person taking in the account the actual and future living environment
    • Contracting out vocational trainings for disabled to perform professional activities. Special stock for small lending, creation of adapted micro enterprises and / or work opportunities.
    • Organizing training of Angolan institutions for psychological support to families and availability of resources in order beneficiaries can develop income generation activities taking advantage of existing economic opportunities.
    • Organizing training in occupational activities adapted to the disabled and to avail them of affordable opportunities
    • Orientation of contracted social services to refer family members to the existing projects for the development of economic activities.
    • Assuring access to distribution of tools for those having a viable idea of self employment

    • Providing technical support to create micro and small companies
    • Organizing training of Angolan institutions for economic capacity building to provide income generation/salaries for the People with Disability and/or family / relatives caring for the severe disabled

    Your qualification
    University degree in Public Health or Social Science or relevant field

    • Minimum of 5 years professional experience, of which 3 years in international projects
    • At least 3 years of experience in the provision of social services for vulnerable groups of population
    • Work experience in technical assistance projects funded by WB or other development agencies advantageous
    • Relevant work experience in the region
    • Excellent communication skills
    • Excellent command of Portuguese and English
    • Excellent degree of stress tolerance and flexibility

    Expected date of commencement is February 2008. The period of execution will be 12 months.

    For further information please contact
    Mrs. Annette Mueller-Roth
    Phone: +49 61 96 79-1483
    e-mail: Annette.Mueller-Roth@gtz.de


    Project Coordinator – Technical expert in severe disability rehabilitation

    Country of assignment and location
    Angola, Luanda

    GTZ International Services in consortium with MundiServiços has been shortlisted for this World Bank-financed project.

    The project
    In the sequence of the Lwena Memorandum of Understanding complementary to Lusaka Protocol, the Angola Government has prepared the Angolan Program for Demobilization and Reintegration which is being implemented at National level by The Institute of Socio-Professional Reintegration for Ex-combatants (IRSEM). In the scope of this program assistance is been delivered to facilitate economic and social reintegration of 138.000 Ex-combatants. 105.000 are from Ex-FMU (Unita Forces) and 33.000 from FAA (Angolan Armed Forces).
    Among the program beneficiaries can be distinguished special groups as follows:
    Female Ex-combatants, Widows of Ex-combatants eligible for PGDR, Minors whose parents are Ex-combatants or their guardian, Ex-combatants with disabilities, designated as a “Vulnerable Group” to whom PGDR has designed a specific strategy to assist them.

    Estimated are that 1750-2000 of the 28000 disabled who will be demobilised are severely disabled: para-, hemi-, tetraplegic, multiple limb amputees, deaf, blind, mentally disabled,… They are the specific target group of this project.

    The objective of the project is to deliver technical assistance to IRSEM to create conditions for social reintegration and physical rehabilitation of this severely disabled subgroup in order to prevent or minimise the dependency for specialised services for ex-combatants with severe disabilities

    Your tasks

    Provide TA in order to:


    • organize a needs assessments (from each individual and from the capacity of the service delivery sector),
    • elaborate an individualized action plan and a disability sector plan


    • the implementation of training to the local service delivery sector
    • assisting IRSEM in contracting out the local service delivery
    • supervision

    The following activities have to be organized for the target group

  • Advise to IRSEM on the supply of auxiliary means for physical rehabilitation
  • Elaboration of recommendations for the modalities of collaboration between IRSEM and National and Local agencies involved in long term programs, assisting the reintegration process of severely People with a 100 % Disability
  • Identify and train appropriate partners for the delivery of special services and assistance, necessary to physical rehabilitation and social-economic reintegration of the target group:
  • Medical (surgery, ophtalmology, ENT,…), disability nursing, physiotherapy, prosthetic – orthotic devices and mobility aids,
  • psychosocial support
  • Professional support and economic capacity building (Agriculture activities and creation of micro and small business, Micro finance assistance) to provide income generation
  • Support to communities where disabled live to implement several social initiatives (schools, community centre, irrigation channels, healthcare post etc.) that facilitate the reintegration in shelter communities
  • Your qualification

  • University degree in Social Science or Public Health, with experience in disability
  • Minimum of 10 years professional experience, of which 7 years in international projects
  • At least five years of experience in the provision of social services for vulnerable groups of population
  • Work experience in technical assistance projects funded by WB or other development agencies very advantageous
  • Relevant international work experience in the region highly desirable, intercultural competence required
  • At least five years of experience in monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of projects in the social sector
  • Excellent managerial and communication skills
  • Excellent command of Portuguese (written and spoken) and English
  • Excellent degree of stress tolerance and flexibility
  • Commencement

    Expected date of commencement is February 2008. The period of execution will be 12 months.

    For further information please contact
    Mrs. Annette Mueller-Roth
    Phone: +49 61 96 79-1483
    e-mail: Annette.Mueller-Roth@gtz.de


    Expert in Identification of sanitation and hospital services, services of continuous support to target group

    Country of assignment and location
    Angola, Luanda

    GTZ International Services in consortium with MundiServiços has been shortlisted for this World Bank-financed project.

    The project
    In the sequence of the Lwena Memorandum of Understanding complementary to Lusaka Protocol, the Angola Government has prepared the Angolan Program for Demobilization and Reintegration which is being implemented at National level by The Institute of Socio-Professional Reintegration for Ex-combatants (IRSEM). In the scope of this program assistance is been delivered to facilitate economic and social reintegration of 138.000 Ex-combatants. 105.000 are from Ex-FMU (Unita Forces) and 33.000 from FAA (Angolan Armed Forces).
    Among the program beneficiaries can be distinguished special groups as follows:
    Female Ex-combatants, Widows of Ex-combatants eligible for PGDR, Minors whose parents are Ex-combatants or their guardian, Ex-combatants with disabilities, designated as a “Vulnerable Group” to whom PGDR has designed a specific strategy to assist them.

    Estimated are that 1750-2000 of the 28000 disabled who will be demobilised are severely disabled: para-, hemi-, tetraplegic, multiple limb amputees, deaf, blind, mentally disabled,… They are the specific target group of this project.

    The objective of the project is to deliver technical assistance to IRSEM to create conditions for social reintegration and physical rehabilitation in order to prevent or minimise the dependency for specialised services for ex-combatants with severe disabilities

    Your tasks
    Provide TA, organise and identify specialists for the following activities which will be reviewed by the results of the needs assessments:


    • Organizing contracted out medical, psychological and social (environmental) assessment of beneficiaries in order to come to an individual screening plan
    • Training of the assessment teams
    • Identification of failure in terms of specialised medical and rehabilitation care, specialised training, psychological support and supply of technical and human support.
    • Formulating an action plan to improve Angolan service delivery to target group


    • Contracting partners to supply of auxiliary means for physical rehabilitation, including prosthesis, crutch/walking-stick, wheelchairs, tricycles, hearing devices, visual aids or others which may be considered necessary
    • Contracting of special services (or to strengthen existing services) such as eye care services, consultants for psychology support, hearing device delivery and consultants, orthopedic and esthetic surgery and neurology services.
    • Development of occupational therapy activities and special tools
    • Contracting supplementary assistance for daily activities
    • Contracting long term medical care (home care and sanitary education of the disabled). Access to specialised consultations, supply of medical and pharmaceutical assistance and/or daily technical support
    • Organizing specialised nursing training (to the disabled person, his/her family or others) by professional Health personnel in: transfers at home, urine and stool evacuation, physiotherapeutic exercises, warning signals, circulation problems, epilepsy crises orientation, orientation for psychological and psychiatrist disorder.
    • Contracting of specific training for persons with lacking sensorial sensitivity, such as sign language for the deaf, improvement of tactile habits and blind orientation and other communication techniques.

    Your qualification

    • University degree in physical or neurological rehab or relevant field
    • Minimum of 7 years professional experience, of which 3 years in international projects
    • At least 3 years of experience in the provision of social services for People with disability
    • Work experience in technical assistance projects funded by WB or other development agencies advantageous
    • Relevant work experience in the region
    • Excellent communication skills
    • Excellent command of Portuguese and English
    • Excellent degree of stress tolerance and flexibility

    Expected date of commencement is February 2008. The period of execution will be 12 months.

    For further information please contact
    Mrs. Annette Mueller-Roth
    Phone: +49 61 96 79-1483
    e-mail: Annette.Mueller-Roth@gtz.de

    We Can Do learned about these three job opportunities through the email distribution list for the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD), which can be subscribed to for free.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 5 so far )

    NEWS: Statement by Rosangela Berman Bieler – International Services Human Rights Award

    Posted on 14 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Guest Blogger, Human Rights, Latin America & Caribbean, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    In late November, We Can Do shared the news that Rosangela Berman Bieler, a Brazilian journalist and disability advocate was to receive an International Services Human Rights Award on December 5, 2007. Berman Bieler was unable to make the trip to London, but a friend of hers–Catalina Devandas–received the award on her behalf. Devandas read a statement from Berman Bieler at the awards ceremony. Rosangela has graciously given permission to publish her statement here.

    Statement by Rosangela Berman Bieler – International Services Human Rights Award

    First of all, I would like to express my deep appreciation to International Services for establishing this Human Rights Award and to including Disability Rights as a relevant area. I humbly thank the IS selection panel and supporters for considering my name amongst such a distinguished group of Human Rights Champions from around the world. It is for me a huge honor to be part of the IS partnership.

    This award comes in a unique moment, when Disability rights advocates from all over the planet are working together to give visibility and to maximize the number of nations that ratify the new Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

    This twenty-first century’s first human rights treaty was adopted by the United Nations a year ago and opened for signatures on March 30, 2007. To date, 118 nations have indicated support of the treaty and interest in ratification. As of today, 10 nations have ratified (Croatia, Cuba, Gabon, Hungary, India, Spain, Bangladesh, South Africa, Jamaica, and Panama). The treaty becomes legally binding 30 days after the 20th nation ratifies it.

    According to the UN, approximately 10 percent of the world’s population has a disability. This translates into over 600 millions disabled people living around the world, being more than 400 million in developing countries. For every disabled person, there are at least three other members of the household indirectly affected by disability. The largest increase in the number of people with disabilities will happen in the age bracket of 65 years or more. And the world population is aging…

    Today Disability is understood as the result of the interaction between people with different levels of functioning and an environment that does not take these differences into account. Disability is part of each and every individual’s life cycle. Beyond the typical areas of disability (motor, hearing, visual, and mental/intellectual), persons in general face “disabling” conditions in a society that is unprepared to recognize and respond to human diversity.

    People with physical, sensory or mental limitations are often disabled not because of a diagnosable condition, but because they are denied access to education, labor markets, and public services. This exclusion leads to poverty and, in a vicious circle, poverty leads to more disability by increasing people’s vulnerability to malnutrition, disease, and unsafe living and working conditions.

    Accordingly to the World Bank, it is expected that the number of people with disabilities will increase by 120%, in the next 30 years in developing countries. The increase is of 40% in more developed countries. It is estimated that 100 million people in the world acquired a disability due to malnutrition.

    About 80-90% of disabled people in the Latin-American Region are unemployed or outside the work force. Most of those who have jobs receive little or no monetary remuneration. In my native country, Brazil, the 2000 Census shows that, of the 24.650.000 Brazilians with disability, 27% live in situation of extreme poverty and 53% are poor.

    Universal inclusion is not only a human rights issue and a principle for equity, but also an operational strategy to general a better and sustainable society for all. To improve the efficacy of social and economic development actions and to reach all manifestations of human diversity, public policies, from design to implementation, must take all human characteristics and needs into account.

    Human Rights are exercised in the mainstream society, in the daily life of each one of us. The means for this full exercise are provided by fair and equitable public policies for all. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a strong and effective instrument to orient and assist governments to implement policies and actions under an inclusive development approach.

    The UN Convention recognizes the fundamental importance of getting disabled people ourselves involved in the process of our emancipation and reinforces the concept of “Nothing About Us, Without US”, used by the disability field to claim full participation. Under this premises, together with my peers and supporters of the Disability field, I would like to call all governments to immediately ratify the CRPD and start making the ideal of an inclusive Society, into a reality.

    Thank you very much for this opportunity and let’s continue working together for a planet and a society where life is valued, diversity is celebrated and dignity is for all.

    Inter-American Institute on Disability & Inclusive Development
    Instituto Interamericano sobre Discapacidad y Desarrollo Inclusivo
    Instituto Inter-Americano sobre Deficiência & Desenvolvimento Inclusivo

    Rosangela Berman Bieler
    Executive Director
    IIDI Inter-American Office:
    New Address:
    27-37 27th Street, #1B,
    New York, NY 11102
    Tel: 1(347) 738-6472

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

    Intl CONFERENCE on Rehab Engineering & Assistive Technology

    Posted on 14 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Events and Conferences, Rehabilitation, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Announcing i-CREATe 2008, 2nd International Convention on Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology – will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, on 13 – 15 May, 2008. Visit the i-CREATe 2008 http://www.start-centre.com/i-create2008/ for more information.

    i-CREATe has a Conference element, and all accepted full conference papers will be published and indexed in the ACM Digital Library and Electronic Indexed. Selected best papers will also be included in the Special Issue of Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology Journal published by Taylor & Francis ( http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/17483107.asp). Papers and proposals can be submitted through January 31, 2008.

    The inaugural i-CREATe 2007 ( http://www.start-centre.com/i-create2007) was formally launched by Her Royal Highness (HRH) Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Kingdom of Thailand, and Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Republic of Singapore, on 24th April 2007; for i-CREATe 2008, HRH will also be gracing the event as GOH and to launch the event.

    Need funding assistance to attend conferences like this one? See information on Funding for Conference Participation from Developing Nations. Be aware that for any foundation, money will be limited. This means probably only a few applicants will be able to obtain funding.

    We Can Do received this conference announcement via Mr. Ghulam Nabi Nizamani, Vice Chair of DPI-AP and Co-Founder and President of SDF Pakistan. I have slightly modified it from the original.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

    TRAINING for Women with Disabilities in South Asia

    Posted on 13 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Education and Training Opportunities, Opportunities, South Asian Region, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Project: Creating Space for Women With Disabilities to Communicate & Advocate for their Rights
    Project Partners: AWWD (India), SARPV (Bangladesh), AKASA (Sri Lanka), HLWW (UK), Supported by: DFID, UK


    “Currently our rights are not understood or heard. We need to mobilize our girls and women to take the challenge and responsibility to make our presence felt. A new generation of leaders is essential to make change happen”
    Kuhu Das, Director, Association of Women with Disabilities – India

    The initial ‘master’ training will facilitate a group of 25 Women with Disabilities (WWD) from the South Asia region including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Maldives in leadership & advocacy skills within a rights based framework. Those attending will in turn be supported to organize and run national level leadership and advocacy trainings when they return home. They will also develop country strategic advocacy plans, and be offered small seed grants to enable the implementation.

    The participants will engage in a 7 day training process which will enable them to:

    • Share their country level situations
    • Deepen their understanding of a rights based approach to issues affecting WWD
    • Design & plan their adapted leadership and advocacy training at national level based on the initial ‘master’ training
    • Form a regional network of WWDs
    • Design & plan national advocacy and communication strategies for the rights of WWDs
    • Develop WWD leadership training modules including a resource base of materials

    PARTICIPANTS (Criteria for selection):
    The training is open to WWDs and organizations, who will be able to carry out the national level trainings in their respective countries after this initial workshop. They should be well networked and able to mobilize people and resources. They will need some experience of leadership and an ability to motivate others. A working knowledge of English is required, as is the ability to organize and host training events.

    Priority will be given to WWD themselves and organizations working to further the rights of WWD


    Regional Leadership Training: (TOT): 7 days.

    1. Sharing of project and training objectives, finalizing draft schedule and participatory agenda setting
    2. Leadership
      • Meaning, Necessity
      • Quality of a leader
    3. Communication – Advocacy – Lobbying
      • Meaning/Importance/Necessity
      • Good / effective communication
      • Communication tools
      • Development of Advocacy frameworks
      • Advocacy & lobbying – what, why & how
    4. Social Mobilisation
      • Understanding rights, including human rights, rights of women, rights of disabled
      • Significance of human rights instruments (national & international) – CEDAW, UNCRPD, BMF etc.
      • Use and limitations of these instruments
      • Social mobilization to achieve rights
      • Analysis of legislation and policies
    5. Group Mobilisation
      • Meaning/Importance/Necessity
      • Organizing people in groups
      • Mobilizing and managing groups
      • Strengthening group dynamics
      • Setting targets for group
    6. Networking
      • Why? The benefits and challenges
      • Making it effective & sustainable
      • Setting vision and target activities
    7. Planning & designing training
      • Adapting ‘master’ training to national level
      • Content development / modification
      • Quality assurance – M&E
    8. Facilitation skills
      • Participatory approaches
      • Skills development
    9. Working with the Media
      • How to engage with media
      • How to promote issues
      • Media literacy
    10. Action planning for national level training and advocacy activities
      • Strategy development
      • Integrating into existing national and local initiatives
      • Monitoring and Evaluation

    The training will be highly participatory, drawing on the experience of the participants to develop and improve our collective knowledge base. Trainers will be from a variety of backgrounds and specialisms including advocacy expertise, network strengthening, media, project planning and management and leadership skills development.

    25 places will be fully supported including travel, food, accommodation and a small allowance.

    Workshop Venue – Kolkota (to be confirmed)
    Dates – mid February 2008 (to be confirmed)

    If you are interested to attend this workshop please email a one page letter outlining:
    your interest in this field of work
    your experience in disability activism and rights based approaches
    your experience and capacity to take the work forward at national level
    Ms Kuhu Das: info@awwdindia.org (Regional coordinator – AWWD India)
    and Mr David Curtis: curtis.d@healthlink.org.uk (Head of Programme and Capacity Development, Healthlink Worldwide, UK)

    Closing date for applications: January 5th 2008.

    A selection committee comprising members from the four lead organizations will assess each application. Please remember that after the initial ‘master’ training, there will be national level trainings in each of the countries in the region so there will be further opportunities to engage at national level.

    This workshop is part of the ‘Creating Spaces – for women with disabilities (WWD) to communicate and advocate for their rights’ project – a collaborative initiative from Association of Women with Disabilities (AWWD) – India, Association for Women with Disabilities (Akasa), Sri Lanka, Social Assistance for the Rehabilitation of the Physically Vulnerable (SARPV) Bangladesh and Healthlink Worldwide, UK

    The project is funded by UK Department for International Development (DfID)

    We Can Do received this announcement via the Intl-Dev email distribution list; subscriptions to Intl-Dev are free.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

    NEWS: Enabling Blind to Read Computers in Africa, Other Developing Regions

    Posted on 11 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, East Asia and Central Asia, East Asia Pacific Region, Latin America & Caribbean, News, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Sightsavers Dolphin Pen – For developing countries

    What is Sightsavers Dolphin Pen?

    The Sightsavers Dolphin Pen is a low-cost, lightweight pen drive with a screen magnifier and screen reader, designed to benefit those living in some of the world’s poorest communities. It enables visually impaired people in Africa and other developing regions to gain the same access to computers as sighted people – and so to develop their skills and employment prospects.

    This is an exciting venture because it is the first time a world-ranked assistive technology manufacturer has collaborated with an NGO (non-government organisation) to make high-quality product such as this available at cost price to eligible overseas projects.

    Robin Spinks of Sightsavers International says: “Blind and low vision computer users can now carry their assistive software on a pen drive and use it on any PC. This represents a huge step forward for visually impaired computer users in developing countries.”

    Users can take magnification and speech with them to any PC.
    Easy to use and quick to set up. Simply plug in and go.
    Lightweight yet robust. Fits in a pocket.
    Gives independence to produce documents, send email and surf the web.
    Will be made available in schools and universities wherever possible.

    The pen will be available in eligible African countries and in other eligible countries in Asia (both Eastern Asia and Southern Asia); Eastern Europe and Central Asia; and Latin America and the Caribbean.

    For more information:


    Most of the text for this blog post is taken from the Dolphin Pen web site. We Can Do first learned about the Dolphin Pen through an announcement distributed on the Intl-Dev email news distribution list.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

    NEWS: Disabled in India Celebrate World Disability Day

    Posted on 11 December 2007. Filed under: Employment, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    People in India recently celebrated World Disability Day. An article about their celebrations talks about the challenges that disabled people still face in finding employment. The story also quotes a blind man who works as a teacher and a deaf woman who works as a lab assistant in India:


    Individuals interested in disabled people in India may also wish to read about a recent report from the World Bank on employment, education, health, social protection, and other issues related to people with disabilities in India.

    For still more posts about disabled people in India or other South Asian countries, click on “South Asian Region” under “categories” in the right-hand navigation bar.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

    SURVEY and FORUM on Successful Family Planning Programs

    Posted on 11 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Families, Health, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    What makes a family planning program successful? The Information and Knowledge for Optimal Health (INFO) Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in collaboration with the the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Implementing Best Practices(IBP) Initiative, invites you to
    share your opinions in a short survey on Elements of Successful Family Planning Programs; follow the link to:


    This survey is not focused specifically on disability issues in family planning. However, survey participants can use the open-ended questions to explain their own perspectives on familiy planning issues. This could be an opportunity to help ensure that the people conducting the survey are aware of the importance of disability inclusion in family planning

    Interested in the survey results? What more information on this topic? You may also wish to register for a free online discussion forum, entitled “Elements of Successful Family Planning Programs,” from Monday, December 10th through December 21, 2007.

    Read more about the forum at: http://my.ibpinitiative.org/public/ElementsofFPSuccess/

    Again, this forum is not focused specifically on disability issues in developing countries. But for people who are interested in family planning among disabled people internationally, this forum could be an opportunity to ensure that your voices are heard (or read!) among mainstream professionals.

    Register for the forum at: http://my.ibpinitiative.org/public/Register.aspx?c=2d6a569b-e335-4e83-ba34-3b8366761cfe

    After you register for the forum, you can participate in the forum at: http://my.ibpinitiative.org/community.aspx?c=2d6a569b-e335-4e83-ba34-3b8366761cfe

    Please share this announcement with your friends and colleagues. Thank you for your participation!

    We Can Do received this announcement via the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Persons with Disabilities forum that was recently sponsored through the (IBP) Initiative. I modified it slightly.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 11 so far )

    RESOURCE: Sri Lankan Sign Language Dictionary Published

    Posted on 6 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Deaf, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    A new Sri Lankan Sign Language dictionary has been published with pictures of 350 different signs and short conversational phrases. Sri Lankan Sign Language has different dialects in different parts of the country. The new dictionary focuses on the dialect used at the Rohana Special School community and with deaf people across the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. You can download the entire dictionary for free on-line at the link from this sentence. It is the first known conversational dictionary to be developed for Sri Lankan sign language.

    I learned about this dictionary from the blog, Found in Ceylon. The blog is written by a deaf American man, Adam. Adam was a volunteer at the Rohana Special School in Sri Lanka. His blog was originally meant to chronicle his experiences at the school. But he has now returned to the United States and continues to blog about news relevant to the school and his contacts in Sri Lanka.

    Learn about the dictionary at:


    Or download it from:


    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

    TRAINING in Int’l Leadership, Employment and Disability in Latin America

    Posted on 6 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Education and Training Opportunities, Employment, Events and Conferences, Fellowships & Scholarships, Latin America & Caribbean, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Mobility International USA (MIUSA) seeks women and men with disabilities from Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua,and Peru to apply for a 21-day leadership exchange program in March 2008, in Eugene, Oregon.

    The International Leadership, Employment and Disability (I-LEAD) program will focus on expanding opportunities for employment for people with disabilities in Latin America. We are seeking individuals with leadership experience and potential in these areas. All program activities will include Spanish translation, and substantial scholarships are available.

    Information about the I-LEAD program is available on the MIUSA website in both English and Spanish.

    Thank you for your support and assistance.


    Susan Sygall
    Mobility International USA
    132 E. Broadway, Suite 343
    Eugene, Oregon 97401 USA
    Tel/TTY: 1+ (541) 343-1284
    Fax: 1+ (541) 343-6812

    Jamie Kinsel
    Program Assistant
    International Exchange Programs
    Mobility International USA
    132 E. Broadway, Suite 343
    Eugene, Oregon 97401 USA
    Tel/TTY: 1+ (541) 343-1284
    Fax: 1+ (541) 343-6812

    Empowering people with disabilities around the world to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development.

    We Can Do learned about this opportunity via the Intl-Dev email distribution list on international development.

    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

    « Previous Entries


      Ending poverty among and oppression toward disabled people in developing countries.


      Subscribe Via RSS

      • Subscribe with Bloglines
      • Add your feed to Newsburst from CNET News.com
      • Subscribe in Google Reader
      • Add to My Yahoo!
      • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
      • The latest comments to all posts in RSS


    • The Mwanza Computer Literacy Project

      The Mwanza Computer Literacy Project

      The Tusaidiane Disabilities Resources and Charity Organization of Tanzania (TDRCT) would like to improve computer literacy and self-employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Mwanza, Tanzania, and promote their empowerment.

      This organization is run by people who themselves have disabilities. I have known the man who founded this organization for some years. If his organization can quickly raise $5000 from 40 donors within a few days, then GlobalGiving will feature their organization on its website. This will enable them to attract more prospective funders. I have made a donation to them, I hope others will consider doing the same.
      Give Now

      Site Meter

    • Help the U.S. Ratify the Disability Treaty!

      Image of an hour glass overlaid on image of the Capitol building in DC. Text says, "Time is running out! Now is the time for the Senate to Act! Ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities! www.disabilitytreaty.org #CRPD

      Learn why the CRPD matters and how to take action at www.disabilitytreaty.org!

    • Subscribe!

    • Bookmark and Share
    • Translate!

    • Connect to Andrea Shettle via Linked In

    • Archives

    • Topic Categories

    • Make WeCanDo Your “Favorite”

    • Stumble Upon It!

      Stumble It! Share this blog with other readers via "Stumble Upon"!
    • Follow We Can Do in Facebook!

    • We Can Do is in the GDRL!

    • Blog Stats

      • 739,009 hits
    • Map of Visitors

    • Meta

    • Facebook Networked Blogs

    Liked it here?
    Why not try sites on the blogroll...

    %d bloggers like this: