Wednesday, 25 Aug 2021
One of the real game changers for rural people living with a disability, is to get involved in a self-help group. Joining a group means that they are less isolated, and discriminated against, and can better access the services they need.
Self-help groups are the central focus of the Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) approach in Indonesia – helping people improve their economic situation. Self–help groups involve people with and without disabilities. The benefits? They give people with disabilities a way to link to others in their community, and they help the community understand the potential of people with disabilities. Groups can then be pivotal in influencing local government policies in health, education and social services. This then leads to improved systems, accessibility, budgets and ways of working.
The CBID approach that CBM supports in Indonesia links people with disabilities with other local services, such as health or therapy centres, or access to assistive devices. It also strengthens these services.
CBID project teams also work with Organisations of People with Disabilities, helping to improve their systems and capacity, so they can better engage with other organisations, and be stronger representatives for people with disabilities.
Emphasising rights and improving accessibility in their locality is often an initial advocacy focus for groups, with local government being targeted.
Over the years, CBM in Indonesia has refined the CBID approach. “Previously the focus was specifically on people with disabilities, and on individuals. Now the focus is on inclusion, and on getting a community to recognise and change the things that can stop anyone from being active in their community – whether that is transport, footpaths, attitudes, ways of communicating, access to buildings, or access to assistive devices.”
A recent evaluation of a CBID project in Aceh concluded that self-help groups were amongst the most effective means of advocating at local levels on issues relating to poverty and people with disabilities. Incorporating disability issues into village and district level regulations ensures that people with disabilities are incorporated into community level decision making and the distribution of funds.
CBM supports Community Based Inclusive Development projects in Aceh, with support by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).