Disability inclusion strategy to guide Australia’s aid program
In 2009, Australia led the way as the first donor country to establish a stand-alone disability inclusive development strategy. The internationally acclaimed Development for All strategy created the foundation for the more ambitious Development for All 2015–2020, furthering Australia’s commitment to the inclusion of people with disabilities. These strategies, with accompanying investment both through a disability central allocation and through mainstream aid programming, and strong, visible international advocacy and influencing, provided the basis for Australian leadership at a global level.
From this strong foundation, however, there has more recently been a decline in funding, disability performance and now a lack of strategic direction with the current Development for All having expired at the end of 2021, leaving a major policy gap in Australia’s international aid program.
CBM has been calling for the development of a new strategy to guide policy and programming on disability inclusion across Australia’s aid program for years. So, we warmly welcomed the announcement by the Minister for International Development and the Pacific in November 2022 of the development of a ‘Disability Equity and Rights Strategy’ for the aid program, to begin in 2023. Many of our advocacy supporters joined us in emailing the Minister offering thanks for this important step.
CBM is now engaging with Government, and allies and partners in the disability movement, to influence the direction and delivery of the strategy to ensure it is ambitious, accountable, well resourced, and based on extensive and meaningful engagement with people with disabilities and their representative organisations.