Amplifying voices of persons with disability through capacity building for lobby and advocacy
People with disabilities subsist on the outer edge of a community and have little or no chance of being seen or heard. Through our global projects SeeYou advances the role of persons with disabilities in decision-making processes. We support organizations, policy makers and other stakeholders to identify barriers and opportunities to promote active participation of persons with disabilities and their organizations. Our projects equip persons with disabilities and their organizations with the knowledge and skills to better advocate for reform, overcome barriers to meaningful political participation and promote more vibrant, resilient and inclusive democracies.
A stronger civil society can contribute to an open society and boost democracy and the rule of law. Increasingly, advocacy is seen as a way to address a wide range of developmental issues, for example access to education, access to healthcare and sexual and reproductive rights of persons with disabilities. Formal and informal organizations of persons with disabilities can play and have played an important role in raising awareness and promoting inclusive policies and practices through advocacy. These organisations play a vital role in informing people, advocating for rights and expressing people’s concerns. They also act as bridges between persons with disabilities, companies and the authorities. They make authorities, companies and communities aware of their responsibility to implement laws, respect rights and pursue the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SeeYou champions openness, transparency and inclusive society for all. It therefore support and strengthen the capacity of organizations of persons with disabilities in protecting the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, based on the conviction that this is crucial to achieve more inclusive and sustainable development.
Through this thematic area SeeYou set for itself three results areas:
- The disability movement is strengthened - Capacity of persons with disabilities, especially underrepresented groups, to organize and coordinate their political advocacy work is strengthened
- Technical capacity is developed – A critical mass of national activists with disabilities across target countries have developed technical skills to effectively engage in advocating for their rights and advise reforms of policy, laws and development programmes and to monitor progress.
- Evidence-based accountability is carried out – organizations of persons with disabilities engage in evidence-based advocacy, provision of technical assistance, and monitoring of their rights with governments, private sector and development partners.
- Strengthen organizations of persons with disabilities and disability rights defenders
Formal and informal grassroots, national, regional and international Organizations of persons with disabilities and disability rights rights defenders, play a vital role in helping to achieve sustainable and inclusive development. SeeYou’s support disabled people organizations in variety of field including education, training and employment, women rights, Inclusive (eye) health, local governance, food security in the target countries, enabling them to represent and protect the interests of their constituencies as effectively as possible.
- Lobby and Advocacy initiatives
Organizations of persons with disabilities working with SeeYou have successfully made their voices heard in many different ways. They have brought inequality and human rights violations to the attention of authorities and the general public, using for example studies, meetings and news items. They have engaged in dialogue with authorities, companies and traditional and religious leaders to help these actors live up to their responsibilities. In cases where dialogue does not produce results, disabled people organizations have also adopted more confrontational strategies to influence decision-making, such as demonstrations or public campaigns.
- Legislation, policies and norms for more disability inclusive and sustainable development
Social change aimed at disability inclusive and sustainable societies is a long-term process. Thanks to SeeYou support, organizations of persons with disabilities in our target countries are able to play an important role in this, which has yielded results in various areas. For example, governments have improved their laws or implemented existing laws as a result of advice or pressure from Disabled People Organizations. The same applies to the behaviour and policies of companies, regarding making their work spaces accessible to young people with disabilities. Norms and values in communities about for instance equality for women with disabilities in marriage have been changing too.