Tag Archives: Latin America

2030 Agenda and CRPD training in Bolivia

From 11 to 13 August, I co-facilitated a workshop in Cochabamba, Bolivia with our partner Victor Baute from Venezuela who represented RIADIS. The workshop focused on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the inclusion of persons with disabilities in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The workshop was the first of its kind in Bolivia for organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs). The enthusiasm and interest from participants in learning about the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with the Convention was quite evident. In addition, Carla Caceres from CBM in Bolivia attended the workshop, as well as other supporting NGOs, including MyRight and ADD. Since Bolivia is a priority country for CBM, the workshop was especially well linked to our focus on global advocacy and national programmatic work on disability-inclusive development.

Alt="Victor Baute presenting the SDGs and CRPD"

Victor Baute presenting the SDGs and CRPD

The workshop was organized by ASHICO, the Association of Hard of Hearing Persons in Cochabamba and member of RIADIS. Thirty DPO representatives attended the participatory workshop from national, municipal, and community-based DPOs from all over Bolivia.

The workshop was inclusive and diverse with representation from Indigenous persons with disabilities, women with disabilities, youth with disabilities, persons with psychosocial disabilities, self-advocates, Little People, persons with disabilities in sports, Deaf persons, Blind persons, persons with low vision, hard of hearing persons, persons with physical disabilities, and families with children with disabilities. Victor lead the facilitation and received positive feedback on being a role model for the Deaf community and persons with disabilities in Bolivia and the region.

Participants shared the myriad barriers and challenges for persons with disabilities in Bolivia. An overarching challenge is that there are many norms and laws in Bolivia for persons with disabilities, but these are only on paper and unfortunately not implemented. Moreover, there is a missing connection between the technical expertise from the UN and the national level in Bolivia in terms of the CRPD and its implementation. In Bolivia, it is at the municipal level where disability laws are implemented and there is real impact.

Alt="Anibal Subirana from Federación Boliviana de Sordos (Bolivian Deaf Federation) presenting"

Anibal Subirana from Federación Boliviana de Sordos (Bolivian Deaf Federation) presenting

The top priorities for persons with disabilities in Bolivia that emerged from group work included:

  • Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being, and Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.
  • Followed by, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

 

 

Participants were keen to learn and understand more about the 2030 Agenda and how it links to the Convention. As a result, the level of awareness significantly grew by day 3, as the photo below indicates. With this awareness, the group produced next steps as outcomes, including:

ALt="Participants’ level of awareness on the CRPD, 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, and the national disability law from day 1 to 3"

Participants’ level of awareness on the CRPD, 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, and the national disability law from day 1 to 3

  • The disability community in Bolivia will work to be more united and have shared messages to advocate to the government for CRPD and SDG implementation.
  • Participants will replicate this training and what they learned in the countryside and other remote parts of Bolivia to a variety of disability organizations and communities.
  • A group of participants will replicate and share what they learned from the workshop every month in Cochabamba for persons with disabilities.

 

  • The group proposed that there be a follow-up training in a year to assess what has been disseminated and realized in that time throughout the disability community in Bolivia.

I look forward to working more with the DPOs and partners in Bolivia!

ALt="Olivia Ojopi and Mayra Borda from the Association of Little People in Bolivia with Victor Baute from RIADIS and me"

Olivia Ojopi and Mayra Borda from the Association of Little People in Bolivia with Victor Baute from RIADIS and me

Unity, Development, Peace and Hope in Latin America and the Caribbean

RIADIS, the Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and their Families, held its 6th international conference from 13-17 March in Havana, Cuba. The theme was “Inclusive Latin America, in Unity, Development, Peace and Hope.” RIADIS, founded in 2002 in Venezuela, is comprised of 55 organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) from 15 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, many of which were present at the conference with approximately 250 participants in attendance. The conference included an International Congress, a General Assembly, and parallel events on youth with disabilities and Indigenous peoples with disabilities. In addition, commissions on Indigenous, youth, and women with disabilities were established at the conference.

The overall objective of the conference was to continue to promote the progress and achievement of the inclusion of persons with disabilities from Latin America and the Caribbean. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were both strongly highlighted throughout the conference as key frameworks for persons with disabilities and their representative organizations for the region with the respective aligned themes of “nothing about us without us” and “leave no one behind.”

Alt="Panel presentation at conference"

Panel presentation at conference

I am incredibly honored for the opportunity to attend this conference on behalf of CBM. The experience was a valuable one in which I was able to participate in various ways. I presented twice during the International Congress, was an official observer during the General Assembly, and assisted as a sign language interpreter when needed.

On the opening day, I presented with Victor Baute from Venezuela on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. The presentation highlighted the regional trainings by the International Disability Alliance and the International Disability and Development Consortium (in Panama) and CBM (in Peru), but also called for further capacity building and training for regional DPOs linking the CRPD, the 2030 Agenda and BRIDGE.

Alt="Sign Language Interpreters from the RIADIS conference"

Sign Language Interpreters from the RIADIS conference

Additionally, I presented the work of the CBM regional office in Latin America and the Caribbean. Specifically, CBM has 50 projects in 11 countries throughout the region. In Central America we work in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; in the Caribbean, we work in Cuba and Haiti; and in South America, we have projects in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay with Bolivia, Guatemala and Haiti as priority countries of focus.

The following are two examples of CBM projects in the region. First, in response to Hurricane Matthew, CBM provided water supplies to hurricane-affected communities in East Cuba. Second, CBM supported a data collection project on the prevalence of persons with disabilities in Guatemala. CBM, CONADI (National Disability Council of Guatemala), and UNICEF Guatemala were project funders with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine providing technical assistance. The Washington Group on Disability Statistics extended set of questions for adults and UNICEF/Washington Group extended set of questions for children were used with more than 13,000 participants. Click here to read more about the survey.

In closing, I was very touched by the warm welcome from the Cuban people and the participants. I am so grateful to be working in this region again and to connect our global work to the local, national and regional levels.

Las alianzas, la Convención de los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad, y los Objetivos para el Desarrollo Sostenible en Centroamérica

Click here for the English version of this blog.

Estuve muy contenta de participar en un taller en la Ciudad de Panamá, Panamá del 25 al 27 de enero. El taller fue organizado por el International Disability Alliance (IDA) y el International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), junto con sus miembros. El taller técnico se centró en el monitoreo de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS) en consonancia con la Convención sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad (CDPD) para las organizaciones centroamericanas de personas con discapacidad. Representantes de varias Organizaciones de Personas con Discapacidad procedían de El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Panamá.

Fue un honor ser co-facilitadora en nombre de CBM y IDDC centrado en la Agenda 2030 para el Desarrollo Sostenible y los ODS y procesos enlazados (por ejemplo, Financiamiento para el Desarrollo, Indicadores de los ODS). Contamos además con la colaboración de Rosario Galarza (Latin-American Network of Persons with Disabilities and their Families – RIADIS), José Viera (World Blind Union), Victor Baute (RIADIS and World Federation of the Deaf) y Monica Cortez (Inclusion International), con la contribución experta sobre la CDPD de Silvia Quan (ex miembro del Comité de la CDPD)y con Tchaurea Fleury (IDA) como líder del equipo.

El objetivo primordial del taller fue examinar y fortalecer los vínculos entre la CDPD y los ODS, así como apoyar a los representantes de las OPD para compilar la información que será utilizada en los informes nacionales de los ODS y CDPD. Esto fue particularmente estratégico ya que todos los cuatro países mencionados harán informes nacionales voluntarios (VNRs) en el Foro Político de Alto Nivel (HLPF) en julio y tres de los países serán revisados por el Comité de la CDPD en Ginebra.

Alt="Los participantes del taller en Panamá"

Los participantes del taller en Panamá

El taller tuvo varios resultados positivos:

  • Los participantes ampliaron sus conocimientos sobre la CDPD, obtuvieron conocimientos sobre la Agenda 2030 y comprendieron mejor los vínculos entre los dos marcos.
  • Se contribuyó a la creación de redes regionales entre diferentes OPD y grupos de personas con discapacidad.
  • Se fortaleció la conexión entre los procesos nacionales, regionales y mundiales (derechos humanos y los ODS).
  • La información fue difundida a las comunidades después de reforzar su capacitación. Por ejemplo, al día siguiente del entrenamiento, Víctor Baute presentó en la Agenda 2030 a la Asociación de Sordos en Panamá.
  • El taller fue bastante incluyente en términos de materiales, participación, interacción y participantes (entrelos participantes asistieron grupos menos representados, por ejemplo, una activista/self-advocate, jóvenes, personas de áreas rurales y personas indígenas con discapacidades.
  • Actualmente existen diversos materiales en español relacionados con la CDPD y los ODS, los cuales pueden ser difundidos en toda la región.

Quiero expresar mi sincero agradecimiento a IDA por su apoyo y liderazgo, particularmente Tchaurea Fleury y Mariana Sánchez, en la realización de este exitoso taller.

Esta formación ejemplifica el espíritu de la Agenda 2030 como la agenda es para, por, y del pueblo. Como tal, concluiré este blog con algunas palabras clave que los participantes compartieron como sus aspectos más destacados del entrenamiento:

  • Nuevas conexiones
  • Capacidad
  • Profesionalidad y educación
  • Contenido e información en profundidad
  • Fuerzas Unidas
  • Una visión más amplia
  • Derechos
  • Inclusión
  • Igualdad
  • Aprendizaje continuo, trabajo en equipo y facilitación inclusiva
  • Perspectivas diversas
  • Trabajando juntos

Resumen del taller regional en lengua de señas & español por Victor Baute:*

 

Información Adicional

Página web del taller

Fotos del taller

Documentos del Foro Político de Alto Nivel (HLPF) en Español

 

*La intérprete hablada-española es Astrid Arias.

Gracias Alba Gonzalez por las ediciones!

 

The SDGs and persons with disabilities in Peru

On 22-23 August, Alba Gonzalez and I provided a CBM-funded national training on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Lima, Peru. We presented to leaders from organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) and allies, some of whom are CBM partners. Although I have given various national trainings on the SDGs this year, this was the first one in Spanish. This is extremely important since Latin America is often left out of global development processes, particularly in terms of the SDGs. I am proud to have carried out the training with my lovely Brussels-based colleague, Alba and the support of my wonderful Guatemala-based colleague, Gonna! Thank you both for the stellar work and support.

Alt="Alba, Elizabeth, and a DPO leader at the training in Peru"

Alba, Elizabeth, and a DPO leader at the training in Peru

National SDG trainings such as these are incredibly valuable because CBM and other civil society organizations working on the 2030 Agenda have a responsibility to ensure that the grassroots are kept informed and are able to contribute in a meaningful way. One way to do this is to provide an exchange of information and tools on advocacy strategies related to the implementation of the SDGs.

Alt="Group work during the training"

Group work during the training

The training was interactive and provided space for an engaging dialogue from which ideas, lessons, and suggestions were shared. We presented general information on the global agenda and how it relates to persons with disabilities. Additionally, we discussed how the SDGs and CRPD are connected and how they can reinforce and complement one another in advocacy. Furthermore, we provided background on the global follow-up and review process with a recap of this year’s High-level Political Forum (HLPF), lessons learned from engagement in the voluntary national review (VNR) process, and strategies on how to engage in future HLPFs. Finally, we provided a model for national advocacy strategies on the SDGs and in turn participants formulated plans on how to advocate for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the national implementation of the SDGs.

Peru is a strategic country on which to focus, since it is very likely that it will provide a voluntary national review to the HLPF in the coming years and persons with disabilities must engage in the consultation process to be included. Latin American governments that reviewed at this year’s HLPF – Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela – did not engage with civil society in the reporting process, also including persons with disabilities, so this is a region of particular importance in which to focus.

During the training, participants provided examples of barriers that persons with disabilities encounter in Peru to carry out effective advocacy, which are listed below.

Alt="Alba Gonzalez presenting at the SDG training in Peru"

Alba Gonzalez presenting at the SDG training in Peru

  • There is a lack of available information on advocacy for persons with disabilities and their families at the national and regional levels.
  • Mainstream society has a general lack of awareness and/or negative/medically-focused attitude about disability/persons with disabilities.
  • There is a dearth of available and accurate data on persons with disabilities.
  • There is a lack of transparency in the government.
  • In rural areas there is limited access to technology and Internet due to lack of electricity.
  • There is a need for capacity building on advocacy strategies.
  • The majority of persons with disabilities lives in poverty or extreme poverty.
  • There is limited accessible, affordable, and reliable transportation.
  • There is little participation of persons with disabilities in broader civil society networks, and mainstream civil society organizations do not always include DPOs.
  • Disability groups can isolate themselves around disability type and do not always collaborate as a broader coalition.
  • There can be a lack of empowerment and lack of strong leadership in DPOs.
Alt="Elizabeth fostering discussion during the training"

Elizabeth fostering discussion during the training

The group formulated suggestions on how to effectively advocate for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in national implementation of the SDGs, which are below.

  • Identify entry points for advocacy for DPOs in different regions and levels of government (municipal, district, provincial, regional, and national) in Peru.
  • Collaborate as a larger disability movement to gain more effective entry points in national advocacy.
  • Build alliances with NGOs and civil society organizations across thematic areas.
  • Lima-based DPOs engage in the implementation of the SDGs in line with the CRPD with DPO leaders participating in national civil society roundtables and creating a national plan on accessibility.
  • Carry out a training on accessibility and advocacy for different DPO leaders to strengthen DPOs and to unify the disability movement.

It was such a pleasure for me to return to Latin America where I have lived and worked, to meet old and new CBM partners, as well as to work with and learn from DPOs and allies in Peru. Let’s continue the global and grassroots linkages.