Building Strategic Alliance for Disability Rights in Uganda (SAAP) 2018 – 2020

With support from our Danish partners Dansk Handicap For bund (DHF) and Para-sport Denmark (PD), UNAPD secured funds to implement a two year project titled “Building Strategic Alliance for Disability Rights in Uganda” which will focus on three thematic areas of Livelihoods, Physical Accessibility and Disability Sports. The project is to use a strategy of building a broad coalition of DPOs/CSOs in the above three thematic areas in order to improve the lives of PWDs. At the end of the projects, one of the key outputs from the coalitions/caucuses will be a United Disability policy on Livelihood and Disability Sports, among others.

Livelihoods: One of the UNCRPD recommendations to government in 2016 was: “State party, should Adopt a strategy and incentive measures to facilitate access to the open labor market for persons with disabilities, in particular youth and women, including through the provision of training and accessible information on job vacancies; and ensure that persons with disabilities receive equal pay for work of equal value”. Different stakeholders including DPOs have implemented several livelihood interventions aimed at benefiting PWDs at different levels. However, gaining access to Poverty Alleviation Programs which caters for the informal sector that employs most Ugandans is a major challenge for PWDs in Uganda. Most programs are administered at District level by District Development Offices in which PWDs are often mentioned as part of the target group for these programs but are not included in plans and indicators. The situation is not much different from the formal sector as well.

Physical Accessibility: One of the UNCRPD recommendations to government in 2016 was: “Adopt an action plan to ensure accessibility to physical environment, transportation, communications, technologies and systems, with allocation of resources and time bound framework”. Physical Accessibility is a key barrier to social inclusion in which many PWDs are not able to access public transport, educational institutions, health care services, job venues and/or offices of government, CSO and private sector. Although a lot has been done by UNAPD in collaboration with several stakeholders/partners, National Accessibility standards have not been adopted by all relevant institutions and companies involved in construction industry coupled with limited awareness and technical skills among the relevant technocrats on inclusive designs.

Disability sports: UNAPD has piloted disability sports as a tool for mobolisation,rehabilitation, organization and social inclusion. Sports have been found to be a powerful crosscutting self-help tool for personal empowerment, talent identification, exposure and for social recognition and inclusion. In partnership with Parasport Denmark, UNAPD, SIA and BISOU have since 2010 piloted grassroots disability sports in Uganda in four districts of Mubende (MRC), Busia, Nebbi and Kampala with over seven disability sports disciplines. There are a lot of successes registered with the community disability sports in the above districts ranging from talent identifications among PWDs, exposure, membership mobilizations, and above all “the Uganda Defence Forces´ Mubende Rehabilitation Center has institutionalized disability sports as a tool for rehabilitation, with a budget allocation”. However, despite the several successes, there are also numerous gaps to be addressed; UNAPD has worked unsuccessfully to likewise attract the attention of Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health to adopt disability sports as a tool for respectively inclusion and rehabilitation of CWDs/PWDs and the disability sports experience is still limited among the DPOs, and at district levels due to lack of proper framework (e.g. disability policy) for mainstreaming the sport at different levels.

The above three thematic analysis motivated the design of this project for the DPOs/CSOs to work together in “an Alliance Building Spirit”

  1. Project goal

Improved quality of life of Persons with Disabilities in Uganda through Alliance Building with DPOs, CSOs, private and governmental actors for physical accessibility, disability sports and secure livelihoods for PWDs.

  1. Objectives of the project
  • Building a broad coalition of DPOs/CSOs for improved livelihoods among PWDs. The coalition will develop a united policy platform to secure livelihoods among PWDs and will promote formal and informal sector employment of PWDs among relevant government, business and civil society stakeholders
  • Supports the creation of a physical accessibility caucus with participation of DPO and CSO stakeholders. District Audit Committees and the National Audit Committee to feed the Physical Accessibility Caucus with Best Practices.
  • Promoting disability sports as a tool for personal empowerment and rehabilitation, organization and social inclusion at National and local levels by formulating a national disability sports policy and presenting it to the public, sponsors, parliament, and the line ministries for Sports, Health and Education.

Project Outcomes:

Outcome 1: UNAPD is instrumental in building a broad coalition of DPOs/CSOs for improved livelihoods among PWDs. The coalition has developed a united policy platform for secure livelihoods among PWDs.

Outcome 2: UNAPD supports the creation of a physical accessibility caucus with participation of DPOs in which the District Audit Committees, National Audit Committee feed the Physical Accessibility Caucus with Best Practices.

Outcome 3: A National Sports Caucus promotes disability sports as a tool for personal empowerment and rehabilitation and social inclusion at National and local levels by formulating a national disability sports policy.