In August 2021, the Atlas Alliance announced a call for applications. The request was for organisations (NGOs and DPOs) to start new, or to upscaling their advocacy work before the Global Disability Summit (GDS).
The GDS, which takes place online from the 14th to 17th of February, 2022, provides a great opportunity to make the disability inclusion work of DPOs and NGOs more known, as civil society needs to secure their governments’ active participation. Thereby, using the GDS for advocacy is an opportunity to achieve results that make a difference in the lives of persons with disabilities.
Civil society all over the world is now preparing their authorities and donors to make the right commitments at the upcoming GDS, in order to create even more inclusive policies, structures, systems and socities. To finance such additional advocacy efforts, the Atlas Alliance launched (with Norad funding) the possibility of applying for advocacy grants.
Through the disbursed GDS advocacy grants, the Atlas Alliance is now entering into many new geograpical contexts. Among the great applications received, two new and five existing Atlas partner organisations were granted financial support to increase their advocacy before the Global Disability Summit. The existing partners who won the bid got funding for projects in four new contexts.
It is the very first time the Atlas Alliance supports projects in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Colombia, Pakistan, Palestine, and Yemen. New advocacy projects are also being initated in Zimbabwe and Kenya under the same scheme. This is very exciting as a core goal of the pre-GDS moblization work of the Atlas Alliance is to widen the reach of the advocacy by DPOs on national level, in preparation for the Global Disability Summit.
Some applicants also used the opportunity to apply for the advocacy grant in order to ensure continuation of existing inclusion projects and adding on an advocacy component. This is the case in Zambia where the grantee works closely with a number of local NGOs and DPOs to promote accessibility of sports for children and youth in Zambia, as well as to raise awareness of disability inclusion and the GDS.
Other partners in countries already involved in the Together for Inclusion (TOFI)- consortium also received advocacy grants in order to scale up their advocacy before, during and after the GDS, although these funds were disbursed from the existing pool of TOFI-funding. These TOFI-contexts are Niger, Uganda, Mozambique and Somalia.
To sum up, DPO partners in 13 countries in the Global South are now receiving advocacy grants for GDS related adocacy. In addition DPOs in close to 50 additional countries, have received advocacy tools for free, to support their advocacy efforts for disability inclusion and implementation of the human rights of persons with disabilities in their countries.
As the Global Disability Summit is coming closer it is getting ever more pertinent to spread the word. So sign up, shout out about the event, and join the global advocacy movement.