The 2011 World Disability Report, published by the World Health Organization, states that around 15% of the world population is represented by people with disabilities. Of this 15%, about 800 million are people with disabilities living in developing countries and among the poorest people in the world, that is, living on less than 1 dollar a day, they represent almost half.

Development cooperation projects almost never include the needs of people with disabilities and the funds earmarked for them are also a very small percentage. If this is associated with the failure to mainstream disability in projects financed by national and international agencies, it is reasonable to recognize that the principles of equal opportunity, accessibility and sustainability are not guaranteed.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), as well as other regional and national documents, identify in empowerment the main action for people with disabilities and their organizations to develop their competences and become qualified interlocutors of institutions, public and private, and civil society.

The approval of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) marked a turning point on development cooperation policies.

The ratification of the CRPD by Italy (2009) meant that the aforementioned guidelines on disability of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were updated and approved in November 2010 by the Management Committee (Resolution 163), providing a precise framework of action for the disability mainstreaming in Italian Cooperation through the participation of DPOs and NGOs.

As outlined, the project contributes on the one hand to inserting the realization of the priorities identified by the Action Plan on disability of the Italian Cooperation in the general framework of the implementation of the CRPD, in particular in its articles 11 and 32, and on the other to recognize the issue of disability, which appears to be among the priorities identified by the programming guidelines of the Italian Cooperation 2013-2015, the character of transversality. This would undoubtedly contribute to strengthening the element of effectiveness of the actions of the Italian Cooperation, referred to in the aforementioned document, and would make a significant contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Goals, in particular the first dedicated to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, counteracting the social, cultural and economic impoverishment process to which people with disabilities are often subject.

Strategy and objectives

The general strategy is based on the realization of some specific actions foreseen by the Action Plan and on the strengthening of the network of expertise and the exchange of knowledge created within the project 9740 / AIFO / ITA concluded in June 2013, using the experience and knowledge of RIDS.

General objective: to contribute to the dissemination of the issue of disability in the context of development cooperation in compliance with the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities and consequent official documents produced by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Specific objective: to contribute to the training of cooperation actors on the contents of the Action Plan, in respect of the priorities set, and to the information of a wider audience through the in / training tools produced.


Beneficiaries of the initiative are mainly the Italian and cooperation countries actors who personally deal with cooperation or have activities in this sector, associations of people with disabilities, students and teachers of schools and businesses.


The project is a consortium. Leader: AIFO – Italian Association of Friends of Raoul Follereau.

Consortium NGO: EducAid. Non-Governmental Organization operating in international cooperation to prevent and reduce the disadvantages and difficulties of individuals with special and cultural needs. Among the priorities for action is the promotion of inclusive education and the promotion of the methodology of social work intended to combat any form of social exclusion and institutionalization of people with disabilities and minors without parental care. Active since 2000 in a dozen countries in the Middle East, Africa, Central America, the Balkans and Central Asia.

Expected results

Expected result 1: MAE-RIDS work table and Technical Groups (Accessibility, Emergency,

OECD-DAC categories, Inclusive Education, Mapping and data collection) active and participatory and data analysis on the projects of the Italian cooperation drafted and published.

Planned activities

1a. Participation in 2 meetings of the MAE / RIDS working table and in 4 meetings (two in attendance and two at a distance) of the established Technical Groups.

1b. Collaboration in the qualitative analysis of the data collected from the mapping of inclusive initiatives of disability financed by the EAW in the period 2009-2013 (point 1.2.f of the PdA) and its publication in English and Italian.

Expected result 2: stakeholders of international cooperation and civil society involved and sensitized on the topics of the CRPD, Guidelines and PdA and on the principles of inclusive planning.

Planned activities

2a. Organization of a “Disability and Cooperation Week”. On December 3, initiatives will be organized in schools in Lamezia (CS), Ostuni (BR), Bologna, Rimini, Imperia with the involvement of local authorities, on the CRPD and decentralized cooperation. A didactic course will be prepared with the support of “light” training / training tools (Ref. PdA: 1.2.m). To spread the awareness campaign to public opinion and operators in the 3rd sector, spaces will be purchased in the media and a radio spot will be developed.

2b. Organization of an international conference in Rome with the involvement of stakeholders and inter / national experts, to assess the implementation status of the PoA in Italy and present the mapping of Italian cooperation projects. It will be included in the week of disability and cooperation on the occasion of December 3, International Day of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Ref. PdA: 1.2.m).

2c. Organization of three in-depth seminars on the relationship between cooperation and Capabilities, RBC, inclusive education, at the Universities of Bologna (Department of Educational Sciences), Florence (ARCO Laboratory) and Naples (Suor Orsola Benincasa University), addressed to students and academic staff open to the Third sector. (Ref. PdA: 2.b)

2d. Organization of 3 webinars (online seminars) aimed at the Third sector and the private sector on CRPD and PdA issues to raise awareness among stakeholders on disability and cooperation. The collaboration of the VPS Ong 2.0 section ( will be used – which through an online platform creates training events, advertises them on social channels, registers them and takes care of sending them to the participants. (Ref. PdA: 2.d)

2e. Production of an in / training manual for the dissemination of the RIDS approach on disability and cooperation in accordance with the Disability and Development Action Plan published by the EAW. The manual will combine three thematic dossiers and a CD ROM which will deepen respectively: a) the themes of development cooperation and disability (CRPD, inclusive development, empowerment of people with disabilities and development of DPOs, Community-based rehabilitation, inclusive education); b) a study of the accessibility measures adopted in crisis / emergency situations in territories not affected by cooperation interventions, to identify possible solutions to be implemented in the cooperation countries, c) a collection and analysis of good practices on inclusive design based on experience of RIDS members. The manual will be accompanied by a bibliography of the national and international reference documentation. It will be translated into three languages ​​(English, French and Portuguese) and produced in 1,000 copies.

2f. Organization of 3 information seminars and dissemination of the Guidelines and the PdA and on inclusive planning in some countries where RIDS (Palestine, Mozambique, Tunisia) operates and / or has developed good practices involving MAE / UTL officials, EU Delegation, institutions local national, local and Italian NGOs and international agencies. For the presentation and study of the topics in the seminars, the product manual / training will be used. (Ref. PdA: 2.d)

2g. Production of “light” in / training tools (Ref PdA. 2.d):

Traveling Exhibition: will illustrate the projects of Italian cooperation and that of RIDS on inclusive projects for people with disabilities. It will be set up in Rome, Naples, Imperia and can be prepared for the international conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Instructional school sheet for teachers on the subject of disability, inclusion and cooperation with references to available resources and classroom tools.

Accessible video of graphic animation that introduces the themes of the mentioned documents, subtitled in Italian and English.

1,000 copies information brochure on the project which will be distributed during the training and information activities.

Production of two project banners.