What do we mean by inclusive development?

Equity and equality

Equality of opportunity, of access – i.e. not just a level playing field, which only gets people to the field – but a truly level field. A field without barriers, with reasonable accommodations, with no discrimination. It ensures dividing differences can become unifying diversities. Whatever we are, we are all equally valuable members of society.

Leaving no one behind

Human rights are universal and apply to all. This means that they include marginalised groups, such as persons with disabilities, in developing countries as well. Therefore, a human rights based approach requires us to look at discrimination and marginalisation (including intersectional discrimination) to ensure no one is left behind and that we can achieve inclusive development.

Empowerment of persons with disabilities

Enabling persons with disabilities to speak up for themselves at every level, within their family, their community, their country, or at an international level. To have a voice, to be able to live in society like anyone else, to contribute positively to society, to have access to gainful employment, to show the vast talent pool they represent for society. To make sure that the motto of the disability movement; nothing about us without us is a reality.

Awareness raising and capacity building

Ensuring that government ministers and civil servants know what disability is, what inclusion is, for them to be trained and to understand what disability inclusion is about, what their obligations are and how society benefits. However, inclusion is not only about authorities, it is also about civil society and the population in general. Inclusive development cannot be achieved without the participation and engagement of everyone in the community.

Technical cooperation

Effective inclusive development includes technical cooperation. Donor countries should not only help with financial aid but also with technical cooperation with partner countries, sharing experience, expertise and good practice.

Coordination with all stakeholders

Inclusive development stakeholders need to come together to work on all sides of issues, be it the donor to ensure that development aid does not create undue barriers or finance inaccessible or discriminatory projects, be it the partner country to make sure that policies are actually inclusive and that civil servants and administrations are implementing policies effectively. It is also about coordinating with civil society, private sector, and disabled persons organisations.