27 Apr 2017
CEOs of several organisations agree on the call to action

On Thursday 27th April a community of over 40 international and national non-profit organisations are launching a ‘Call to Action on investing in disability-inclusive education.’  This initiative was started by the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) Inclusive Education Task Group as part of the #CostingEquity campaign to galvanise world-wide support for increased financing to realise the right to inclusive education for girls and boys with disabilities.


Over 32 million children with disabilities in low and middle income countries are out of school – that’s more than three times the entire population of Sweden. Those who are in school are generally educated in segregated settings that do not promote inclusion in their communities and attainment of learning outcomes that would secure them a decent livelihood. The exclusion of these children has a devastating impact on whole societies and economies.

“If we don’t act now, we will remain lightyears away from reaching the 2030 targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, which promise to ‘leave no-one behind’,” said Nafisa Baboo – co-chair of the IDDC Inclusive Education Task Group (IETG).

The recent #CostingEquity report by the IDDC, led by Light for the World and supported by Open Society Foundations and other international NGOs, highlights some of the poor government and donor practices that need to change and provides solid arguments of why disability inclusive education is a wise and worthy investment.  The #CostingEquity campaign aims to set into motion the comprehensive recommendations put forward in the report.

In a joint statement led by IDDC, the world’s leading NGOs working in disability and education in low and middle income countries, including CBM, Handicap International, Light for the World, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Plan International, Sightsavers, together with the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and others,  call on governments and donors to significantly step up action and show their commitment to deliver on the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals to ensure quality education for all children by investing in inclusive education for boys and girls with disabilities.

International NGO leaders endorsed a joint ‘Call to Action to invest in disability-inclusive education’ in which they have agreed to commit to making education for children with disabilities in low and middle income countries a top priority and to advocate for better donor financing for inclusive education. This action is expected to gain momentum and become endorsed by major international non-governmental organisations and their government partners in the global South.

“Multilateral, bilateral domestic and development aid and private foundations in general needs to support disability-inclusive education if we are truly committed to ‘leave no one behind’. We hope this call to action will secure more investment to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) in its run-up to the replenishment and the Education Cannot Wait fund for girls and boys with disabilities in countries in humanitarian crisis." Siân Tesni – Co-coordinator IDDC IE TG

The Call to Action is being launch during Global Action Week on Education, which is aptly themed: Stand up for Education – Time to deliver.  It is open to all organisations to sign up.

“Collaboration is the most powerful tool we have at our disposal for bringing about education reform and ensuring that we end all exclusion from and within education. Non-governmental organisations, civil society, governments and donors urgently need to ramp up their commitment to pull together in the same direction, if we are to stand any chance of enabling the millions of out-of-school children with disabilities to access their right to quality inclusive education. This important call to action needs to be seen as part of a bigger movement towards genuine and effective collaboration in the field of education financing.” Ingrid Lewis

We have seen a particularly enthusiastic response from national partners – in less than 24 hours of sending out the call we received more than 15 endorsements – indicating the high demand and support at national level for greater investment to ensure the inclusion of girls and boys with disabilities in low and middle income countries.

We will continue the drive to increase signatories to the call to action and bring the call for more and better investment in disability inclusive education to the attention of major donors and governments.

Please refer to our communications brief on how to get involved and get in touch with Nafisa Baboo, n.baboo@light-for-the-world.org if you would like to join the call.