As a part of our Catalyst for Inclusive Education initiate we are working to build partnerships with organizations that are actively working to support inclusive education initiatives at a country level.
Many of our member organizations work with Plan organizations in their countries directly on project and indirectly on policy issues. Last week, the Include Us conference in Nepal brought together more than 40 country representatives working on inclusive education initiatives.
Other organizations working on inclusive education including CBM; Sightsavers; Handicap International; Light for the World and Leonard Cheshire also participated. Our goal for working with Plan (and other groups) is twofold: to influence the approach they are taking and their policy globally and to ensure that they are working with our members at a country level.
The challenge will be that many of these organizations are programme professionals and they don’t have knowledge or experience about people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Yet these are the organizations that will receive the significant funding from development agencies like DFID, AusAId, Irish Aid, CIDA and others for education programming. In the short term we are looking for opportunities to partner with Plan on projects in inclusive education. Through this conference we have learned about existing projects with some of our members.
Whilst the conference was taking place, the UK Secretary of State, Priti Patel speaking at a BOND network event in London, committed to investing more in inclusive education. Saying that she wants to be sure that “disabilities are addressed both systematically and consistently through all our development objectives”.
With the global commitment outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals of Quality Inclusive Education, we anticipate a dramatic increase in investments in this area. Our objective is to position Inclusion International and our members to be involved in how those investments are made and to be involved in the way they are delivered.