OSIEA Grantees Disability Rights Convening

The first convening on Engaging with all grantees to advance mutual exchange and sharing was held in Kampala, Uganda, on 17-18 November 2015.

The convening was organised by the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA). OSIEA promotes public participation in democratic governance, the rule of law, and respect for human rights by awarding grants, developing programs, and bringing together diverse civil society leaders and groups in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Sudan as well as regional organizations whose mandate encompasses eastern Africa.

The convening sought to encourage mutual learning and exchange by disability rights organizations, academic institutions and scholars in the East African region, and consideration of how they might work together for the realization of the inclusion of people with disabilities and families. There were reflections on the progress, barriers, achievements and how to capitalize on the achievements to move the disability movement forward. The two-day convening was also an important avenue for OSIEA to reflect internally as it reviews its strategy.

Participants included over thirty representatives from five East African countries, and included representatives of Disabled Peoples Organizations, universities and Open Society Foundations (OSF) scholars. Inclusion Africa national member organizations from Kenya and Zanzibar, and Inclusion Africa’s Coordinator Shikuku Obosi participated at the convening.

Topics of the sessions

The sessions explored the following topics:

  • The status of the disability movement
  • Whether the current methods for attitude change are working and how to do it better
  • Advocacy as a tool for policy and legislative reform the state of realisation of the right to
  • Connecting the academia and the disability movement; how best to use Open Society Foundations LLM scholars and Universities teaching disability rights
  • Implementing the right to legal capacity: the Kenyan experience
  • Urban –rural divide, how to create and sustain a disability rights movement at the grassroots
  • How to address economic empowerment as a human rights issue
  • Working with independent commissions and Disability Councils in advancing disability rights
  • Increasing visibility of marginalized groups within the disability rights movement
  • Inclusive education: Where to invest
  • Assessing the progress in promoting access to justice
  • Outcome mapping as a tool for monitoring and evaluation.