Inclusive Decisions for Equal and Accountable Society
About the project
In 2013 the British Council started a new European Union-funded project called IDEAS which aimed to build a more equal and inclusive society for people with disabilities.
In Ukraine, as in many other countries, political decisions on disability-related issues do not always satisfy the needs of those they are aimed at. Existing legislative regulations are often ignored due to the inefficiency of the services provision system, lack of control over the activities of authorities and lack of awareness among government representatives and wider society. These problems can be addressed through more active engagement of people with disabilities and disability focused organisations in the decision making processes as partners of authorities.
The goal of the IDEAS project was to build an inclusive society by strengthening the role and capacity of disability focused civil society organisations to participate in the policy making process for better representation of the interests of people with disabilities and the protection of their rights. The project was financed by the European Union and implemented by the British Council in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Jordan, Lebanon, Ukraine and the UK.
Partner in Ukraine
Partners of the project in each of these countries were disability focused public organisations. In Ukraine our partner was the National Assembly of People with Disabilities – an organisation that represents 108 disability NGOs and acts as a social partner of the state in developing policies on social protection of people with disabilities and on provision of their rights.
Key project activities
The IDEAS project planed a range of activities to strengthen the capacities of NGOs and individuals working in the sphere of disability as well as to increase co-operation between authorities and civil society in the decision making process. The key activities in the project included:
- preparing and piloting a framework for local government decision making that strengthens the ability of government to recognise and address the needs and rights of people with disabilities
- preparing three toolkits on inclusive decision making for authorities, civil society organisations and media
- designing and running training programmes for the wider inclusion of people with disabilities into the process of decision making
- holding international workshops with the participation of authorities, NGOs and media
- organising a study visit to the UK.
Set of priorities outlined by project participants
The project ran a series of meetings in the Future Search format to identify priorities for each participating country and design action plans to address the problems they were experiencing. The priorities raised were:
- accessibility in the areas of architecture, transport and information according to Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- inclusive education at all levels
- the representation of people with disabilities in authorities and their participation in decision making
- services provided to people with disabilities including independent accommodation
- employment and job opportunities for people with disabilities
- provision of benefits to people who need them.
Key activities in the project
In autumn 2013, a group of decision-makers from the state authorities, civil society and the media went on a study visit to the UK to explore the best UK practice of open and inclusive decision-making framework in process.
Based on the needs analysis and knowledge gained during the study visit, project participants have designed a framework for inclusive decision-making which was later adapted to the local needs in each country. In the second year of project implementation, three toolkits – for authorities, civil society and journalists – were prepared to be used as guidance for engaging and consulting with the CSOs and the key beneficiaries – people with disabilities.
Project case study
The information about IDEAS results in Ukraine and other countries is available in project case study and infographics.