A progress report on GDS London 2018

11 Apr 2021
The Global disability Summit in London was in many ways a success. A progress report has now been published, We here provide a short resume of GLOBAL DISABILITY SUMMIT +2 YEARS Progress on Implementation of Commitments – as done by IDA and  FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)




In total, 171 national governments, multilateral agencies, donors, foundations, private sector and civil society organisations made 968 individual commitments around the four central themes of the 2018 Global Disability Summit (ensuring dignity and respect for all, inclusive education, routes to economic empowerment, harnessing technology and innovation), as well as two cross-cutting themes (women and girls with disabilities, conflict and humanitarian contexts), and data disaggregation.

Over 320 organisations and governments signed a collective action plan, the Charter for Change. Many of the organisations that made commitments at GDS18 and or signed the Charter were comparatively new to disability inclusion, demonstrating the reach of the Summit and the Summit’s success in broadening the focus on disability-inclusive development.

Progress to date

In 2019, the first GDS18 Progress Report identified the positive impact GDS18 commitments were starting to have just one-year after the Summit. Another year on, it is evident that GDS18 is still having a positive impact.

  • Now, 25% of all GDS18 commitments are complete (up from 10% complete in 2019) and the majority (62%) of the remaining GDS18 commitments are still underway; they are reported to remain on-track and are expected to be delivered by the date set.
  • Progress toward achieving the GDS18 commitments is ongoing in each thematic area of focus of the Summit; 40% of the ‘humanitarian’ commitments are complete along with 37% of the ‘Data’ commitments.

What especially caught my our eye

  • Some of the major international institutions are progressing well, like UNICEF, with a stronger focus on disability in all aspects of their work. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report having exceeded their original target of 35 countries implementing disability-inclusive humanitarian actions. This has now become a permanent agenda in UNICEF programming, such that by 2019 53 countries had provided humanitarian programmes and activities inclusive of children with disabilities.
  • The World Bank Group has made considerable progress towards the commitments it made at GDS18, for example: A Disability Inclusion and Accountability Framework has been launched to support the mainstreaming of disability in World Bank activities. The World Bank is also heading the Inclusive Education Initiative (2019 – 2021), funded by Britain and Norway.
  • DFID published its first ever Disability Inclusion Strategy on 3 December 2018; it is an ambitious five-year strategy aiming to embed disability inclusion across the organisation. DFID no longer exists, and British aid has been cut, and a new entity, the FCDO has come to life. But inclusion is still central to the work of FCDO, and the Department is committed to supporting a long term movement for change on disability inclusion. FCDO will refresh the Disability Inclusion Strategy for the new Department; FCDO is also contributing to the development of a new ‘UK National Strategy for Disabled People’.
  • The EDF seem to be inspired by what happened in London, and the report states that this has helped to strengthen disability inclusion efforts of EU agencies and institutions, including by developing with the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations a Guidance Note for EU-funded humanitarian aid operations . GDS18 further helped EDF build a momentum and focus that exceeds its GDS18 commitments. Since GDS18 EDF has focused on Article 32 of the CRPD, working to strengthen the EU’s contribution and focus on disability inclusive development through the EU’s policies, programmes and global cooperation agreements as well as by supporting engagement of OPDs in international cooperation systems and processes.
  • EDF has conducted a series of workshops, produced a Guidance Note and collated good practices to help OPDs build their understanding of international cooperation. While the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily halted EDF’s work to engage OPDs from the global south, EDF plans to continue its work in advance of the next Global Disability Summit. EDF’s goal is to help strengthen the EU’s focus on disability inclusion to a point where the EU is a leading voice at the next Summit and a strong actor in the sector through: the EU Disability Strategy 2020 – 2030; strategies, policies and programmes that reflect the CRPD; inclusion of OPDs in the EU’s country delegations and in inter-regional cooperation (e.g. EU-Africa and EU-ASEAN).

The actual and full report can be read here.

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