IFES Joins the International Disability and Development Consortium as an Observer


A man who uses a wheelchair casts his ballot on Election Day in Libya in July 2012.

In recognition of its efforts to advance the political rights of persons with disabilities worldwide, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) was invited to join International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) as an observer in May 2020. IDDC is a consortium of civil society organizations that aims to promote inclusive international development and humanitarian action by supporting the full and effective enjoyment of human rights by all people with disabilities. IDDC’s membership includes disabled people’s organizations, nongovernmental organizations, national networks and international member-based networks.

“IFES is looking forward to collaborating with other like-minded organizations working to ensure disability-inclusive international development programming. During this pandemic, it has become even more important that people with disabilities have access to public services and a voice in how they are governed.”

– IFES Senior Global Inclusion Advisor Virginia Atkinson

Through its member-driven thematic task groups, IDDC advocates for implementation of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and for disability inclusion in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. IDDC also facilitates coordinated action among members to strengthen disability inclusion in development policy and practice. Through enhanced collaboration among its members and allies, IDDC supports the exchange of information and knowledge on inclusive development and humanitarian action.

As an IDDC observer, IFES will have the opportunity to learn in-depth about the latest developments affecting the rights of people with disabilities and will coordinate with IDDC members on good practices and lessons learned for disability-inclusive development. As the only democracy-support organization in the consortium, IFES will provide a unique perspective to the network . IFES is excited to join the IDDC community and looks forward to contributing its expertise on innovative areas of democracy and governance programming.

IFES’ observer status was officially announced during IDDC’s General Assembly that took place online on May 14, 2020.

Published on July 2, 2020.

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