Ongoing Projects

“Nothing about Us without Us: strengthening of the roles and the competencies of the Organizations of Persons with Disability (DPOs) for the promotion of the rights of persons with disability in Palestine”

Supported by Educaid, and implemented in partnership with various partners

The aim of the project is to promote the rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), in line with the UNCRPD
ratified by the Palestinian Authority in 2014, through the strengthening of the capacities of the Palestinian
Disabled People Organizations (DPOs). The action will entail a profound capacity building intervention that
should reinforce DPOs’ skills and capabilities in assessing, coordinating, elaborating and evaluating
interventions in the field of disability.
The project also provides opportunities for job placement for PwDs (and especially women with disabilities
WwDs), facilities for the access to inclusive education for children with disabilities (CwDs) and the
innovative figure of the peer counsellor. These targets will be achieved through the direct involvement of
the PwDs that should be the true protagonists of their own path of empowerment and emancipation. The
intervention strategy aims to strengthen the skills and capabilities of local DPOs in the following areas: data
collection and assessment capacity, fundraising capacity, planning and management of interventions,
ability to provide concrete tools to PwDs for the promotion of their rights, in particular with respect to the
right to education and work, the ability to lobby and advocate. In this way, the action intends to strengthen
in a structured way the skills necessary for local DPOs to increase their effectiveness and impact and to
strengthen their role as representatives of PwDs in Palestine. To reach this goal, the proposed activities
include a strong component of networking that will allow DPOs to establish a dialogue with key
stakeholders and key players, such as public institutions, the private sector, local and international
organizations by using the “twin track approach”. The elaboration of an operational strategic plan on
disability will provide DPOs with the opportunity to outline the agenda of interventions on disability in
Palestine with a bottom up and participatory approach that would allow an adequate consideration of the
needs expressed directly by the PwDs. In addition, peer counselling and job counselling will be
implemented with the approach of “peer counselling” within the DPOs.
These activities, in addition to promoting the empowerment and self-esteem of beneficiaries (PwDs and
WwDs), will strengthen the role of the DPOs since they will be able to provide concrete and tangible
support to PwDs in obtaining their rights in particular regarding the right to work and the right to
education. Finally, the planned lobbying and advocacy activities will ensure the recognition of the DPOs
also by other stakeholders and key actors involved, and will foster their coordination with other local DPOs
and an effective mainstreaming of disability.
PCBS report on disability (2011) shows that 87.3% of PWDs is unemployed, more than one third of PWDs
above 15 years old do not have formal education, and drop out rate of children with disabilities is 33.8%.
According to the “National Strategic Plan of the Disability Sector in the Occupied Palestinian Territories”
(2013), the inclusion of PWDs in Palestine still faces some primary challenges, including; weak participation of PWDs in identifying their priorities and their needs for services, weakness in the self-assessment indicators of the organizations, inaccuracy and scarcity of information, No direct correspondence between needs and services provided; and a weakness of the disability movement and lack of efficacy on the ground.

In order to tackle these issues, the project aims at strengthening the capacities of local DPOs, such
as the General Union of People with Disabilities, Aswat Society, Al Baseera Forum for Blind People, Stars of
Hope Society, Friends of Disabled, etc. in representing the needs of PWDs, sharing information and
developing sectoral strategies with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders (government, institutions,
civil society organizations) and, more importantly, implementing initiatives to realize them. These needs
were confirmed in the focus group held by EducAid with the local DPOs, where the “National Strategic Plan
of the Disability Sector in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” (2013) was quoted as a framework on which
to build sectoral strategic interventions on the basis of the needs of PWDs.

Given that, the project idea revolves around the implementation of a participatory strategic plan that,
based on the National plan, can provide a detailed mapping of the existing services, enforce coordination
among the relevant stakeholders and structure tangible interventions in sectors relevant to the promotion
of the rights of PWDs, such as Education and Employment. This process will also enforce the coordination
among PWDs, their representative organizations, institutions and other relevant stakeholders, in a path
useful to structure future interventions on disability on the basis of needs of PWDs.

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