A three day “Leadership Conference of Persons with Disabilities on Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID)” was organized by the Community-Based Inclusive Development (CBID) Network Pakistan, andthe South Asian Disability Forum (SADF) in collaboration with the Government of Pakistan through the Ministry of Law, Justice & Human Rights, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Islamabad, World Health Organization (WHO) Islamabad, the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD), the Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP)the Light for the World, the CHEF International, Sightsavers, the British Council Pakistan, HelpAge International, CBM & Telenor Pakistan held on 20-22 November 2013at Margala Hotel, Islamabad, Pakistan.
More than 100 delegates joined together from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Japan, Germany, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Thailand, & Palestine shared their valuable insights regarding community based inclusive development (CBID) and leadership improvements for persons with disabilities. The presentations of key speakers, panel discussions and the deliberations of the participants in the conference provided a range of perspectives and perceptions about the way forward for an inclusive society especially in Pakistan and then replicate to other countries.
In the end there was a consensus on the notions that persons with disabilities have equal rights to a decent standard of living, economic independence and social acceptance as any other person in each community. Moreover, laws and policies on disability should be harmonized with the principles of CBID, data regarding person will be collected to access the current stature disability situation, persons with disabilities should be equally and positively promoted by media and networking& collaboration on CBID should be strengthened among DPOs and other CSOs, local community people, governments, the United Nations agencies, international development agencies, academic institutions, media and the business sector.
Community-Based Inclusive Development is an aim or goal or an end result to be achieved – of making communities and society at large inclusive of all marginalized groups and their concerns, including persons with disability. The rationale is that no one should be excluded from development for any reason, be it gender, disability, ethnicity, refugee status, sexuality or any other issue. CBR is the tool or strategy to achieve the goal of Community-Based Inclusive Development (CBID) for persons with disability, just as other interest groups in the community (gender etc.), use their own strategies to make development inclusive of their constituents. CBID is disability focused approached and believes in the leadership of persons with disabilities who have tacit knowledge of barriers and discrimination they face in the community.
Inclusive development means that partnerships and alliances are necessary between different stakeholders, especially between DPOs, families of persons with disabilities and governments. The development of the CBR Guidelines is an example of effective partnerships between multiple stakeholdersi-e UN agencies, DPOs, governments, donor agencies and civil society including national and international non-governmental organizations.
CBR was initiated in the early 1980s, with the recognition that in many developing countries, the conventional system of rehabilitation had failed to address needs of persons with disabilities. CBR practice then changed from a medical orientated, often single sector (e.g., health or education), service delivery approach, to a comprehensive, multi-sectoral, rights-based one, focusing on creation of inclusive societies where persons with disabilities have access to all development benefits like everyone in their communities. The CBR Guidelines of WHO (2010) are an attempt to synthesize experiences from across the world to provide a unified understanding of the concept and principles of CBR.
The UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), adopted in 2006 is the most significant legal development for persons with disabilities world-wide, illustrating the shift in attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities, from seeing them as “objects” of charity and welfare, to viewing them as participating, contributing members of society, where they have the same rights as others in their community, and are capable of making decisions for their lives. The central tenet of the Conventionis non-discrimination; its vision is that of an inclusive society.
The Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific, 2013-2022, espouses 10 goals, many of which are intrinsic to CBR programmes and CBID in low and middle income countries.
Participants, more than 100, with diverse background including international delegates Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Japan, Germany, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sweden,Thailand, & Palestine, the Government of Pakistan dignitaries (Deputy Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan, Director General (DG), the Ministry of Law & Justice and Human Rights and Director General (DG)the Ministry of National Health Regulations Services and Coordination (NHRSC)),the UN agencies (Director/Representative UNSECO&Technical Advisor – Medical Rehabilitation WHO Islamabad), International organization (British Council), National organization and corporate sector (Telenor) contributed in this leadership conference.
Initial session was emceed by Mr. Atif Shiekh, President STEP & Deputy International Coordinator CBIDNetwork Pakistan and Mr. ShafiqurRehman, President Milestone society for disabled persons and Coordinator CBID Network Punjab Chapter. Mr. Atif Shiekh introduced all the guests and invited Dr. Muhammad Shahnawaz Munami, National Coordinator CBIDNetwork Pakistan, for welcome note. He praised all the organizers, foreign delegates, national leaders with disabilities, United Nations agencies and the Government of Pakistan and above all, the volunteers for making this event successful. He further mentioned the names of Mr. Atif Shiekh, Mr. Ryuhei Sano & Mr. AkiieNinomiya from APCD and Mr. Ghulam Nabi Nizamani, International Coordinator CBID Network Pakistan & chairperson of Asia-Pacific CBR. He elaborated CBID Network Pakistan that “C” is for community and each community whether it is doctor’s community, teacher’s community or lawyer’s community, it should be inclusive and through inclusive development approach persons with disabilities should be included in all the sectors.
Ms. SadiaRehman, Head of Programs the British Council Pakistan, said that we consider disability as cross-cutting theme and incorporate it in all our matters. British council believes that the opportunity exists for everyone, and such type of conferences give the opportunity to focus on special people who has the potential but need attention and opportunities.
Dr. Imam Yar Baig, Country Director Sightsavers, welcomed all the delegates on this robust gathering. He was optimistic that at the end of the conferencewe would be able to achieve the objectives of this conference and would join hands together to implement the components of UNCRPD.
Mr. Abdullah AbdurRehman Khan, Corporate Social Responsibility specialist Telenor Pakistan, mentioned that it is in our mandate to include all the people with disabilities. He shared some of the initiative Telenor Pakistan has taken like employment opportunities and disability friendly infrastructure and was hoping to achieve tangible outputs from the conference.
Ms. Shirin Akhter, Chairperson SADF, added on this occasion that she was privileged to be here on the behalf of people with disabilities and women with disabilities. She highlighted “South Asian Disability and Development Initiative 2014-2016” to empower women with disabilities, a tangible result from the “SADF’s Strategic Planning workshop November 2013”.
Maj General (R) Dr. FarrukhSeir, Member Board of Directors CHEF International, paid tributes to all the participants on the behalf of CHEF International. He added that CHEF International’s Vision is to empower people and improve their lives with inclusive approach. CHEF International believes in universal principle of non-discrimination and we include all the people with disabilities in our development projects. He applauded the exceptional efforts made by South Asian Disability Forum and it needs recognition.
Mr. AkeiiNinomiya, Executive Director APCD, said that this is a union of persons with disabilities to create inclusive and right based community for all. He briefly overviewed the world’s progress on inclusive development and incorporating it in Post-2015 Millennium Development Goals is a stepping stone to achieve anti-discriminatory society. He further mentioned the other core areas which need to be addressed like ageing problem and women with disabilities.
Dr. Maryam Mallick, Technical Advisor– Medical Rehabilitation WHO, stated that this is very timely event as Pakistan is on verge of drafting a Bill for persons with disabilities in Pakistan. Pakistan has undergone devolution of power from federal government to provincial government after passing 18th Amendment in Constitution of Pakistan. Fair efforts are being carried out to take disability movement to the next level by drafting and presenting a bill, may be called “Pakistan Disability Act”, hence she was expecting some worthy suggestions from this conference to incorporate these into the bill.
Dr. Kozue Kay Nagata, Representative UNSECO Islamabad, welcomed all the participants and mentioned that this is really an international event as I can see many international leaders with disabilities and leaders of disability movements from many countries. We have undergone few meetings on CRPD, and believe that CBID is highly integrated approach covering development and human rights. Human rights cannot be achieved without inclusive development and vice versa. She highlighted that South Asian region is the most dynamic region now a days as in the region a democratic transition is being held in nearly all the countries of this region. She further congratulated Pakistan about successful democratic transition as one democratic political party handed over government to another democratic political party through elections. She stressed that MDGs cannot be achieved without the development in this region. Moreover she mentioned about the recent progress about Post-2015 MDGs, and presented some core areas to be included in agenda like minimizing the disparity, climate change, disaster risk management, governance and democracy, agenda issues and Peace & Security.
Mr. ShafqatJavedShiekh, Director General DG Ministry of National Health Government of Pakistan, felt pleasured and honored to speak to this leadership conference. He shared his sentiments that he always has a passion to work with persons with disabilities. He assured that Government of Pakistan is committed with all its zeal and zest to address the problems of persons with disabilities and applying the inclusive approach we welcome all the persons with disabilities to share the valuable thoughts to strengthen the initial draft of bill for Persons with disabilities.
Ms. Nyla Qureshi, Director General Ministry of Law, Justice & Human Rights, acknowledged all the delegates both national and international and also assured the Government’s commitment for the cause of persons with disabilities. She highlighted that there is a strong urge to have a platform like this so that issues can be consolidated and address accordingly. She was hopeful that positive outcomes from this conference would be taken into consideration while devising the draft for a bill for persons with disabilities. She argued that although law is important but the most important thing is the implementation of the law.
Signing Ceremony of SADDI 2014-2016
At the end of the opening session, a signing ceremony of “South Asian Disability and Development Initiative (SADDI) 2014-2016” held and signed by four countries including Afghanistan, Nepal, and Pakistan & Sri Lanka and witnessed by Ms. Shirin Akhter, Chairperson SADF , Mr. Atif Sheikh, President, Special Talent Exchange Program, Pakistan, Mr. AkiieNinomiya, Executive Director, Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability, Ms. ShaziaKhawar, Director, British Council Pakistan and Mr. Sohail Ayaz Chief Executive Officer, CHEF International.
This session was chaired by Ms. Saeeda Iqbal, Senator of Pakistan Senate and co-chaired by Mr. ShafqatJavedShiekh, DG Ministry of National Health. Other speakers included Ms. Maryam Malick, Technical Advisor WHO, Mr. Atif Shiekh, Deputy International Coordinator CBID NETWORK PAKISTAN, and SenatorMuhannadAlazzeh, CBM Consultant from Jordan.
This session was primarily designed to discuss the legislative framework on disability in Pakistan with on the grounds of international norms. For the relevancy reasons parliamentarians from Pakistan, government officials, international parliamentarian, DPO’s and UN agencies representatives were invited to chalk out a strategy to draft a bill.
Mr. Atif Sheikh opened the session with some facts and figures related to disability movement in Pakistan like establishment of special education ministry and directorate of special education and social welfare in previous decades. He further shed some light on common misconception among the social circle in Pakistan regarding persons with disabilities as they are often denied for being the part of the family.
Ms. Maryam Malick, Technical Advisor WHO, stated that we are in pursuit of drafting the bill for person with disabilities in Pakistan for the past 3 years; initially we were facing many problems as there was no collective platform to discuss this but now we have CBID Network Pakistan, the government agencies, the UN agencies. She added that the bill shall be in line the conjunction of UNCRPD and the national policy of persons with disabilities. She was also expecting all these efforts not in vain but be implemented in its true spirit. She further opened up the discussion whether we should opt a unified law by federal government of Pakistan or separate law should be initiated in each province to effectively address the miseries of persons with disabilities. She proposed that Pakistan must have “Pakistan National Council for Disabilities”.
Mr. ShafqatJavedShiekh, DG Ministry of National Health, then pushed for holding a census activity so that a clear counted picture of persons with disability can be measured. He suggested mass awareness campaigns should the aired and religious scholar shall be highlighting this issue in their sermons as well.
Ms. Saeeda Iqbal, Senator of Pakistan senate, motivated all the participants that having a law is always better than not having a law and if you have a law, not implemented, then fight for your right,look for the like-minded people and do it as group if an individual can’t do it.
Mr. MuhannadAlazzeh, Senator in Jordan
Mr. MuhannadAlazzeh, Senator in Jordan Senate, mentioned that persons with disabilities have a right to be the part of legislative process and if persons with disabilities are not included or consultant then consider it an exclusion. He mentioned success stories of Jordan and then suggested that persons with disabilities should some technical skills to link the legislation process with UNCRPD.
This session was dedicated to community based inclusive development (CBID) practices in other neighboring countries of Pakistan and how these practices can be replicated in Pakistan.
Mr. AkiieNinomiya, Executive Director APCD, chaired these two sessions and co-chaired by Mr. Ghulam Nabi Nizamani, International Coordinator CBID Network Pakistan. Other speakers were Ms. Etsuko Ueno, Japan, Ms. AshrafunnaharMisti, Bangladesh, Ms. DupthoZangmo, Bhutan, Mr. MoussaCharafeddine, Lebanon, Ms. Rama DhakalShilpakar Nepal, and Ms. ManiqueKisharaHendawitharanaGunarantne, Sri Lanka.
Ms. Etsuko Ueno, Japan, started her presentation with some astonishing facts like increasing trend in mortality rate of Japan due to no community participation. Moreover, she also reviewed the ongoing legislative work and current status of disability movement in context of community based inclusive development in Japan.
Ms. AshrafunnaharMisti, Bangladesh, shared the struggle of person with disabilities especially women with disabilities in Bangladesh and then quoted that now persons with multiple disabilities are being offered employment opportunities in NGOs, INGOs and in government sector. She mentioned her personal experience that she was turned down in participating in report writing training, but she was the part of CIDA report writing team and effectively performed her tasks. Recently we (Persons with disabilities) were trying to get this issue of our inclusion in budget speech as well but unfortunately could not succeed.
Ms. DupthoZangmo, Bhutan, on the same note she praised her family for their support all the way through to get me educated and mentioned further the Bhutan’s situation regarding the community based inclusive development.
In the final session for the day, Mr. MoussaCharafeddine, Lebanon, Ms. Rama DhakalShilpakar Nepal, and Ms. ManiqueKisharaHendawitharanaGunarantne, Sri Lanka shared the brief history of CBR and how these countries effectively implement the CBR guidelines and CBR matrix respectively as all these countries are war prone. Mr. Nizamani concluded the session with his remarks that Pakistan can be pioneer to replicate CBID practices to rest of region.
Community Based Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (CBIDRR)
This panel discussion was about community based inclusive disaster risk reduction (CBIDRR) primarily focused on how disaster risk can be mitigated with the help of community based inclusion. Session was chaired by Mr. MoussaCharafeddine President, Friends of Disabled Association, Honorary Life Member Inclusion International, Lebanon, and co-chaired by Ms. Shirin Akhter Chairperson, SADF, Bangladesh and panelists were Mr. TalalWaheed, Ageing & Disability Task Force (ADTF) Coordinator, HelpAge International, Ms. Abia Akram Director Programs, STEP, Mr. Sohail Ayaz CEO, CHEF International, Mr. Anwar Sadat, DRR Coordinator, HelpAge International, and Mr. Farooq Masih Inclusion Advisor Handicap International (HI).
Mr. TalalWaheed ADTF coordinator highlighted about the history of ADTF. He said that in September 2010, 11 likeminded national, International and disable people organizations (Expert organizations primarily facilitating older persons and/or persons with disabilities through their programs) joined their hands and formed Aging &Disability Task Force to make the difference in the lives of older persons and persons with disabilities in, during and after any form of disaster. ADTF is also working as sub cluster under protection cluster in Pakistan since its inception. Mr. Talal further said that now the secretariat of ADTF is hosted by HelpAge and we are making difference in Pakistan not only through advocacy but also through capacity building of stakeholders.
Ms. Abia emphasizes on the inclusion of women with disabilities during the disasters and making disaster management gender sensitive because women with disabilities have specific issues those other often neglected during disasters. She stressed on the personal privacy matters of women with disabilities during the disasters.
Mr. Sohial Ayaz CEO of CHEF highlighted CHEF projects and programs. He said that CHEF is disability focused organization and we believed in inclusion. CHEF has been involved in promoting mainstreaming disability in disaster through its development initiatives since 2010 after flood. The CHEF also recognizes that for mainstreaming disability in disaster, there is a need to include disability perspective while planning for disaster risk reduction. Based on its past experience the CHEF International, in the coming five years will develop a comprehensive inclusive development programs integral to organization’s approach to promote inclusiveness in all its initiatives. CHEF International will continue to play its role in mainstreaming disability not only in disaster but will also advocate promotion of rights of person with disabilities and their empowerment with other stakeholders like CBID Network Pakistan.
Mr. Anwar Sadat from HelpAge told that HelpAge International helps older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty, so that they can lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives.We are witnessing an increasing frequency of natural disasters, coupled with climate change. We work to get recognition for older people’s vulnerabilities and their invaluable knowledge in coping with disasters. We have developed Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Technical Guidelines for older people and people with disabilities those will be launched at the end of this conference.
Mr. Farooq from HI said that we are working Pakistan since the emergency in 2005 earthquake to help those newly persons with disabilities as a result of earthquake related injuries and to support those previously with disabilities whose needs were being overlooked by the relief effort. Once the emergency phase was over Handicap International remained to carry on its work and to address the needs of people with disabilities as the development phase began.
At the end of session,ChairMr. Moussa and Co-Chair Ms. Shirin also told briefly about human made and natural disasters in Lebanon and Bangladesh. They focused on inclusion of person with disabilities in planning process in both countries.
Community Based Inclusive Education Initiatives.
This panel discussion on community based inclusive education initiatives was chaired by Dr. Imam Yar Baig, Country Head, Sightsavers, and jointly co-chaired by Ms. Humaira Amir Naseer, Joint Program Support Officer-Education UNESCO Islamabad. Other panelists included were Dr. TanzilaNabeel, Associate Professor, Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad, Mr. Zahid Majeed, Assistant Professor, Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad, Mr. Ali Shabbar, STEP, Pakistan and Dr. Muhammad Shahnawaz Munami, National CoordinatorCBID Network Pakistan.
Mr. Zahid Majeed and Ms. TanzilaNabeel presented a detailed presentation over the education initiatives Allama Iqbal Open University has taken so far for inclusion of people with disabilities and also answered various challenging question with firm determination.
Dr. Muhammad Shahnawaz Munami, National CoordinatorCBID Network Pakistan, discussed about the experiences and phases of inclusive education(Presentation is attached)in details.
At the end of this session, a rigorous question and answer round was held and the panelists answered the question with knowledge and wisdom.
3 Years Strategic Planning By CBID Network Pakistan
This was the final & most important session in which panelists discussed what would be the strategy of CBID, how it would be strengthen in Pakistan and how other organization, DPOs, NGOs going to join CBID.
Final session was chaired by Dr. Maryam MalickTechnical Advisor, WHO Pakistan and co-chaired by Mr. Ryuhei Sano Acting General Manager, APCD Thailand. Other speakers included, were Mr. Imran Nazir Executive Director, Leonard Cheshire Disability and Development Programme LCDDP, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Nizamani International Coordinator, CBID Network Pakistan, Coordinator of ASHA and Mr. ShafiqurRehman President, Milestone Society for Disabled Persons. Mr. Imran presented a comprehensive presentation of three year CBID Network Pakistan strategic planning. Mr. Shafiq discussed how the idea of strategic planning developed and all stakeholders worked together for the development of three years strategic planning. Mr. Nizamani focused on silent features of strategic planning and successful implementation before launching of the CBID Network Pakistan strategic planning document. Mr. Sano wrapped up the discussion and included all points discussed during the session.
At last session of the dayMr. Ghulam Nabi Nizamani read out the Islamabad recommendation after the inclusion of amendments and suggestion brought up through this conference. In the end “Islamabad Recommendations on CBID” were unanimously adopted with huge round of applause from the participants and delegates.
The launching ceremony of “Islamabad Recommendations on CBID”, “A strategy Plan for CBID Network Pakistan” and “Inclusive DRR guidelines-CADR-HelpAge International” was held on 22 November 2013, the final day of “Leadership Conference of Persons with Disabilities on Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID)”.
Mr. Shahnawaz Munami – National Coordinator CBID Network Pakistan & Mr. Muhammad Atif Shiekh- International Coordinator CBID Network Pakistan are presenting a souvenir to Chief Guest Honorable Deputy Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan, Mr. Murtaza Jawed Abbas
On this auspicious moment, Chief Guest Honorable Deputy Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan, Mr. Murtaza Jawed Abbasi delivered his speech and showed commitment of the government to present a bill for people with disability. Guest of Honor Mr. Shoaib Mir, Joint Secretary Ministry of Law, Justice and Human rights Government of Pakistan also promised the same note.
Other speaker both national and international delegates including Ms. Saeeda Iqbal, Senator of Pakistan Senate, Dr. Maryam Malick, Technical Advisor Disabilities and Rehabilitation, WHO, Dr. Kozue Kay Nagata-UNESCO, Ms. Rima Canawati Director, Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation, Palestine, Mr. AkiieNinomiya, Executive Director-APCD, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Nizamani-CBR Asia-Pacific Network/ CBR Global Network, Mr. Muhammad Atif Shiekh- International Coordinator CBID Network Pakistan , Mr. Shahnawaz Munami – National Coordinator CBID Network Pakistan, Ms. Tanja Karen Regional Director – CBM RO EMR, Mr. Amanullah Khan –on the behalf of CHEF International and Dr. M. Babar Qureshi DirectorNTD, CBM RO EMR, shared their final sentiments regarding full inclusion and mainstreaming the persons with disabilities through Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID).