Governments have a responsibility to their people to ensure that disability rights laws are implemented and enforced, in order for societies to be fully inclusive of people with disabilities. However, policy makers and decision makers may not understand the needs of people with disabilities unless advocates, including Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs), educate them. Or they may not make disability inclusion a priority until DPOs advocate with them. Lobbying with policy makers can be an important advocacy skill.
Different countries have different laws, policies, customs, and expectations for how Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) can effectively advocate with policy makers. It is important for advocates to know the laws in their own country. Some countries require NGOs to register with the government, while others only require individuals to register with the government if lobbying is their paid profession. Some cultures encourage marches, demonstrations, and media outreach to promote a cause, while other cultures discourage or outlaw such actions.
All countries that ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are committed under the CRPD to enable the inclusion of people with disabilities in the political process of their country. Article 29 in the CRPD requires ratifying states parties to promote an environment in which people with disabilities can “effectively and fully participate in the conduct of public affairs.” This includes enabling people with disabilities to participate in organizations involved with the political life of the country and to form organizations representing people with disabilities at the local, regional, national, and international levels.
The following resources could add value and influence to your advocacy efforts and lobbying techniques. Find what works for you, and share them with your colleagues, community and allies.
An Introduction to Advocacy: Training Guide
The training guide available for download below is designed to develop basic advocacy skills that emerging and established leaders can use to move their agenda in the political process of their country.
This training guide was produced by Support for Analysis and Research in Africa (SARA), which is operated by the Academy for Educational Development (AED) with funding support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Africa Bureau, Office of Sustainable Development.