Disability advocates, implementers, and politicians met in London recently to discuss how to ensure people with disabilities are not left behind by the Sustainable Development Agenda.

Having fought hard to get disability included in the 2030 Agenda, where it is explicitly referred to 11 times — in contrast with the Millennium Development Goals, which made no mention of people with disabilities — advocates are keen to ensure these ambitions translate into national and regional policy changes and tangible reforms.

Approximately 15 percent of the world’s population has a disability, and while nearly 90 percent of countries have now signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, advocates say that people with disabilities are still systematically excluded from health, education, and other services, caught in a cycle of disability, poverty, and vulnerability. Women with disabilities are also at a higher risk of violence and sexual assault, they say.

The two-day conference brought together nearly 200 participants from African and international research institutes and disability organizations, as well as leading experts and representatives from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.

Organized by U.K. charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, the event showcased findings from a three-year research project funded by DFID and the Economic and Social Research Council, looking at why policies in four African countries — Kenya, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Zambia — are failing to meet the needs of people with disabilities and what can be done to bridge the gap between policy formulation and implementation.

Read the full article about DFID reps meeting with disability advocates to discuss inclusion by Sophie Edwards at Devex International Development.