Comprehensive Pilot Assessment of the UNO’s level of Disability Inclusion using the United Nations Disability Inclusion (UNDIS) conducted by Zimbabwe Albino Association

The Zimbabwe Albino Association (ZIMAS), an organization of persons with disabilities together with Christian Blind Mission (CBM), which supported as a technical partner, undertook the assessment. A pragmatic approach to research was adopted. Nine agencies took part through focus group discussions virtual interviews. Furthermore, the UN Resident Coordinator also participated as a key informant, together with executives of selected OPDs as well as an employee of a UN agency who had a disability.

Findings have revealed that tremendous efforts have been made in embracing disability accessibility in UN agencies. Significant strides have been witnessed on accessibility and reasonable accommodation dimensions. However, although meaningful progression has been witnessed, in most cases, disability issues lacked policies. In this regards, most agencies scored less on some of the indicators such as strategic planning, procurement, employment and communication. Almost every agency that participated in this assessment had a disability focal point. On another note, it was established that the majority of UN agencies have no disability specific policies or strategies in place. More needs to be done to ensure that agencies develop and implement disability specific polices and strategies as this is a basis for disability inclusion. The UN system must put mechanisms to ensure that global policies, strategies and guidelines are localised in UN agencies so that they may be put into practice. The majority of UN agencies indicated that most of the policies and strategies that guide their operations and programming are global tools. The UN may consider setting up a standalone disability entity that deals specifically with disability considering that there are UN organisations specifically meant for a Women, Children and refuges. Knowledge of the UNCRPD must cascade to all UN agencies and it must act as a basis for understanding and implementing UNDIS. Joint initiatives on disability inclusion such as the UNPRPD and spotlight initiative must frequently be executed, encouraging all UN agencies to fully participate in order to enhance disability inclusion across the board.

 

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