The Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network is a coordination body of bilateral and multilateral donors and agencies, the private sector and foundations working to enhance the inclusion of persons with disabilities in international development and humanitarian action. The GLAD Network members work together to take actions consistent with the goals of the Network and the GLAD Network Strategic Plan. The GLAD Network meets at least annually.
The (GLAD) Network was launched in London in December 2015, by a group of like-minded partners who recognise that to realise the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to leave no one behind, and to further the principles reflected in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the international community needs to work together to share expertise, coordinate actions, and raise the profile of disability across a broader range of organisations contributing to international development efforts.
The permanent co-chair of the GLAD Network is the International Disability Alliance (IDA). The current second co-chair is the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
The GLAD Network’s mission is to support bilateral and multilateral donors and organisations, the private sector, foundations and others contributing resources to work together, in collaboration with organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) and partner governments, to enhance the inclusion of persons with disabilities in international development and humanitarian action.
Consistent with Article 32 of the CRPD, GLAD members will collectively:
- Increase coordination of their disability-inclusive contributions
- Learn from each other by sharing knowledge and resources
- Amplify their common and united voice for maximum influence
- Expand and diversify the community of partners contributing resources to disability-inclusive development and humanitarian action
- Strengthen existing partnerships and disability inclusion within existing global development initiatives
Persons with disabilities often face stigma, exclusion and discrimination. As a consequence, they are over-represented amongst the people living in persistent poverty, and are less likely than others to be able to lift themselves out of poverty. It is estimated that 80% of people with disabilities live in developing countries.
Attainment of the SDGs will substantively improve the lives of persons with disabilities. The SDGs are the first global development agenda that clearly includes persons with disabilities in a universal and ambitious plan of action to ensure no one is left behind, and reflect in part the guiding principles of the CRPD. In emergency contexts this is complemented by the Agenda for Humanity adopted at the World Humanitarian Summit. Under the CRPD, states have an international obligation to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities. While Official Development Assistance remains important, it alone cannot achieve social inclusion and active participation of persons with disabilities. The private sector and foundations also play an indispensable role.