Kerryn Clarke
February 6, 2020

Australian Government responds to Senate Estimate Questions on Notice

A core focus on the Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC) is to advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities across the Australian Government’s international development program, to ensure that no one is left out of development gains. We welcome the Government’s global leadership in the inclusion of people with disabilities within their aid program over the past decade and call for this to continue to support people with disabilities to break the cycle of poverty and disability in developing countries.

The Australian Government’s current strategy on disability inclusion across their international development program ends in 2020. ADDC is seeking that the Government continue their leadership through the development and implementation of a new strategy that advances disability-inclusive development further.

Government response to Senate Estimate Questions

Last October, as part of the 2019 Senate Estimates process, ADDC worked with the Office of the Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator Pat Conroy, to ask a number of questions on the Australian Government’s disability inclusion strategy in aid.  The questions were taken on notice and DFAT has recently provided responses. They are as follows:

1) Will the Government renew the Development for All 2015-2020: Strategy for strengthening disability-inclusive development in Australia’s aid program when it expires in 2020?

The Government remains committed to playing a leadership role internationally in disability-inclusive development. We have commenced initial consultations with key stakeholders regarding our approach to disability-inclusive development beyond the current strategy.

2) What steps are under way to develop a new strategy for disability-inclusive aid for the period beyond 2020?

We have commenced initial consultations with key stakeholders, including the Australian Disability & Development Consortium (ADDC), the Global Action on Disability (GLAD) network and at the 12th Annual Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, regarding our approach to disability-inclusive development beyond the current strategy. DFAT is developing a formal consultation plan in collaboration with stakeholders including ADDC.

3) Will the Government adopt stronger targets for disability-inclusive aid in any new disability strategy?

There are no disability related strategic targets contained in the Australian aid program’s performance management framework and no specific targets within the current Development for All Strategy.

4) How will the Government ensure people with disabilities are partners in the development of any new strategy?

Engaging people with disabilities and their representative organisations in the decision-making process remains a core principle of the Government’s approach to disability-inclusive development. The Department will consult with disabled people’s organisations at the global, regional and national levels, including with the International Disability Alliance (IDA), the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) and the Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC). The Department is also committed to engaging with disabled people’s organisations in developing countries, particularly within the Indo-Pacific.

Response to Senate Estimates Questions on Notice also available to download here

Update on DFAT Consultations

On 31st January, members of the ADDC Executive Committee met with key DFAT representatives as part of the consultations on the development of a new Australian Government international development policy and the consultations regarding DFAT’s future approach to disability inclusion.

Members of the ADDC Executive Committee welcomed the opportunity to discuss the continuing need for disability-inclusive development to be a priority cross-cutting theme of the Australian international development program, as well as ways to progress of the inclusion of people with disabilities across all of Australia’s aid initiatives.

For more information and correspondence with the Minister of International Development and the Pacific on this matter see our previous article here.