About the Project

Bridging the Gap is a project funded by the European Union (EU) under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), Thematic Programme “Global Public Goods and Challenges”. The project carry out actions aimed at increasing the inclusion of persons with disabilities at both the international and country level.

The project is a targeted thematic response to the requirement to make development cooperation accessible to and inclusive of persons with disabilities, which is an obligation for the European Union (EU) and Member States as parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and which can have a significant impact in improving the social inclusion and promoting the rights of persons with disabilities.

Communication using sign language, Sri Lanka

The initiative consists of two mutually reinforcing parts:

Bridging the Gap-I

The first component works at the global level and aims to develop tools to promote the rights, participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, in line with the CRPD. This will be achieved through the development of:

  • Human rights indicators for the CRPD
  • Guidelines for policymakers on SDGs informed by the CRPD
  • Guidelines on data sources to populate indicators
  • Training material on the use of these tools, including a free e-learning course.

This component is led by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and includes consultation with experts, UN agencies, civil society and academia. In addition, five countries, Ethiopia, Jordan, Moldova, Nepal and Paraguay, will take part directly in the consultations and validation of the tools. Within these countries, the government disability focal point, national statistics office, national human rights institution and organisations representing persons with disabilities (DPOs) will all be included in the process.

Inclusive education in Coimbatore, India

Bridging the Gap-II

The second component focuses on strengthening the capacities of governments, national human rights institutions and relevant organisations in five partner countries (Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Paraguay and Sudan), as well as mainstreaming disability in international cooperation, to develop, implement and monitor disability-inclusive sector policies and services in a participatory manner and in line with the CRPD, namely in relation to: inclusive education, universal access to health and employment, livelihoods and social protection and data generation.

Based upon the country actions, the project will advance a disability-inclusive development agenda by raising awareness and strengthening the capacities of development partners and civil society, in accordance with the CRPD and the 2030 Agenda. Critical issues such as the overall respect of human rights, universal accessibility, gender and social sustainable development will be meaningfully incorporated into the project’s work.

Bridging the Gap-II is implemented by a consortium led by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), and composed of the Spanish Agency for Development Cooperation (AECID), the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (IADC), the European Disability Forum (EDF) and the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC). The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland also contribute to the initiative.