Capacity building and rights
As described in the DHF Strategy for development work, it is our overall goal to work “for full equality and integration of people with disabilities so that they can participate in all parts of social life. This must be done on the basis of the UN Standard Rules (On the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities) and the UN-convention (On the rights of Persons with disabilities including the Optional Protocol).”
We believe that the best way to achieve this is to support local organisations within development countries to gain sufficient strength so that they can work satisfactory for their own rights. DHF only cooperates with democratic organisations of PWDs. We do not engage in short-term projects such as delivering aid and we do not provide humanitarian assistance.
Capacity building presupposes a thorough knowledge of the partner organisation and often there needs to be spend considerable amount of resources on education and organisational restructuring. This is necessary since a well functioning organisation in the future will be able to work independently of our assistance and to fight for the interest of its members on its own. In this way the project meets DHF’s objective about sustainability. We seek to strengthen the local organisations through counselling, education, economic assistance to administration and through other relevant activities. The needs can vary a lot depending on the partner, but our objective will always be to build organisations that can work for better living conditions for PWDs. See the DHF Development Strategy (Pdf).
It is crucial for us to create awareness about our work for several reasons. We want to inform the members of DHF about the living conditions of PWDs so that they can get a better understanding of the importance of DHF development work and support it. It is also important to create a general understanding within the Danish public, both for PWDs and development work as such.
We seek to inform and affect other Danish development organisations to integrate PWDs in their activities, because PWDs mostly are particularly vulnerable.
Over the years we have cooperated with different organisations inside and outside the Danish disability movement. We have published articles and made conferences to fulfil objectives above. See more in Information Materials.
The gender aspect
DHF emphasizes that all projects we participate in must be designed in a way so that men and women benefit from them equally. Also we want men and women to have the same influence on project design and execution. This entails that we evaluate how both sexes are participating in the projects and we recurrently request that our partner organizations ensure the participation of women in their work. In Uganda and Ghana our partner organizations have specific wing projects designed for women with disabilities. In Nicaragua and Honduras our partners have made strategies for women and created gender committees within the projects. This focus on gender has implied that the women in our partner organizations have become more visible and gained more influence on the development of their organization.