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Published on February 1st, 2023

Celebrating Persons with Disabilities in Indonesia

According to the United Nations, today the world’s population is over eight billion people. Of this number, one billion people live with some form of disability, with 80 percent living in developing countries.

Worldwide much still needs to be done to strengthen approaches to disability engagement and reduce the barriers faced by so many.

As an organisation supporting over 100 countries around the world, DT Global is focused on improving disability-inclusive development, both at an individual and organisation level, and tackling the systemic discrimination that people with disabilities face.

On 3 December each year, we celebrate International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) to increase public awareness, understanding, and acceptance, and to celebrate their achievements and contributions.

This year’s theme, ‘Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world,’ was embraced by DT Global’s Indonesian partners as they held events, forums, bazaars, and talk shows, in honour of the day throughout December.


Promoting inclusive social change in Indonesia

DT Global’s Synergies and Collaboration to Accelerate Service Delivery (SKALA) project organised a gender, equality, and social inclusion (GEDSI) learning forum: promoting gender-responsive and inclusive development planning and budgeting in Indonesia.

Attended by 53 participants (37 women and 16 men) from various development projects, Disabled People’s Organisations, civil society organisations, and government agencies, the workshop provided an open forum for a frank discussion on the structural barriers and opportunities needed to progress gender-responsive and inclusive development planning.

Speakers included a GEDSI-Public Finance Management Expert, a member of the National Coalition Working Group on Disability Law Implementation, and an official from the National Development Planning Ministry.

After a Q&A session, participants recommended that the forum be held regularly to help peer-to-peer learning, provide updates, and promote collaboration among various development projects and practitioners.

Forum attendee, Mahretta Maha, from the Indonesian Christian Blind Association said, “The government needs to allocate more budget to empower people with disabilities and should move from a charity-based paradigm to a human rights-based paradigm when doing development.”

Participants explained that so often the voices of women, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups are left out of these important conversations, so having regular forums which promote affirmative action is necessary to help shift disability-inclusive development.


Supporting disability-inclusive businesses and entrepreneurship

Commemorating IDPwD, the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Economic Development (PROSPERA), implemented by DT Global, alongside the Jakpreneur Program of the Provincial Government of Jakarta, co-hosted a seminar and bazaar.

The seminar provided a platform for stakeholders to share the preliminary findings of a joint study between PROSPERA and the University of Indonesia examining disability employment policy.

The findings shed light on the experiences of people with disabilities in the labour market and analysed how different organisations have found innovative solutions to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

It is hoped the research can be used to inform policies and approaches to promote disability-inclusive employment in Indonesia into the future.

The bazaar and talk show included eight inspiring entrepreneurs with a disability who showcased their goods and services. Participants from PROSPERA, KIAT, MAHKOTA, DT Global, DFAT, IFC, and members of the Provincial Government of Jakarta who attended the event, were invited to find small ways to make a big social change by engaging with, learning from, and supporting disability-inclusive businesses.

This event was part of a broader package of support PROSPERA provides to the Provincial Government of Jakarta to ensure its flagship entrepreneurship program – Jakpreneur – can promote equal opportunities for all and be an exemplary case for innovation in disability-inclusive entrepreneurship development across Indonesia.

For DT Global, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was an important reminder to strengthen our commitment to disability inclusiveness and to ensure no one is left behind in the development process around the globe.