Collaboratory Model

DISABILITY INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT POLICY COLLABORATORY

The Disability Inclusive Development (DID) Policy Collaboratory developed by the Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) at American University and supported by The Nippon Foundation works to enhance the participation of persons with disabilities and the global disability community in multiple and complex national, regional and international global governance processes.

What is a Collaboratory?

Coined by notable computer scientist Dr. William Wulf, the term 'collaboratory' blends the words 'collaborate' and 'laboratory' and is talked about as a center without walls where researchers can work together as if they are in the same physical place, but they can be spread out across the country and around the world. IDPP defines a collaboratory as a virtual organization that spans distance, and supports rich and recurring interaction oriented to a common policy goal between stakeholders that are both known and unknown to each other.

Background

IDPP believes we are at an historic moment in inclusive social and economic development, fueled by technological advances. At present, there is an important confluence of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as the first human rights treaty of the 21st century and an international development instrument; 2030 Agenda for Sustainable DevelopmentHabitat III and the New Urban AgendaGlobal Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and implementation of the 2015-2030 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; and World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) +10.

All of these policy frameworks present huge potential opportunities for the international community - especially persons with disabilities, their representative organizations, and the global disability community - to become more actively involved in the deliberations, decision-making, follow-up and monitoring of these major global initiatives. However, as previous experience has shown, there exist numerous challenges to enhancing the active and effective participation of persons with disabilities in global discourses and governance processes.

Objective

The DID Policy Collaboratory uses the accumulated wisdom, best practices and lessons learned from our decades-long work building virtual organizations and global virtual teams by leveraging accessible cyberinfrastructure and cyberlearning environments to substantially enhance the participation of persons with disabilities and the global disability community in these important initiatives.

Current Work

The DID Policy Collaboratory is currently facilitating capacity building and specific disability-inclusive development contributions to the UN Habitat III global consultations and Outcome Document for the New Urban Agenda. The Collaboratory works toward meeting these objectives by supporting the Global Network on Disability Inclusion and Accessible Urban Development (DIAUD) in coordination with UNDESA / Division of Social Policy and Development / Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In addition, the DID Policy Collaboratory is facilitating disability-inclusive development contributions around digital societies and big data by supporting the Working Group on Disability and Digital Societies in coordination with UNDESA / Division of Social Policy and Development / Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Collaboratory is also broadening participation to support disability-inclusive development contributions around the review, monitoring and implementation of the 2015-2030 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and its seven global targets. Bridging experiences from Habitat III and the DIAUD Network, the Collaboratory will support the Fifth Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction hosted by the Government of Mexico in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

Research

The DID Policy Collaboratory has a research and evaluation component, including baseline and follow-up data collection instruments administered to all participants, allowing for summative evaluation and potential recommendations for further institutionalization of this collaboratory approach.