AfriNEAD DISABILITY RESEARCH COUNTRY WORKING GROUPS (DRCWG)
What is a DRCWG?
A DRCWG is a country based working group of disability researchers working together with other stakeholders in their home countries (people with disabilities, academic disability researchers, government, business and civil society) and adopting the AfriNEAD concept locally to establish the state of disability issues in their countries and identify areas that need intervention. The DRCWG conducts and collates context (country) specific research which enables the relevant stakeholders to grasp the state of disability issues in their countries. DRCWG also acts as a vehicle for facilitating the translation of disability research into policy and practice. It is a strategy to ensure that new and existing country level research on disability is translated into meaningful evidence-based advocacy, practice, products and policy to ensure equal opportunities and realization of human rights by people with disabilities.
DRCWGs are tasked with developing in-country research evidence together with action pathways for producing Best Evidence-to-Action Practice Guidelines which will be posted on the AfriNEAD webpage. The groups are essential platforms for dialogue and debates, which engender change with principles of participation, consensus building and joint decision making within AfriNEAD. The approach allows sharing of ideas, reduced bias, increased risk taking, high commitment, and improved communication and overall, improved and effective approaches to the needs of people with disabilities at country level, hence enabling AfriNEAD as a network to get a broader picture of the area of disability at continental level. This grouping can also act on advisory capacity as a vanguard with regard to issues of the correct terminology and approaches as well as instruments to use for National in country research such as National statistics as well as ensuring inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in elections.
What is the place of DRCWGs within the overall AfriNEAD strategy?
One of the main focus areas of AfriNEAD is Outreach through ongoing networking and triannual conferences. Establishment and strengthening of functional DRCWGs is crucial as a vehicle to reach out to many disability researchers, people with disabilities and other sectors who may not have contact or membership with the main network. While these in-country DRCWG have the potential of giving AfriNEAD membership an understanding of the status of disability research in their own countries, they also ensure continuity of the work of AfriNEAD as the DRCWGs partake in implementing resolutions of the triannual conferences in a more country specific way. Thus, the UNCRPD which is the basis for the themes and commissions of the triannual conferences gets more attention and implementation in the different countries.
Aims and objectives of DRCWGs
The overall aim of a DRCWG is to adopt the concept of AfriNEAD to a local (country) context. In a way, the DRCWG is a mini-AfriNEAD which is country specific.
- To build critical mass and buy-in of the AfrINEAD concept at country level
- To identify the main role players in disability research within the country and form meaningful partnerships with these role players.
- To establish a complete picture of the state of the nation with regards to disability research and identify gaps and the way forward in addressing these
- Yearly preparation of an overview of country status for publishing in the READ for Africa and the AJOD.
- To present the work and findings of the DRCWG at the triannual conferences.
- To domesticate and implement the UNCRPD through in-country research and its implementation and also addressing the practical functioning of the AfriNEAD Commissions through domestication of resolutions from the triannual conferences. The Commissions are:
- Children & youth with disabilities
- Development processes in Africa: poverty, politics and indigenous knowledges
- Economic empowerment
- Education: early to tertiary
- Health & HIV/AIDS
- Systems of Community Based Rehabilitation
- Holistic wellness: sports, recreation, sexuality and spirituality
- Research evidence & utilisation