Disability Rights and Elections Project

Disability Rights and Elections Project

 This project seeks to enhance the Participation and voices of Persons with Disabilities especially youth (PWDs) for Accountability and Transparency in Local Governance


The UNCRPD article 29 states that persons with disabilities, must participate in political and public life and that States Parties shall guarantee to persons with disabilities political rights and the opportunity to enjoy them on an equal basis with others. This takes into consideration the rights of persons with disabilities to vote and be elected and ensure that voting procedures, facilities and materials are appropriate, accessible and easy to understand and use.


It is not common for persons with disabilities to be engaged in political and public life. For example; voting facilities, procedures and materials are not accessible to persons with disabilities and in some cases efforts relate to political participation of persons with disabilities are not a priority.


DHAT is working with organizations that are involved in electoral processes to mainstream disability in all electoral processes.  The objective of the mainstreaming processes is to  addresses the design and implementation of electoral processes that is discriminatory, while also requiring states to provide voters with disability-related accommodations and other facilitative measures to enable their equal right to vote. 

 This will be done through collaboration with the Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs), communities, persons with disabilities, families, district and local leaders. The project seeks to include persons with disability in ERC’s Enhanced Participation and accountability project being done in Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The project will follow the ERC’s EPAT model and amply the voices, participation and inclusion of people with disabilities in local governance processes. 


The project focuses on citizen engagement in general governance issues, and embedded within this framework will be civic and voter education.


Project Goal: People with disabilities will be empowered to express their voices on local governance issues with local leaders

The project is designed to achieve the following objectives by achieving three key intermediate results:


Result 1: Strengthened ability of PWDs to demand accountability and transparency from local leaders


Expected Outcomes

·         Effective evidence based identification of PWDs priorities, capacities and opportunities

·         Enhanced skills and knowledge of PWDs in local governance issues

·         Reduced stigma and discrimination associated with disability in communities

Illustrative Activities

·         A baseline survey

·         Validation and dissemination meetings

·         National Train the Trainer for PWDs 

·         Training will be cascaded to the district level where PWDs will be trained at the district structures. 

·         Democracy camps for PWDs with participants including PWDs and assistants at provincial level


Result 2: Increased PWDs engagement with local leaders on local governance issues


Expected Outcomes

·         Strengthened synergies and collaboration amongst PWDs on local governance issues

·         Strengthened citizen platforms for mobilizing and aggregating citizen voices including PWDs


·         Training of District trainers trained under EPAT in disability awareness and inclusion 

·         Train local leaders in disability awareness, inclusion and citizen participation in local governance issues

·         Citizen journalism training for PWDs

·         Integration of trained PWDs in existing community action committees (CACs)

·         Pilot citizen engagement forums for PWDs to create awareness of the project and upscale their citizen engagement skills prior to subsequent integration with mainstream community action committees.

·         Participation of PWDs in citizen engagement forums

·         Engagement with local leaders through petitions, community manifestos


 Result 3: Increase PWDs access to alternative information sources on local governance issues

 Expected Outcome

·         Strengthened PWDs capacity to generate and disseminate information on local governance at the local level


·         Training of PWDs in citizen journalism 

·         IEC material: information on local governance will be provided in simplified language, braille and pictorial formats.

·         Social media, bulk sms system and newsletters  











“We were completely ignorant about issues of disability and election”. This is an opportune time for us as PWDs youth and old to participate and educate communities about our rights.  I myself am blank DHAT needs to continuously feed us with information to know our rights to vote, acquire identity cards(IDs) and education on elections and governance in our countries.  Catherine Kaonga (PWD)











Additional information