Official Development Assistance is a vital resource for realising the rights of persons with disabilities. In 2019, development partners spent 153 billion US dollars of ODA. Under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Sustainable Development Goals, development partners are committed to make their ODA disability inclusive. And ODA is governed in a way that offers important advocacy opportunities for the disability movement. Taken together, these factors make ODA an essential resource for realising the CRPD. ODA can never be a substitute for national governments’ obligations to finance the rights of persons with disabilities, but it can make a very significant contribution in the short term. In fact, research in some countries has found ODA to be a much bigger source of finance for the rights of persons with disabilities than domestic government budgets.
The new ‘disability marker’ in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s database helps to answer how much ODA actually aims to be disability inclusive. Using the disability marker, every ODA project in the database is now sorted into one of 4 categories