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AGENDA in Bangkok

agenda-in-bangkokOn 13 August 2012, Christian Dirk Donn, IFES AGENDA Program Manager, and Heppy Sebayang, PPUA PENCA AGENDA Program manager, visited Bangkok to give a presentation on AGENDA’s projects to the new batch of students of Institute of Disability and Public Policy (IDPP). The institute is a network of university and outreach partners focused on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region and based at American University in Washington, DC. For more information on IDPP please check this link.

Christian and Heppy met and had a dynamic dialogue with the students, who were really interested on how AGENDA’s project has been progressing in a year. Check this article here for a full report of the whole event in IDPP website.

Please have a look at our pictures gallery to see pictures of Christian and Heppy’s presentation in Bangkok here. These pictures are credited to Lauren Bulke – COTELCO/IDPP.

In addition to giving presentation for IDPP students, Christian and Heppy also visited the UNESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission in Asia Pacific) office in Bangkok and met with Saowalak Thongkuay and 'Wansao Chaiyakul' from DPI-AP (Disabled People International Asia Pacific). Saowalak has been very supportive for AGENDA over the past year and advised the project on several matters.

Findings Suggest Accessibility still an Issue in Jakarta Election

By: Dipo Djungdjungan Summa.

On July 11 2012, AGENDA conducted election monitoring during the Jakarta gubernatorial election. This was the sixth mission AGENDA has organized, following similar missions in four districts in Indonesia and in Cambodia during the commune election.


During this monitoring, 70 observers were deployed to a total of 92 polling stations across five districts in Jakarta. Observers also interviewed 167 voters with disabilities after they cast their vote. In addition to local observers, AGENDA invited international observers, including three from Malaysia and two from Cambodia.

Findings from this exercise suggest accessibility is still an issue in Jakarta. There are at least three areas that need improvement.


Organization Profile: Persatuan Penyandang Cacat Indonesia (PPCI)


Founded in 1989, the Indonesia Disabled People’s Association (Persatuan Penyandang Cacat Indonesia, PPCI) advocates for the full participation of and equal opportunities for persons with disabilities. PPCI is an active partner of the Government of Indonesia in raising awareness and designing policy and program concepts for persons with disabilities.

In 2010, in collaboration with Disabled People International Asia Pacific (DPI/AP),PPCI organized a regional conference on ASEAN and persons with disabilities, culminating in The Jakarta Declaration, which offered initial recommendations for regional action. Additionally, the PPCI engages in advocacy on the political rights of persons with disabilities in national elections. Since 2005, this has included efforts leading to the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in December 2011.


AGENDA Visited the Philippines


Top: Christian Donn (IFES-AGENDA) and May Butoy (IFES Philippines) with Rene V. Sarmiento | Below: Christian Donn with Carmen Zubiaga

Christian Dirk Donn, IFES-AGENDA Project Manager, visited the Philippines for five days to meet with several DPOs, the Philippine Election Commission, student networks and other governmental agencies, working in the field of disability rights or elections. Many organizations expressed their appreciation for what AGENDA has been doing in the region as well as in the Philippines to this date.

news-agenda-visited-the-philippines-image2Donn met with Carmen Zubiaga, the Acting Executive Director of the National Council of Disability Affairs (NCDA) to discuss potential areas for future collaboration and Commissioner Sarmiento of the Philippines Commission on Election (COMELEC) who has already been collaborating with AGENDA in the past.

Other organizations that Mr. Donn visited were KAMPI (Katipunan ng Maykapansanan sa Pilipinas Inc), AGENDA’s partner in the Philippines, AKAP-Pinoy, First Voters Network (FTV), SANGGUNIAN (Ateneo University Student Council), the Legal Network for Truthful elections (LENTE), and NAPC (National Anti-Poverty Campaign).



Training of Volunteer for Jakarta Election Monitoring

training-of-volunteer-for-jakarta-election-monitoring-image1By: Dipo Siahaan, IFES

Fifty volunteers will be deployed in five of the capitol’s districts to monitor the accessibility of the Jakarta gubernatorial election. Four days leading to the election, the volunteers underwent a two-day workshop held at Park Hotel, Cawang, Jakarta, from 7 to 8 July, 2012.

At the workshop the volunteers were introduced to the checklist they will be using in the monitoring. The list consists of questions on issues that the volunteers have to examine on election day. The monitored items range from the description of the polling station where the volunteer is assigned to, to the treatment received by voters with disabilities when they vote. In addition, volunters are also required to do a post-election survey by interviewing persons with disabilities who have cast their ballots. The purpose of the interview is to gauge the perception of persons with disabilities on the ease of access, needs accomodation, and so on.


AGENDA Discusses the Political Rights of Persons with Disabilities

agenda-discusses-the-political-rights-of-persons-with-disabilitiesBy: Dipo Siahaan, IFES

The General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA) held an interactive discussion on the political rights of persons with disabilities at the American cultural center known as @america at Pacific Place Mall, Jakarta Indonesia on Monday July 9, 2012.

At the discussion, Ms. Sinta Nuriyah Wahid, the wife of former Indonesian President, Abdurrahman Wahid (also known as Gus Dur), spoke together with Ms. Ida Budhiati, a commissioner from the Indonesian Electoral Management Body (Komisi Pemilihan Umum/KPU) and Mr. Heppy Sebayang, the Program Manager of PPUA Penca (Center for Electoral Access for Citizens With Disability).


ASEAN CSOs: More Transparency is Needed for AHRD

news-asean-csos-more-transparency-is-needed-for-ahrd-image.jpgASEAN Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) appreciate the attempt by ASEAN Intergovernmental Committee on Human Rights (AICHR) to reach out to civil society in the drafting process of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). However, they also agree that more transparency is needed in the process. Some CSOs say that despite some outreach attempts by AICHR, in general AICHR is still more or less secretive in its approach, which can be seen, for example, by its failure to share the draft of AHRD until now.

These comments were delivered by the participants of the 2nd Regional Consultation of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration which was hosted by the ASEAN Secretariat at Ritz Carlton Hotel, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, on 22 June 2012. Ten ASEAN member states participated in the consultation, with each country represented by CSOs. They were chosen either by the civil society, as was the case for Indonesia’s representatives, or by their AICHR Reps. All had to get approval from the ASEAN Secretariat. There were some CSOs who could not get approval because of some reasons.

The meeting was opened by the (alternate) Chair of AICHR from Cambodia. All AICHR Representatives were present. Two however, Laos and Singapore were represented by their alternates. This meeting is what AICHR called as “listening mode”. They only took notes of the delegates’ comments and inputs. Most of the participants criticized the AICHR  for its secrecy and the inability to share the draft of AHRD. Some urged AIHCR not to ignore the rights of indigenous peoples, stateless children, the rights to freedom of religion and expression and SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity).

There were several organizations representing the disabled community. However, AGENDA was the only organization that specifically highlights the political rights of persons with disability.

After the meeting, all organizations were asked by the ASEAN Secretariat to re-submit their recommendations and other documents that they have submitted as the Secretariat wants to compile it and to give it to the AIHCR Representatives so they could use the document for their next meeting in July 2012. AGENDA sent two documents: points of recommendation and the recommended text for the provisions in AHDR.




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