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The Third Regional Dialogue on Access to Elections in Jakarta

AGENDA 3rd Regional Dialogue Opening

From January 28-29, 2015 the third Regional Dialogue on Access to Elections brought together more than 200 representatives from disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs), election management bodies, governments, media, and international organizations to spark an exchange of ideas and best practices on strengthening equal access to political and electoral rights for persons with disabilities.

The two-day conference was co-hosted by the General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA), the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB), and the General Election Commission of Indonesia (KPU). AGENDA is a Southeast Asian coalition comprised of disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs), election monitoring groups, and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). Support for the conference was provided by the Australian Government’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Opening speeches by Suyoung Choi, Director of A-WEB, and H.E. Simon Merrifield, the Australian Ambassador to the ASEAN, highlighted the simple but powerful themes of the conference. Mr. Choi noted that it was “vital that people get involved with politics and understand elections from an early age,” and encouraged participants to share ideas on how to support youth with disabilities in accessing their electoral rights. Mr. Merrifield stressed the importance of ensuring persons with disabilities have the tools they need to address barriers themselves, adding simply that “what is good for persons with disabilities is good for us all.”

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New Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) Training Module on Disability Rights

Bridge TrainingIn 2014, IFES began development on the first Disability Rights and Elections training module. The module’s content is informed by the standards identified in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The module development has been a collaborative effort across multiple regions, with testing in Haiti, Egypt, Nepal and Myanmar. Lessons learned from these pilots have been incorporated into a penultimate version of the module which was implemented at the pilot BRIDGE training module on disability rights on January 29, 2015 and the BRIDGE training itself involving 17 participants from EMBs across ASEAN countries on January 30, 2015.

BRIDGE Training is a training program which needs to be tailored made to the context where it's being delivered. It actually makes it very good since it looks at the context and creates the content around the context. BRIDGE is a module for professional development program with particular focus on election.  BRIDGE curriculum is delivered through face to face workshop using the adult learning principle by accredited facilitators.

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IDPP Participates in 3rd AGENDA Regional Dialogue

IDPP Program Associate Ms. Della Leonor participated in the General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA)’s General Election for Disability Access South Asia Conference held from 28-29 January, 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The two-day conference featured panel discussions and presentations on a wide range of topics within the field of universal election access and political participation with the aim of raising awareness and promoting full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in democratic election processes.

The event also provided a unique networking opportunity for disability advocates, practitioners, policymakers, and academics from the ASEAN region and around the world.

As the IDPP’s representative at the conference, Ms. Leonor actively participated in the conference’s proceedings,where she gained valuable insight on regional, national, and local trategies in supportinguniversal political rights, setting media guidelines on elections, designing inclusive registrationprocesses, and others.She also participated in the BRIDGE “Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections” training on elections and disability rights.

She also interviewed several leading disability advocates for the IDPP Voices podcast series, includingMs. Risnawati Utami, Executive Director of Organisasi Handicap Nusantara OHANA; and Atty. Rene Vergara Sarmiento, Member of the Presidential Human Rights Committee of the Philippines.

Ms. Leonor was also pleased to meet with several IDPP colleagues and faculty during the conference, including Dr. Irwanto, IDPP faculty member and director of the Center for Disability Studies in the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at Universitas Indonesia; Mr. Joni Yulianto, executive director of Asana Integrasi & Advokasi Difabel (SIGAB); Mr. Christian Dirk Donn, project manager for AGENDA; and Ms. Virginia Atkinson, IFES Access and Inclusion specialist.

One of the many highlights of the event was the Closing Remark Speech of Her Excellency Khofifah Indar Parawansa, Minister of Social Affairs of Republic of Indonesia, in which she iterated Indonesia’s support of universal election access by signing the Bali Declaration.

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Source: http://www.aseanidpp.org/?q=idpp-participates-3rd-agenda-regional-dialogue

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