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Community Based Inclusive Development   

By Chalounny Linking, Learning Facilitator Laos 

Recently, the Disability Service Center in LAO PDR (DSC) organized an exchange meeting to discuss ‘the design of a Community Based Inclusive Development Tool (CBID)‘ for people with disabilities in Vangvieng, Vientiane Province. DSC is a consortium organization of Attended by representatives from the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, the National University, the United Nations Development Program, people with disabilities of all kinds, and the elderly. 

 The meeting was graced and opened by Mr Thongchan Duangmalalai, President of the Lao Disabled People’s Association (LDPA). After the President’s opening remarks, the participants discussed the design of a community based inclusive development tool. They exchanged views, backgrounds and the importance of creating a tool for people with disabilities. The Disability Inclusive Development (DID) Guideline design focuses primarily on facilitating disability inclusion in the community for better participation of community-based disability and greater awareness of people with disabilities under the VOICE Influencing grant. 

In this technical working group meeting, the participants have contributed to bringing lessons and experiences to discuss and exchange to develop a Disability Inclusive Development (DID) Guideline in all work areas. The guidelines will include all types of people with disabilities, the elderly, boys and girls, and all ethnic groups, emphasising ensuring the full participation of all. As DID guidelines are still under the design stage, the teaching and the actual practice previously did not cover people with disabilities.                                      

Later, the use of the guideline was discussed, and the implementation of the guideline must be in accordance with the provisions of the Lao PDR laws and the DID Conventions. The topics in the Disability Inclusive Development (DID) Guideline include: 

  • Disability access. 
  • Access to education for people with disabilities. 
  • Access to health services and equipment. 
  • Facilities to be used in groups of people with disabilities. 
  • The response to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

 Mr Aikeo Koomanyvong, Director of DSC, also emphasized that everyone at the meeting hoped that the ” Disability Inclusive Development (DID) Guideline ” would be widely disseminated among people with disabilities within Lao PDR. In addition, the guideline will provide training for people with disabilities and provide training for government partners to apply the lessons learned for the benefit of the community.  

The meeting has encountered several challenges that prevented the target group from other provinces from fully engaging in activities due to the Covid-19 outbreak. However, we have been able to implement it successfully. Most importantly, government partners and international organizations will disseminate the guideline and share it with their target groups. Emphasize the importance of participatory development promotion policies, especially for people with disabilities, and encourage people with disabilities to access appropriate education and services, especially during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

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