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Grants to International Coalitions in Multiple Countries to Advocate for Disability Rights

National Coalition Grants


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Disability Rights Fund (DRF)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA Compact Free Associations:The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Important Dates
Deadline: 08/17/17 Midnight Receipt (applicant's time) Save

Grant Description
Grants ranging from $30,000 to $50,000 per year to International coalitions of national-scale disability organizations in multiple countries for advocacy work to promote disability rights. Applications will be considered from the countries of Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Nauru, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Palau, Tuvalu, and Rwanda. Applications from Bangladesh and Uganda will be accepted by invitation only.

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) supports persons with disabilities around the world to build diverse movements, ensure inclusive development agendas, and achieve equal rights and opportunity for all. We resource organizations led by persons with disabilities, primarily in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Caribbean, that are leading efforts to secure rights for all. Through grantmaking, advocacy, and technical assistance, DRF supports Disabled Persons’ Organizations (DPOs) to use global rights and development frameworks, such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – ensuring no one is left behind.

DRF grants support both capacity of marginalized and emergent groups of persons with disabilities (PWDs) to advocate for rights and inclusion and ongoing efforts of national, state, provincial, regional, and district level DPOs to advance implementation of the CRPD and the SDGs.

National Coalition Grants

The National Coalition funding stream supports advancement of the CRPD at national levels through lobbying for legislative changes (including but not limited to CRPD/OP ratification), monitoring and reporting on implementation of the CRPD or other international human rights mechanisms, or following up on the recommendations made by UN human rights mechanisms to States in regard to implementation of the rights of PWDs. In addition, this funding stream supports national-level coalitions to advocate that national development programs, policies, legislation and frameworks are inclusive of persons with disabilities and to ensure that efforts to implement the SDGs include persons with disabilities.

Priority Areas:

DRF will consider applications from target countries named above in one of the following five areas. Please note that all proposed legislative activities within project descriptions must be in accordance with the CRPD.

Development of a national platform to work on:

1. Ratification of the CRPD and Optional Protocol (OP) to the CRPD (where not ratified)

Ratification is an important step towards institution of human rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) at national levels. DPOs and other civil society organizations can play an integral role in advocating for CRPD or OP adoption.

Examples of possible grant proposals on this topic include, but are not limited to:
-A coalition of cross-disability DPOs lobbying at national governmental levels for CRPD or OP ratification
-A petition drive led by a coalition of DPOs to gather signatures of supporters to pressure government to ratify the CRPD or OP
-A coalition working with National Parliament to lobby for CRPD or OP ratification.

2. Passage of specific national legislation to accord with the CRPD

Some countries attempt to accord all national legislation prior to ratification; others harmonize laws after adoption. In either case, DPOs and other civil society organizations can play an important role in advocating for legislative reform, including through legal advocacy.

Examples of possible grant proposals on this topic include but are not limited to:
-A coalition of DPOs working with legislators to review and revise national legislation in preparation for CRPD ratification
-A coalition working to ensure creation of national monitoring mechanisms in law, in accordance with Article 33
-A coalition of DPOs working towards a disability-inclusive approach in all relevant legislation, such as General Education or Labor Acts
-A coalition of DPOs and legal aid organizations, working on strategic litigation to advance changes in legislation and/or the practice of law to ensure accordance with the CRPD
-A coalition of organizations conducting research on how existing national legislation relating to disability is in line (or not in line) with the CRPD

3. Production of and/or follow up to Alternative Reports to the CRPD Committee and other human rights treaty bodies or reports to the Human Rights Council for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

Two years after entry into force of the CRPD within a ratifying State, the State must present its first national report, using established reporting guidelines, on the baseline situation for PWDs and any advancements in CRPD implementation to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Subsequent reports are due four years after submission of the baseline report. At the same time, DPOs and other civil society organizations may present “alternative” reports, which give a non-governmental perspective on the realities for PWDs. Once Concluding Observations are published by the Committee, DPOs and other civil society organizations can ensure that there is follow-up by government.

Examples of possible grant proposals on this topic include but are not limited to:
-A DPO-led coalition coming together to prepare a parallel or alternative report and other submissions to the CRPD Committee
-A coalition of DPOs advocating for a government to present their State report to the CRPD Committee and ensuring that representative organizations of PWDs are included in consultation about that report
-A coalition of DPOs and other civil society organizations pursuing follow up during the Committee review process through additional submissions to the Committee
-A coalition of DPOs and other human rights organizations coming together to advocate for State compliance with CRPD Committee concluding observations and recommendations, and to broadly advocate for changes to eradicate rights violations identified in the reports

4. DPO engagement with the national government SDG focal point and/or civil society SDG platforms to ensure national action plans and programs aimed at implementing the SDGs and voluntary national reviews monitoring SDG implementation, are inclusive of persons with disabilities and use the CRPD as a guide.

In the context of the SDGs, it is critical that persons with disabilities are considered and counted as a target group and are involved at all levels of national action planning, implementation, monitoring and follow-up. The CRPD – often referred to as both a human rights and a social development treaty because of its expected impact in both areas – should be used to advocate for and guide this inclusion.

Examples of possible grant proposals on this topic include but are not limited to:
-A coalition of DPOs working together to advocate for the right of persons with disabilities to participate in the SDG implementation process at national level
-A coalition of DPOs coming together with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to advocate for civil society participation in the SDG implementation process
-A coalition of DPOs advocating to international development agencies, including bilateral agencies, working at national level to include DPO representatives in their planning and monitoring processes related to the implementation of the SDGs
-A coalition of DPOs advocating that national indicators that are intended to measure the implementation of the SDGs are disability-inclusive
-A coalition of DPOs coming together with other NGOs to carry out advocacy for disability inclusive budgets to implement national action plans (DRM) policies in line with

Proposals addressing this priority area should explicitly reference which development policies or processes the Coalition will address.

5. Advocacy to ensure formal inclusion of DPO representatives in national governmental implementation and/or monitoring of the CRPD

Once the CRPD is ratified, as mandated in Article 33, countries should establish national implementation and monitoring mechanisms, including focal points and coordination mechanisms. As outlined in Article 33(3), countries also need to include representative organizations of PWDs in these mechanisms. To ensure that this happens, DPOs and other civil society organizations need to advocate for inclusion.

Examples of possible grant proposals on this topic include but are not limited to:
-A coalition of DPOs advocating to government for a formal role in development of the State report to the CRPD Committee
-A coalition of DPOs advocating for a CRPD focal point or points that include representation from the DPO community
-A coalition of DPOs advocating for the government to establish national CRPD implementation mechanisms

All proposals should explicitly reference and promote the CRPD, as well as the SDGs. National coalitions that work across disability sectors and with marginalized sectors of the disability community such as persons with intellectual disabilities, persons with psychosocial disabilities, Deafblind persons, women and girls with disabilities, etcetera are highly encouraged.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
The National Coalition Grants funding stream supports civil society coalitions of three or more organizations at national levels, working on specific priorities. The Applicant organization and the application aim must have scope at national level.

Applications must be submitted by one managing DPO or non-governmental family organization (representing children with disabilities, people with intellectual disabilities, and/or the Deafblind) on behalf of the coalition.

Umbrella organizations or federations are considered one organization for the purposes of this application and therefore, must form a coalition with other organizations outside their federation to be eligible.

The requirements of the applicant organization (also known as managing partner) are to:
-Be legally registered
-Be able to receive funds from abroad or use a fiscal sponsor that is legally registered and able to receive funds from abroad
-Be based in one of DRF’s target countries
-Be a disabled persons’ organization or non-governmental family organization
-Take overall responsibility for coordinating the Coalition
-Have national scope
-Provide organizational income and expense statements for the past two years with the application
-Provide a memorandum of understanding detailing responsibilities and signed by all Coalition partners, including the fiscal sponsor (if applicable) with the application
-Submit the application
-Once the grant is received, be responsible for the financial management of the grant
-Submit timely reports to DRF

DRF does not support the following activities:
-Organizations that work for people with disabilities, but do not have people with disabilities well-represented at governance, management, and staff levels
-Assistive devices or rehabilitation services
-Income-generation or service-provision
-Acquisition of land or buildings
-Reconstruction or renovation of physical spaces (offices, etc.)
-Individuals and scholarships
-Travel to conferences outside your country
-Public schools and universities
-Governmental entities
-Religious activities: While the Fund may support a faith-based organization (as long as it meets other criteria), the Fund does not support any faith-based organizations that proselytize or have proselytization as part of their mission
-Sporting activities
-Training to learn sign language, Braille, or tactile communication
-Participation or intervention in an election campaign that expresses a view in support or opposition to a candidate for public office or for voter registration drives

Pre-Application Information
Invited applicants from Bangladesh and Uganda as well as current Ugandan grantees (who received DRF or DRAF funding in 2016) and any applicants from the Pacific Island countries and Rwanda can submit full proposals beginning July 17, 2017.

Completed applications and attachments must arrive via email by midnight (your time) on August 17, 2017. Proposals received after this date will not be reviewed.

Applicants will receive an email confirmation within two weeks of receipt.


What DRF Does Not Fund:

Glossary of Terms:

Estimated Size of Grant
Grant amounts range from $30,000 - $50,000 per year ($60,000 - $100,000 over the course of two years).

Term of Contract
Grants will support activities to be implemented over the course of two years, however grants are given one year at a time. A second year grant will be awarded only with satisfactory completion of the first year.

Projects will commence on January 1, 2018.

Contact Information
Disability Rights Fund
89 South Street, Ste. 203,
Boston, Massachusetts
USA 02111-2670

P: 1-617-261-4593
F: 1-617-261-1977

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