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Grants to International Coalitions in Multiple Countries to Advocate for Disability Rights at a Sub-National Level

Mid-Level 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 $40,000 per year to International coalitions of disability organizations in multiple countries for advocacy work to promote disability rights at a sub-national level. 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.

About the Disability Rights Fund

Established in 2008, 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.

For more information about DRF, please visit our website at For more information about our sister fund, the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF), please visit the DRAF website at

About the Mid-Level Coalition Funding Stream

The Mid-Level Coalition funding stream supports civil society coalitions at sub-national levels to ensure that national legislation and policy addressing the rights of PWDs is implemented at these levels, including through establishment of budgets. In addition, this funding stream supports sub-national level coalitions to advocate that sub-national development programs, policies and plans are inclusive of persons with disabilities and to ensure that efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include all persons with disabilities.

Advocacy at sub-national levels is especially critical in federal systems and in decentralized political systems – which make up the majority of DRF’s target countries. Mid-Level Coalition grants enable grantees to collaborate at state (in a federal system), provincial, regional, or district levels.

Because of the importance of joint advocacy at these levels, only coalitions of three or more organizations will be funded. Applicant organizations should be disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs), while partner organizations can be either DPOs or other civil society organizations active in the promotion of human rights.

Priority Areas:

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

Development of a state (or regional, provincial or district) platform to work on:

1. Advocacy for passage of specific legislation, policy, regulations, and/or ordinances at the sub-national level to accord with the CRPD

Following ratification of the CRPD, changes in national legislation and policy often occur to accord these frameworks with the Convention. In federal or decentralized political systems, legal or policy changes at national level must be followed up with similar changes at sub-national (state, regional, provincial or district) levels. Civil society can play an important role in advocating for legislative and policy reform at these levels, including through legal advocacy.

Examples of possible grant proposals on this topic include but are not limited to:
-A coalition conducting research on how existing sub-national legislation is in line (or not in line) with the CRPD; for example, if district legislation directing educational funding is inclusive of PWDs;
-A coalition of cross-disability organizations lobbying to ensure that sub-national legislation is informed by the experiences of organizations of people with disabilities and in line with the CRPD; for example, ensuring that legislation on construction is in accordance with Article 9 or ensuring that new regulations on access to clean water include PWDs as beneficiaries or ensuring that new dispositions on employment provide equal opportunities to PWDs or promoting a law on access to information for blind and deaf persons;
-A coalition of DPOs and legal aid organizations working on strategic litigation to advance legislative changes or implementation at sub-national levels to ensure accordance with the CRPD; for instance, seeking remedy for acts of discrimination in the workplace on the basis of disability;
-In Pacific Island countries only, a coalition of DPOs working at regional level to obtain similar changes to national level legislation to ensure accordance with the CRPD.

2. Advocacy to national or international agencies responsible for development planning to ensure that sub-national action plans and programs aiming to implement the SDGs are inclusive of persons with disabilities and use the CRPD as a guiding document

In the context of the SDGs, to leave no one behind, it is critical that persons with disabilities are considered and counted as a target group and are involved at all levels of development planning, implementation, follow up and monitoring. 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 conducting research on how existing sub-national development programs are inclusive (or not) of persons with disabilities; for example, if district poverty reduction programs are inclusive of and accessed by PWDs
-A coalition of cross-disability organizations advocating to development agencies to ensure that sub-national development planning is informed by the experiences of organizations of people with disabilities and in line with the CRPD; for example, ensuring that construction of new water and sanitation facilities is in accordance with Article 9 (Accessibility)
-A coalition of DPOs and women’s rights organizations advocating to ensure that district maternal and child health regulations and programs are inclusive of women and girls with disabilities and that services are accessible to them in line with CRPD Articles 6 (Women with disabilities), 25 (Health) and SDG 5: Gender Equality
-A coalition of DPOs advocating for a place at the table in development of local policies, for example in local poverty reduction strategies or social protection measures
-In line with SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and CRPD Article 11, a Coalition working to address disability inclusion in local Disaster Risk Mitigation (DRM) policies in line with SDG indicator 11.B which explicitly references persons with disabilities (and the Sendai Disaster Risk Reduction Framework)

3. Advocacy for governmental budgetary measures to implement the CRPD at the sub-national level

While legislative and policy frameworks are critical to rights advancement, they cannot be implemented without funding. It is critical for civil society, and DPOs in particular, to understand governmental budgeting, participate in it where possible, and demand sufficient resources to ensure that rights are made real.

Examples of possible grant proposals on this topic include but are not limited to:
-A coalition of DPOs petitioning government for allocation of funding to support legislative or policy implementation at the District level, such as inclusive education policies in line with CRPD Article 24 (Education)
-A coalition of DPOs promoting the creation of a Disability Accommodation Fund to cover reasonable accommodations needed to support inclusion of PWDs in the workplace
-A coalition of DPOs demanding participation at relevant stages of the local budgeting planning and approval process, including, for example, discussions on budget allocation for social protection benefits.

4. Advocacy for implementation of SDGs at the sub-national level in line with the CRPD

As governments begin addressing SDGs implementation, it is critical for civil society and DPOs in particular, to understand and be involved in development processes and mechanisms (such as sub-national development planning and programs) to demand inclusive indicators, targets and monitoring frameworks at sub-national levels so that they are fully inclusive of persons with disabilities.

Examples of possible grant proposals on this topic include but are not limited to:
-A coalition of DPOs and other civil society groups working on budget analysis to better understand and influence allocation of government funding for SDG implementation at sub-national levels to ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities
-A coalition of DPOs demanding participation in planning and allocation of international funds for implementation of the SDGs at local levels
-A coalition of DPOs demanding participation at relevant stages of local government budgeting processes. For example, a coalition of DPOs participating in local education reform efforts to ensure budget allocation for quality inclusive education as part of implementation of SDG 4: Quality Education

5. In Pacific Island countries only: Ratification of the CRPD and/or the Optional Protocol (where not ratified)

Ratification is an important step towards institution of human rights of PWDs at national levels. Civil society can play an integral role in advocating for treaty, or optional protocol, adoption.

Examples of possible grant proposals on this topic include, but are not limited to:
-A coalition of cross-disability DPOs from different Pacific Island countries lobbying jointly for national governments to ratify the CRPD;
-A coalition of DPOs from different Pacific Island countries working with legislators to review and revise national legislation in preparation for CRPD ratification.

All proposals should explicitly reference and promote the CRPD, as well as the SDGs. Mid-Level 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 Mid-Level Coalition Grants funding stream supports civil society coalitions of three or more organizations at sub-national levels, to ensure that national legislation and policy (including development policy) is implemented at these more local levels, through disability-inclusive planning, budgeting and decision-making.

Mid-Level Coalition 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. Applicant organizations will be responsible for coordinating the Coalition, submitting the application, and managing funds, and reporting on the grant.

Umbrella organizations or federations are considered one organization for the purposes of this application and therefore, must form a coalition with other organizations 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
-In federal countries, the Applicant organization and the application aim must have scope at state level. In other countries, the Applicant organization and the application aim must have scope at regional, provincial or district level.
-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

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 will range from $30,000 - $40,000 per year ($60,000 to $80,000 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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