On the occasion of the
GLAD meeting 2021, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation
(AECID), the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Public
Administration and Policy (FIIAPP) and the ONCE Social Group (ONCE) held a
pre-meeting session on 26 February to briefly review their contribution to
inclusive development so far, as well as to outline coordinated plans and
strategies for the future.
The event was promoted
by Bridging the Gap, a European development project led by FIIAPP and involving
AECID as a consortium partner and ONCE as a member of the European Disability
Forum. It was moderated by Natalia Guala Beathyate, Programme Manager at Grupo Social
ONCE, and included interventions by Fernando Jiménez Ontiveros, Director of
Horizontal, Multilateral and Financial Cooperation of AECID, Inmaculada Zamora
Martínez, Secretary General of FIIAPP and Javier Güemes Pedraza, International
Director of Grupo Social ONCE.
intervention, Inmaculada Zamora introduced the specific approach of FIIAPP,
"based on peer-to-peer learning, exchanges of experiences and knowledge
between public experts in different countries aimed at supporting improvements
and reforms of institutions” and “deeply rooted in the principles of European
and Spanish co-operation".
She also stressed that
FIIAPP's action "is deeply anchored in the principles of sustainable and
inclusive development". Over the last few years, "FIIAPP has
progressively increased the promotion of the rights and socio-economic
inclusion of persons with disabilities", mainly through the Bridging the
Gap project, but also through initiatives such as Eurosocial Plus and Socieux+,
From his side, Fernando
Jiménez explained AECID's strategy to base its action on public-private
partnerships for development, following SDG17, which, he said, "is a
wake-up call to remind us that development is a multistakeholder
endeavour". In this regard, he highlighted as a good practice an alliance
between AECID and ONCE Social Group that aims to improve the capacities and
employability of persons with disabilities, particularly women and young
people, through communication technologies in the tourism sector.
He also highlighted the
importance that the Spanish agency is giving to promote a more proactive
engagement of countries with the OECD Disability Marker.
In relation to
partnerships, Javier Güemes from ONCE Social Group mentioned as an interesting
example the Ibero-American programme for persons with disabilities created by
the Ibero-American General Secretariat. "I think this programme is really
a step forward for civil society in Spain, because we are not only reaching out
to other DPOs in the region, but we are also working with public authorities so
that we make sure that they also understand and cooperate better on disability
issues, because disability is also an issue to create cooperation between those
countries", he remarked.
stressed the need to not forget middle-income countries such as the Latin
American countries and the European regions of the Mediterranean in
disability-related projects", and highlighted as examples of the ONCE
Social Group the work of the ONCE Foundation for Latin America with blind
persons and the cooperation in the refugee camps to support blind students'
access to mainstream education.
contribution to the GLAD network
FIIAPP, AECID and ONCE
joined the GLAD Network as full members in the second half of 2019, thus
reinforcing their commitment to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in
development cooperation. In line with the objectives of the Annual General
Meeting and the Draft Strategic Plan 2021-2023, they have agreed on the
importance of strengthening their contribution to the GLAD Network.
collaboration between Spanish Cooperation actors and with the rest of the
network’s members is a pre-condition for assuring coordination and knowledge
sharing, two core functions of GLAD, in response to the current and upcoming
challenges of global development, with less than a decade to go to completion
of the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and amidst a
Spain champions SDGs
implementation nationally and worldwide, as both global common language for
inclusive development and crosscutting factor for policy development. Likewise,
in July 2020, Spain presented its joint response to the covid-19 pandemic
embedding the “build back better” principles.