Madagascar and the opportunity of the HLPF
Madagascar is one of the countries that has volunteered to give a national review at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), which is the global follow-up, and review mechanism for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York at the United Nations in July 2016. Madagascar just ratified the UNCRPD in 2014 and developed its National Disability Mainstreaming Plan (NDMP) in 2015 with the support of CBM. Please read what CBM, together with HI, Africa Disability Alliance and IDA have achieved in the process leading to the HLPF.
Madagascar is one of the countries that has volunteered to provide a national review at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), which is the global follow-up, and review mechanism for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York at the United Nations in July 2016. Concerning the national advocacy for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the SDGs’ implementation in Madagascar, the Platform of the Federations of People with Disabilities in Madagascar (PFPH) and its technical & financial partners have been in touch with the government with regard to the upcoming national review at the HLPF.
As for the legal context of disability in Madagascar, the rights to health, education, employment, leisure activities, communication and information as well as mobility, are not guaranteed for persons with disabilities in the country. This is due to the non-systematic application of the Malagasy legal framework, a lack of recognition of the special needs of persons with disabilities and the general lack of knowledge of disability issues and technical resources on behalf of political and administrative authorities.
The PFPH is a group of seven federations that currently includes more than 300 associations. Its mandate is to promote the inclusion and the full participation of persons with all types of disabilities and to speak on behalf of all the member Federations of persons with disabilities in Madagascar with governmental and other high level stakeholders.
The Ministry of Economy and Planning (MEP) is the lead Ministry for the monitoring of the SDGs in Madagascar. At the beginning of June, a 3 day national consultation workshop was organized by the MEP and UNDP to prioritize and integrate the SDGs in strategies and development policies within the country’s National Plan for Development (PND). More than one hundred people from Ministries, technical & financial partners, private sectors and civil society organizations attended. Unfortunately, persons with disabilities were not invited. The PFPH was belatedly informed of this workshop and finally participated in this important activity. Furthermore, the PFPH, with the help of a consultant, produced a technical note on the need for disability mainstreaming within the SDGs to be included into the national report.
Madagascar just ratified the UNCRPD in 2014 and developed its National Disability Mainstreaming Plan (NDMP) in 2015 with the support of CBM. These achievements suggest that Madagascar is on the right track for successful mainstreaming of disability issues within governmental departments and development organizations. It is also an opportunity as it coincides with the implementation of the SDGs. However, persons with disabilities are seldom invited to participate in consultation, decision-making and monitoring processes at the national level so there is a risk that disability issues continue to be forgotten or ignored. Ministries tend to prioritize activities within their departments without informing persons with disabilities, while SDGs’ targets clearly mentioned persons with disabilities. In addition, the PFPH explains that it has not responded as rapidly as necessary regarding their advocacy towards disability mainstreaming. Persons with disabilities have traditionally dedicated their efforts advocating for their rights to education, social and economic benefits but have neglected and not prioritized their political rights. Persons with disabilities need to review their position towards their empowerment at the macro level to have more sustainable impact on national issues.
This first High-Level Political Forum on the SDGs allowed the PFPH to know the process and how to get involved. The links and working relationships that the PFPH has developed with CBM, Handicap International, Africa Disability Alliance (ADA) and International Disability Alliance (IDA) have gradually increased its visibility and recognition at the national and regional levels. The respective support provided by these organizations includes information and awareness on the national implementation of the SDGs to the PFPH giving it an opportunity to contribute to the SDGs in Madagascar. Let us hope to see a concrete commitment and implementation by the Malagasy Government on the issue of disability.