Successful Milestones in Programmes: Strengthening the Role of Media in Promoting Disability Inclusive Social Protection Systems in Ethiopia
In promoting efforts towards building disability rights and inclusion knowledge amongst stakeholders in Ethiopia, the EU-funded ILO/UNICEF joint project on ‘Improving Synergies between Social Protection and Public Finance Management (SP-PFM)’ partnered with the Federation of Ethiopian Associations of Persons with Disabilities (FEAPD) to support capacity building and stronger advocacy amongst media practitioners on disability inclusion within social protection systems.
FEAPD, in collaboration with the ILO-SPPFM Project, organised a training Worksop on September22 and 23 at Adama Robi Hotel attended by 27 participants from media agencies, social security institutions, government, and civil society organizations.
The key objectives of the training were to strengthen the role of media in promoting inclusive social protection systems in the country, create opportunities for learning and sharing of experiences amongst various media institutions with a view to stimulating, motivating, promoting, and advocating for increased investment in inclusive social protection by all actors, at all levels and in a coherent and coordinated manner and; promote interest by media institutions to engage and interact with various government social protection line ministries to understand the extent to which social protection systems are disability inclusive.
Apart from facilitating knowledge building and information sharing on disability inclusion in social protection systems, the workshop entailed interest among public and private media outlets to promote disability issues in media programming. After the training workshop, nine media outlets committed themselves to submitting a proposal to FEAPD for programme preparation and media product development and dissemination on disability inclusion in social protection through TV/radio and print media.
Accordingly, these media agencies pledged to advocate for disability mainstreaming in social protection focussing on issues of:
·Disability assessment for social protection using a human-rights approach.
Disability support services that could be considered within the Productive Safety Net Services (PSNP) such as accessibility, the supply of assistive devices, access to sign language translators and others
·Additional transfer for persons with disabilities to compensate for disability costs in PSNP cash transfer interventions.
Presently, the nine media outlets that pledged to submit proposals for media product development and dissemination on disability inclusion in social protection have availed their proposals to FEAPD. FEAPD is currently appraising the submitted proposals. By the end of November, three best submissions out of the nine will be contracted by FEAPD to broadcast their media programmes in favour of disability inclusion in social protection with focus to the PSNP.
The expected outcome of engaging the media in advocacy for disability inclusion in social protection is that the Government will consider revising the national Social Protection Policy (NSPP 2014) and the National Social Protection Strategy (2016) in favour of mainstreaming disability in PSNP programmes through a twin-track approach (inclusion and/or disability-focussed services) and create an additional fiscal space to accommodate for disability costs and the provision of disability services. As a result, persons with disabilities will have improved participation in Public Works (PW) and (Direct Support) components of the national PSNP V programme and enjoy more concessions that would improve their livelihood including their families.