International Policy Institute

Disability Inclusive Development Initiative

What is DIDI?

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, promises international development will “leave no one behind”. Yet too often, persons with disabilities (PWDs) are left out of development programs and prevented from enjoying rights recognized by international law. Drawing on the University of Washington’s deep expertise in disability and socio-legal studies, human rights law and practice, and international studies, the Disability Inclusive Development Initiative is a multidisciplinary research and advocacy project that works to support the inclusion of persons with disabilities in development. The DIDI aims to connect high-achieving graduate and undergraduate students with private and public sector organizations seeking informed, globally-minded and rights-based analyses to advance their strategic objectives and support disability inclusive initiatives. Core components of the project include:

DIDI Flyer

Download the DIDI Info. Sheet

  • Populating an open access knowledge sharing platform that highlights best practices and model policies promoting disability inclusive development,
  • Producing student and faculty written research briefs on a wide-range of policy issues relevant to PWD, with a particular emphasis on overlapping components of discrimination such as gender and age,
  • Hosting workshops on inclusive development policy and practices for organizations engaged in international human rights and development work,
  • Integrating a diverse group of student researchers including students with disabilities into the initiative’s work, bridging the divide between classroom and practice and preparing students to be global citizens committed to advancing social justice and inclusion.
Disability and Poverty infographic

Disability and Poverty (World Bank, 2018)

Policy Briefs

During Winter and Spring quarters, 10 undergraduate fellows drafted brief memos on promising steps to improve disability inclusion in education and women’s access to healthcare.  The briefs offer non-governmental organizations and those working in the fields of education and healthcare practical guidance and checklists to review their programs for inclusiveness.  The Fellows presented the briefs to an online panel including experts from USAID, Humanity and Inclusion, PATH, the Athena Network, Equal International, and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security in May 2020. We are grateful for their feedback and support for the Initiative.



Student Fellows

Past DIDI Fellows