Ensuring People with Disabilities are Involved in Political Life during COVID-19

Updated: February 2021
Screenshot from the PSA video produced by IFES in Tunisian Sign Language to explain the impacts of COVID-19 to Deaf Tunisians.

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened existing inequalities for people with disabilities. To ensure inclusive governance during the pandemic response, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is adapting our disability inclusion programming in several ways, including:

  • Developing an app with DPO partners in Myanmar to disseminate information on the virus that will be adapted to disseminate voter education messages ahead of the planned election later this year;
  • Producing videos in Tunisian and Libyan sign language on COVID-19 information;
  • Highlighting the disproportionate impact of the virus on Georgians with disabilities via PSAs;
  • Developing radio call-in voter education shows targeting Nigerians with disabilities; and  
  • Adapting our Power to Persuade training to a virtual context based on extensive surveys from women with disabilities across Pakistan.

Other initiatives are in progress, including:

  • Development of a Digital Advocacy Toolkit for global use;
  • Crisis management training for Lebanese civil society partners;
  • Production of an online poll worker training in Bolivia with sign language video tutorials; and
  • Research on implementation of relevant action points from the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a regional action plan to mainstream disability rights, during COVID-19.

A factsheet highlighting how IFES is adapting our disability inclusion programing during COVID-19 is available below.


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