Dutch and Ugandan delegates after study visit engagements of day 3 in Helmond Public Library

A team of 13 Ugandan delegates (5 females and 8 males) participated in a study visit to the Netherlands on 21 – 26 may 2023 to further their knowledge of local inclusive governance strategies and approaches for disability inclusion.

Organized by the We are Able! (WaA!) Program, the visit focused on sharing experiences and learning between the Dutch and Ugandan teams for knowledge enhancement on inclusive governance principles, tools, and practices; to share information on the steps to localize inclusion; to facilitate networking amongst delegates and Dutch partners; and to boost the ongoing WaA! activities in Uganda through Local Inclusion Agenda (LIA) approach.

The exchanges included visits and interactions to share experiences and practices with several Dutch institutions, experts and activists including visits to Senzer, a facility committed to enhancing inclusive labour market opportunities to persons with disabilities; The Helmond library; the Open lucht museums in Arnhem; and the Eindhoven city council to share on participation of persons with disabilities in political governance and provision of inclusive public facilities.

Through various activities, visits, and discussions, the week-long exchange yielded several key learning areas in adaptation for localization in Uganda through an inspirational and action-oriented exposure, engagements and experience sharing.

The team gained knowledge on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), its level of adoption and localisation in the Netherlands, as well as the roles of different stakeholders in the implementation of the Local Inclusion Agenda. The delegates had an inspirational and action-oriented exposure, engagements and experience sharing that enhanced their practical capacity and knowledge in localizing the LIA principles for Persons with Disabilities in the WaA! target program areas and settings in Uganda.

Mr. Angutoko Paulino Jacinto & other delegates arriving at Arnhem Museum during the study visit - Accessible public spaces and reasonable accommodation to promote participation of PWDs


The team further appreciated that Lobby and Advocacy for disability inclusion are continuous and protracted efforts that need collective focus and motivation to achieve the goals of local inclusion. Additionally, building and strengthening critical network with both public and non-public actors during the inclusion journey as everyone has a stake and role to play is equally critical in reaching collective success (disability inclusion). We therefore need to build bridges through Lobby and Advocacy towards inclusive planning, stakeholder sensitization, and local resource mobilization, better coordination among local actors/stakeholders aligned to disability inclusion. The rule of thumb is ‘start small and grow big,’ work within available spaces and use the existing resources to drive local actions.

..I think the most empowering inspiration for me is that disability inclusion starts with ‘I’, therefore, the need to change mind-set and attitudes towards disability inclusion starts with ‘the self’. All actions engaged in must first reflect my (or any one’s) individual efforts to effect meaningful change and achieve disability inclusion today, before influencing or changing others, society, and the world. As such, the learning from this study has helped me realise that young people and local communities play an important role for disability inclusion and in my position as a media actor, I will begin to target mind-set change, and community mobilisation interventions using various media channels and strategies to targeting every one; and we hope for the best.

Mr. Ayikobua Noel, a radio journalist and Disability inclusion activist, who participated in the study visit

“….. As local leaders we want to thank VNGi for the support and partnership under the WaA! Project that have helped LGs to rediscover themselves and their roles towards disability inclusion. LGs are the engines of sevice delivery and what ever happens at national and local levels interms of mind-sets, policy, and financing environments affect service delivery. So, VNGi’s support focusing on capacity building through trainings, stakeholder engagements, and now the exchange visit that all aim at attaining inclusive governance across LGs have been instrumental for WaA! beneficiary LGs for achieving our purpose of inclusive service delivery to society .…”

Hon. Okello Douglas Loum, the LC 5 chairperson of Omoro district during Day 1 of the study visit discussions in Helmond, Netherlands (22nd May 2023)


Participants sharing experiences of participation of Persons with Disability in political governance and decision making in Eindhoven city council hall on Day 4 of the visit










Delegates from Uganda with the Dutch Counterparts on Day 5 of the visit


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