Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD)

Flagship Program 3: SA-DRDLC

Southern Africa Disability Research, Documentation & Learning Centre (SA-DRDLC)

Under this program, the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) seeks to generate or utilize knowledge, evidence and data from research studies and surveys for purposes of documentation, shared learning, disability programming, monitoring and evaluation.

More than five years ago, SAFOD used to carry out a wide range of activities under its programme entitled “Disability Documentation, Resource Centre for Southern Africa.” The program was designed to gather, collect, compile and disseminate information on disability within the region. Some of the activities included publishing of SAFOD’s newsletter known as the “Disability Front Line” and other information materials.

Besides the “Disability Documentation, Resource Centre for Southern Africa,” SAFOD also used to implement yet another crucial programme entitled “The SAFOD Research Programme (SRP)”. The latter culminated into a series of studies dubbed “Living Conditions of Persons with Disabilities in Southern Africa.” The SRP was initially to be a five-year long programme from 2007 through 2012, and was initially funded by the Department for International Development (DfID). Under the SRP, SAFOD also carried out the Disability Policy Audit and the DPO Needs Assessment.

Ideally, the correlation between these two programs was that the information or data generated through the research programme would have to be systematically documented and strategically disseminated to the stakeholders; hence the NEED to have the “Disability Documentation, Resource Centre for Southern Africa” programme which would support the research programme in the process of gathering, collecting, compiling and disseminating information on disability within the SADC region. And the NEED to have such programs running still remain relevant today. At a time when there have been quite a number of – yet fragmented – efforts to document disability issues, interventions, policies, etc., by various stakeholders within the SADC region, there are still a NEED to strategically document these in one place, in a systematic manner and link the same with enhanced learning.

SAFOD therefore believes that the reviving and re-strategizing the two programs by MERGING them into one – now called the Southern Africa Disability Research, Documentation & Learning Centre (SA-DRDLC) – will make a massive impact in the disability sector within the region.

SAFOD has, therefore, identified key actions and programmatic interventions in order to operationalize the program, as follows:

  1. Undertake research studies to generate evidence and knowledge on disability related issues for informed programming and decision making purposes.
  2. Disseminate research findings and engage with partners in development and implementation of innovative disability programs.
  3. Regular assessment and analysis of risks related to disability and development.
  4. Develop disability Monitoring and Evaluation framework to assess service access
  5. Establish sub-regional program quality and learning forums for effective programming across the region and share lessons learnt among country programs including learning exchange programme
  6. Maintain an interactive web-based platform with the materials and information that respond to the diverse external audiences.
  7. Communicate to governments, regional and international audiences what makes SAFOD disability work different.
  8. Document and disseminate SAFOD work on disability and development
  9. Create awareness of disability research findings through various forms of media including electronic and print media.
  10. Strengthen SAFOD as a hub of knowledge, learning and sharing on disability and human rights in Southern Africa by developing innovative learning initiatives both online and offline.
  11.  To co-operate closely with DPOs, social and community organisations with a view to provide a coordinated approach to the use and the utilization of available resources within the centre.
  12.  To engage in and cooperate with community education programs within the region in the promotion of public awareness and knowledge of disability and inclusive development issues.
  13. To establish a regional database (e-Directory) of DPOs, CSOs, CBOs, learning institutions, and other stakeholders working in the field of disability and inclusive development.
  14. Through the Learning Centre, to organize seminars and conferences on disability and inclusive development.