Samoa Disability Partnerships Program
The Australian and Samoan Governments (GOA, GOS) have commissioned a second phase of the Samoa Disability Program (SDP) to be implemented over 4 years (1 July 2019 to 30 June 2023) at a cost of $3.932m. This investment, known as the Samoa Disability Partnership Program (SDPP) will follow on from Australia’s investment in the SDP – Phase 1 (SDP1) 2014-2019. It aims to support the GOS’s implementation of disability-inclusive policies, plans and programs that take a human-right based approach towards an inclusive and barrier free society which advocates for and empowers people with disabilities.
GOA and GOS will implement SDPP to support disability inclusive development from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2023. GOS, through the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (MWCSD) will be the lead partner. SDPP builds on the progress made in SDP1 and will provide targeted support to strengthen partnerships. SDPP will support active implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and showcase Samoa as a model for Pacific Island countries on how to successfully implement the principles of the CRPD. MWCSD will coordinate activities implemented by a range of other GOS ministries and agencies, non-government organisations, community-based organisations and external agencies.
The Program’s activities will contribute to high level goals already set by GOS in the National Development Plan and National Disability Policy (NDP), and in the MWCSD’s Community Development Sector Plan. It will be able to respond to new policy directions incorporated in the new National Disability Policy being developed by MWCSD. The program outcomes are also consistent with Australia’s policy priorities stated in the Development for All Strategy and An Effective Aid Program for Australia, and with Pacific regional commitments on disability, particularly the Pacific Framework on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Incheon Strategy and Pacific Sustainability Development Goals’ (SDG) Roadmap to which both Governments are committed.
Samoa has made several important achievements in disability inclusion in recent years. These include ratification of the CRPD, government leadership on disability inclusion, and the development of a Mobility Device Service (MDS) within the Ministry of Health (MOH). Many of these achievements were facilitated by support from Australia through SDP1. Australia is well-placed to continue to support disability inclusion in Samoa through support for the MWCSD and the national Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO), Nuanua O Le Alofa (NOLA), to coordinate, advocate and give technical advice to government agencies, non-government organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs), and through support for the development and scaling up of access to quality services for people with disabilities by government and NGOs.