In 2019 the former CBM Christoffel-Blindenmission Christian Blind Mission e.V. (CBM International) Federation comprised 10 Members, divided into two separate entities, CBM International (into which CBM Germany and the former CBM US activities were merged) and CBM Global Disability Inclusion, which established itself as a new Federation.
A two-year transition period for the new entity commenced on January 1, 2020. During this 24-month period, CBM Global undertook the foundational work required to operate as a stand-alone INGO, including preparations to take on the management and support of country offices where the CBM Global Federation is engaged. Most of the transition work concluded before the end of 2021, with all of the necessary policies, procedures and systems put in place and 9 out of 11 country offices transferred to CBM Global. The transfer of the remaining two countries, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, was achieved in February and July 2022 respectively.
2. Rebalancing power in our partnerships
CBM Global is committed to authentic partnership and ensuring strong representation of people with disabilities and voices from the Global South at all levels within our work. We continued to push forward through the year with our power shift commitments, building on a long history of operating as a partner-based organisation rather than implementing directly. Embracing Partnership is one of our core organisational values. We have defined six CBM Global partnership principles that ground all we do: complementarity of purpose, inclusiveness, responsiveness and flexibility, mutual responsibility and accountability, trust and respect, and joint learning.
With partnership sitting at the heart of CBM Global’s values and strategy, in 2022 we continued to pursue a wide range of strategic partnerships at the global and regional levels, as well as in the countries where we work.
Through a federation climate advocacy group in 2022, we worked with our OPD partners and allies to influence stakeholders to address the current policy gaps in climate policy by contributing case studies from the countries we work in. One of these case studies was presented by a representative from our Nepal country team at the Bonn Climate Conference in June 2022. Along with our case study, we also commissioned participatory research led by persons with disabilities and OPDs and launched the research at the UN Climate Conference (COP27). In recognition of our growing body of advocacy work, we were honoured to be invited as a member of the Disability Advisory Board of Global Greengrants. Working with Global Greengrants Fund and other advisory board members is important to be able to engage with a wide network of grassroots OPDs for influencing change.
5. Scaling up our inclusion advisory work
Inclusion advice, provided through our Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG) is one of CBM Global’s vehicles of change and a major growth area. We partner with the disability movement to influence organisations, institutions and systems to realise the rights of people with disabilities. We believe that tailored input – communicated effectively, with the right people at the table – can help make inclusion a reality.