Mary Keogh, CBM Global Advocacy Director, is the new Chair of IDDC

News | May 21, 2024

Mary Keogh, CBM Global Advocacy Director, is elected as the new Chair of the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) on 17 May 2024. Before this, she served as the IDDC Vice-chair from 2021. She also co-chaired the Disability-Inclusive Climate Action Working Group of the Global Action on Disability Network on behalf of IDDC. In 2022, Mary played a key role in starting the IDDC Climate Action Task Group.

Portrait shot of Mary Keogh
Mary Keogh, CBM Global Advocacy Director, is the new IDDC Chair.

Mary says:

“I am a firm believer in the power of networks to achieve systematic change. IDDC is a vibrant diverse network, and in this diversity, we find our strength. Partnership is at the heart of what we do. During our 30 years as a network, we have built up a trustworthy reputation among disability organisations, organisations of persons with disabilities, donors and experts, many of which are close partners. Along with the board, our task groups and our members, we look forward to strengthening the network and partnerships ensuring they remain resilient and responsive to emerging challenges and opportunities.”

Get to know her tasks and plans as IDDC Chair:

What are your key tasks as IDDC Chair?

There are a number of tasks connected to the IDDC chair role. Firstly, is working with the elected board, secretariat and members of the network to support the work of the IDDC. In 2023, the network adopted Strategic Framework 2023+ and this framework will guide the work of the network over the coming years. Secondly, externally representing the network in different policy forums. There are a number of upcoming significant events, the Summit of the Future and the Global Disability Summit to name the most immediate ones. IDDC as a civil society network has an important contribution to make to these processes in the months ahead. Third and finally – that we ensure, through all our meetings and activities, that we are making progress on being an inclusive network. At this year’s General Assembly, the IDDC Accessibility Policy and a Guidance note on working with organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) were adopted. They set us on a journey to ensure that our network lives true to our commitments on inclusion.

Mary Keogh and David Bainbridge at the IDDC General Assembly
Mary Keogh and David Bainbridge, CBM Global Executive Director, at the IDDC General Assembly

What are your plans during your term?

The board has had quite a change with a number of board members mandates coming to an end and new members joining. Plans for the short term will be to focus on working with the new board and the secretariat to build a new team. Spending time with the IDDC Task Groups (TGs) who are the drivers of the different aspects of IDDC strategy and how to support their aims will also be important. More medium to long term plans will focus on working with the members of the network to navigate the changing civil society space that we work to ensure the disability inclusive development and humanitarian action remains a priority for international cooperation actors.

What is the role of the IDDC in achieving a world that leaves no persons with disabilities behind?

IDDC acts as a vehicle for its member organisations to express their shared beliefs and principles and shape these into a strong voice in the disability and development field. The network has an important role to play in ensuring progress made on disability inclusion does not go backwards. Continuing our partnership and allyship with global OPDs, such as the International Disability Alliance is an important part of this. We also aim to promote inclusive development internationally, with a special focus on the full and effective enjoyment of human rights by all persons with disabilities living in economically poor communities in lower and middle-income countries.

Read more about the IDDC network.

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