Advisory Capacity Development and Exchange (ACE) Fellowship

News-iag, Project | July 28, 2023

ACE South East Asia Fellowship Pilot Project

CBM Global’s Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG) and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) are working together to deliver a new fellowship focusing on inclusion advisory skills. Our initial pilot supports six individuals from the disability movement in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Philippines and Indonesia to stretch their skills in providing inclusion advice to international development stakeholders, such as UN agencies, Development Banks, International NGOs, and bilateral donors.

The fellowship draws on the collective networks, on-the-job learning opportunities and expertise of IAG and IDA.

IAG and IDA are co-delivering the learning program with the fellows. The learning program features:

  • An introductory webinar series focused on the development ecosystem, understanding key issues and trends, and getting to know key international development stakeholders who may seek out advice. Online meetings and topical discussions will continue throughout the fellowship. Fellows also access webinars/learning sessions available throughout IAG and IDA networks.
  • Reflection and goal setting: the fellows use a common learning framework to reflect on their current skills and knowledge and where they want to go within the fellowship. Fellows draw on the support of their individual mentors to set practical learning goals covering essential knowledge and skills required for inclusion advice.
  • Mentoring: each fellow has access to a mentor to support them with their learning process, discuss technical topics, and provide access to critical learning opportunities and resources over the course of a year. Fellows and mentors have common sectoral/topical interest areas. 
  • On-the-job learning opportunities: fellows engage in real advisory projects alongside IAG and IDA and use these learning opportunities to progress their individual learning goals. For example, fellows might work alongside other advisors to analyse and provide recommendations on a social protection program, which provides opportunities to learn about technical topics, as well as learn and get feedback on practical skills such as formulation of recommendations, writing, and contributing within online consultation meetings. Fellows also conduct tasks and assignments linked to the learning framework and their individual learning goals (e.g., developing a briefing paper on a technical topic of interest).
  • Rights-based advice workshop: fellows and facilitators gather in person for five days in August to delve into the topic of a rights-based approach to providing inclusion advice. We’ll look at how to use the CRPD to analyse development programs, and practice developing actionable recommendations for different stakeholders. 
  • Peer exchange: fellows have opportunities to exchange and share with one another, as well as IAG country advisors, who are also involved in the learning program.

The fellowship runs from May 2023 to 2024.

Meet the Fellows

Aikeo Koomanivong, Lao PDRAikeo Koomanivong

Aikeo works for Disability Service Center (DSC) and has a Bachelor of Arts (English business).

He is interested in disability inclusive development, disability data collection, inclusive DRR, community development and disability inclusion advisory. He has experience with assistive device technology and has worked as a disability inclusive development consultant in Lao PDR. He’s a trainer in DID and CBID and has led OPDs’ team for disability inclusion advisory groups in Lao PDR.

He has been involved with many notable projects including promoting inclusive education for people with visual impairment in the national university of Laos, promoting digital accessible information system book (DAISY), developing electronic Lao-braille software for electronic devices, involvement with OPDs in Laos for the CRPD parallel report, facilitating UNDP in Lao for conducting national disability job employment research, leading OPDs together with CBM and humanity and inclusion designing DIDs and CBID curriculum.

Aikeo attended ICT training for the blind in Malaysia, southeast Asia bridge training in BKK, participated in the 21st ASEF Summer University (ASEFSU21) in Australia and New Zealand hosted by Asia-Europe Foundation in 2018, participated in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative program and interned at the National Disability Rights Network in Washington DC, U.S.

Ida Puji Astuti Maryono Putri, IndonesiaIda Puji Astuti Maryono Putri

Ida works for Institute Inclusive Indonesia (I3) and has an M.A. Global Politics and S.Si Chemistry, is a fellow of Australian Awards Scholarships (AAS), and has participated in and presented at many trainings.

Together with several disability activists, she founded Indonesia Inclusive Institute (I3) in 2018. The organisation aims to develop, realise and maintain inclusivity in Indonesia through learning process, literacy development, advocacy and good practices. She advocates for disability rights at various levels, has participated in a national coalition of OPDs to formulate a national action plan on SDGs implementation to be in line with the CRPD. Her recent role has been in strengthening inclusion perspective for community-lead disaster risk reduction based on innovation and also working as a consultant for programs related to disability advocacy. At a global level, she is an Independent Consultant for Silent Tears Australia, raising awareness of gender-based violence against women and girls with disabilities. She also participated in CBY consortium of four countries in Europe and Asia focusing on non-formal education for inclusive youth workers.

She has been involved in many notable projects and initiatives including Associate Secretary for Indonesian Inclusion Institute, Project Manager for CBY (Capacity Building in The Field of Youth) Sehati Sukoharjo, Contributing Writer for news and magazines, Program Officer for OHANA Indonesia, and Sub-Regional Coordinator for Institut Hak Asasi Perempuan (IHAP-Institute for Women’s Human Rights), Yogyakarta.

Janine Cruzet, PhilippinesJanine Cruzet

Janine works for Women with Disabilities Taking Actions on our Reproductive Health and Human Rights and is a qualified Associate in Respiratory Therapy.

Her interests converge on disability inclusion, with a particular focus on health and the provision of support to individuals with disabilities. Her current work focuses on empowering women with disabilities through a series of transformative initiatives. Her organisation’s upcoming project aims to provide capacity building opportunities, conducting community education sessions to equip women with disabilities with essential knowledge about their human rights, to create a strong, supportive network where women with disabilities can embrace their inherent potential, lead with confidence, and contribute meaningfully to society.

She has actively contributed to remarkable projects that have left a lasting impact including an inclusive manual on Access to Justice and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) for women and girls with disabilities, supported by the esteemed UN FPA; and collaborating on the creation of an inclusive audio-video presentation addressing Gender-Based Violence (GBV) experienced by women and girls with disabilities in the Asia Pacific, also funded by UN FPA. She was recently elected President of a dynamic group of women with disabilities, championing the principles of the UN CRPD and advocating for the SRHR of women with disabilities.

She has received an award for Best Model of Person with Disability 2010 in Makati City by Makati Rotary Club.

Mona Liza J. Labitoria-Visperas, PhilippinesMona Liza J. Labitoria Visperas

Mona works for the Alliance for Filipino Families for Mental Health Inc and holds an MBA, a Bachelor of Science (Forestry), and has contributed to and participated in many sector events and publications.

She is an active member of the disability rights movement in the Philippines and is interested in education, employment and accessibility for people with disabilities, disability data, and children and young people with disabilities

She is the founder and President of the Taguig ADHD Family Support Group, and a member of the Alliance for Filipino Families for Mental Health. Recently, she worked for the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office and volunteered as the President of the Samahan ng May Kapansanan San Miguel, Bulacan, resulting in remarkable achievements. She worked as a Survey Partner for UN Women Project, Closing the Justice Gap for Women with Intellectual & Psychosocial Disabilities in the Asia-Pacific. She volunteers in her local Person with Disability Affairs Office and other local community work. She advocates for the SDGs and FOI through her Facebook blog and is also trying to apply for law school.

Samnieng Thammavong, Lao PDRSamnieng Thammavong

Samnieng works for the Lao Disabled People’s Association (LDPA) and has a university degree and attended a 10-month leadership course in Japan.

He is interested in the social inclusion of persons with disabilities and has 20 years of experience working with different INGOs in Laos on the project of community development. He also worked on a project to provide support to Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) victims and survivors. He has received awards from Government for his contribution to community development.

Samnieng also works in capacity building of OPD human resources and disability inclusion advocacy.

Sholih Muhdlor, IndonesiaSholih Muhdlor

Sholih works for the SAPDA Foundation and has professional qualifications in CRPD, inclusive SRHR and inclusive DRR. He is actively doing humanitarian disability-related work, especially in DRR, SRHR, policy advocacy, and crosscutting issues of disabilities.

Sholih is also a team writer for the disability-SRHR pocketbook of the Indonesian Health Ministry, and was also recently involved in Cianjur, Jawa Barat earthquake emergency response.

He has been involved in several notable projects and initiatives including inclusive protocols about “violence to women with disability during covid” and “special protection for children with disability during covid” that were adopted by the Indonesian Covid-19 National Task Force, emergency inclusive response good practice through OXFAM-JMK Consortium, inclusive SRHR Media information for people with disability, and Inclusive Roadmap of Health Service of Health Ministry of Indonesia.

Photos ©UNFPA Indonesia/ Itsnain G Bagus

More information

Stay tuned for more updates on the fellowship! For any questions about the fellowship contact Briana Wilson and Amba Salelkar

The ACE project is funded by CBM Australia and Equity Trustees.

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