The first ACE Fellowship Workshop – a great chance to connect with one another in person

News-iag, Project | September 4, 2023

Together with our partner, International Disability Alliance (IDA), our Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG)) held the first ACE Fellowship Workshop in Jakarta – a great chance for the six ACE fellows and advisors to connect with one another in person, after spending months communicating online.  

Two men and three women sitting around a round table with a silver tablecloth. There are a number of papers and pens on the table, some drinks and mobile phones. In the background there are an ACE fellow banner as well as a green poster with post-its in different colors. Five persons smiling, standing in front of a red poster with post-its in different colors. And three persons on the left sitting and standing around two tables. One man in front of the poster is wearing a long white gown and a white head covering and holding a yellow piece of paper. One man is wearing a black suit and pink shirt and holding a white mobility cane. One woman is wearing a pink dress and is holding a white mobility cane.  Six persons posing next to the ACE fellowship banner; Three women and three men, of which one man on the right is in a wheelchair.

The workshop built on earlier webinars and assignments and focused on: 

  • Increasing understanding of development stakeholders who request inclusion advice and their perspectives  
  • using the CRPD as an analysis tool for programs 
  • developing actionable recommendations out of an analysis, 
  • practicing communicating recommendations clearly, in writing and verbally.  

One of the fellows reflected – “each day during the CRPD sessions, I would think yes, this is aligned with my advocacy work. Then when we applied it to the scenarios in the afternoons, I would think aha! This is advisory work. I can see what is the same and what is different in the role of an advisor, compared to advocating as an OPD. The CRPD content is the same, but the role is different”  

The workshop unearthed some fantastic conversations on critical and interesting topics we are continuing to explore together, including:  

  • What tasks and roles should an advisor do, and what is the role of an OPD? How can we keep checking in and making sure we are getting this right?  
  • How can an inclusion advisor support good OPD engagement in a development program – engagement that supports the OPD’s priorities, not just the development partners’ objectives.  
  • What are the complexities of being an advisor from the disability movement, and potentially moving between different roles?  
  • How do we ensure that, when we analyse programs, we don’t just make the proposed program activities more inclusive – rather we are also bold and point out what is missing and how the program can further a broader rights agenda?  

The fellows got to practice their skills through several practical activities and scenarios daily. They worked in groups on a week-long assignment, involving the review of program documents at the request of fictional INGO, World Bank and UN staff members. The fellows reviewed the documents from a CRPD perspective and developed written recommendations. They verbally presented these recommendations in a mock meeting on the final day.  

A group of twenty persons smiling, 13 women and 7 men, positioned next to an ACE fellowship banner. Fifteen persons are standing up, three are sitting down and one man and one woman are sitting in a wheelchair

We all learned a lot along the way, including IAG and IDA facilitators, who are delivering this kind of content together for the first time. The discussion was rich, interaction was high, and much laughter and enjoyment were had along the way.  

The fellows will continue applying what they learned through a range of projects they are undertaking with IAG and IDA, aligned to each fellows’ individual learning goals. Fellows will also continue to meet in webinars, complete assignments and engage in regular discussions with their mentors.  

We’re glad the workshop isn’t the end, but we will continue to get the chance to keep working with and learning from one another.  

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



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