Mobilizing District Committee Members

14. Request district committee members to issue advisory letters about the law

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Section 22(ga) of the Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act, 2013 (DRPA) makes district committees responsible for “coordinating, evaluating, monitoring, and giving necessary instructions to district-level government offices, schools, non-governmental organizations, and disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) or self-help organizations”. In other words, district committees have wide-ranging authority to give orders and notices to both governmental and non-governmental actors in order to address specifica aspects of DRPA implementation.

The experience of USAID’s EPD program is that individual district committee members are willing to issue orders, instructions, and advisories to the public officials they supervise. Because district committee members include influential local officials—including the Civil Surgeon, Police Superintendent, District Education Officer, District Primary Education Officer, Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department, Chief Engineer of the Local Government Engineering Department, District Information Officer, District Women’s Affairs Officer, and District Legal Aid Committee’s Secretary—they have the authority to issue circulars or advisory letters to government and non-governmental actors reminding them of their responsibilities under the DRPA. DPOs should be sure to record these written notices and follow up with recipients to reinforce that guidance, as well as to celebrate individual members’ initiatives at district committee meetings they attend.

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