Disability Hub Europe
Disability Hub Europe (DHub) is a European, multi-stakeholder and collaborative partnership initiative aimed at building a reference space to work on the binomial “Disability and Sustainability”. The final aim is to promote inclusive and sustainable businesses in Europe while fostering social and labour inclusion of people with disabilities, more 100 million Europeans and more than 1 billion people worldwide. DHub is led by Fundación ONCE with the co-funding of the European Social Fund. DHub builds upon the previous experience of the European Network for CSR and Disability.
People with disabilities are recognized by the 2030 Agenda and the SDG as a vulnerable group of population and various of the SDG explicitly refer to people with disabilities. DHub contributes to foster a sustainable and inclusive economy that leaves no one behind, understanding sustainability in its three dimensions: environment, social and governance (ESG). DHub main objectives are: to foster best practices exchange and mutual learning, to act as a space of visibility at EU level to reference companies and organizations, to generate and share knowledge, instruments, analysis, and methodologies and to improve the disability dimension in relevant sustainability, CSR, Diversity and Inclusion, and Human Rights political and business agendas.
DHub is defined from the beginning as an initiative aligned with the 2030 Agenda and the SDG, created to promote disability-inclusive business and an inclusive economy that leaves no on behind. The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs are disseminated in all DHub materials, including its website. For the 2030 Agenda the 5th Anniversary, DHub has elaborated a position paper underlying the need to consolidate efforts in order to improve the situation of people with disabilities in relation to the different SDGs: https://disabilityhub.eu/sites/disabilitybub/files/sdg_anniversary_2309…
DHub is led by Fundación ONCE and counts with the participation of 6 other partners (see below). Each partner is responsible of different activities in the project, including providing the necessary resources to carry them out (normally human or in kind). DHub is promoted and directed by Fundación ONCE’s team acting as the leading organization, with the collaboration of a Technical Secretariat subcontracted by Fundación ONCE to help coordination with partners, support them and deploy transversal tasks such as communication actions, publications, events, etc. Partners do not receive any financial contribution and are linked to the project because of their commitment. From July 2018 to February 2021 the cost of the project was 614.000 €. For this, Fundación ONCE, as the project promoter, receives 82,5 % (average) co-funding from the European Social Fund. DHub is developed following global and annual work programmes that include agreed activities involving the different partners based on their interests and added value. The leading partner (Fundación ONCE) and the Technical Secretariat have the responsibility of supervision and periodic follow up of the working programs. In addition, an annual meeting with all the partners is held annually to go over the work done, do joint monitoring, discuss trends and relevant facts related to the project and set priorities for the coming months
DHub has been able to set the topic of disability in the sustainability agenda and make the commitment of the 2030 Agenda and the SDG itself to the inclusion of people with disabilities more visible, including the link the 2030 Agenda and the SDG have with the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. DHub has strongly contributed to connect disability inclusion to important sustainability topics such as non-financial information, the future of work or the growing digital economy, producing relevant outcomes such as: the 2019 “Guide on Disability in Sustainability Reporting”; the 2021 publication on “Non-financial information and disability reporting the EU; or the 2019 and 2021 (respectively) publications on “Making the future of work inclusive of people with disabilities” and “An Inclusive digital economy for people with disabilities". Link to outcomes: https://disabilityhub.eu/en/outcomes-all
Main enabling conditions for success have been the commitment of the partners to the aim of the initiative, the co-funding of the European Social Fund, the experience of the leading entity in promoting European projects. The collaborative way of doing by adding efforts by all partners has been a key element. No specific constraints were found during the implementation other than those caused by the pandemic (see below).
DHub is a project to be extended until 2023 with the objective of adding new partners and collaborating entities and focusing on new fields such as disability and the green economy or human rights to state some examples. DHub model, as a thematic multi-stakeholder initiative explicitly inspired in the 2030 Agenda and the SDG, can be replicated focusing on other topics and developed both at national and regional level. The fact that the partnership involves business, civil society organizations, reference platforms and the public sector (by means of the co-funding of the ESF and the support of the EU institutions) is key and works as an example public-private partnership for social innovation. DHub itself is an example of SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals
Since March 2020 DHub has been transformed by the pandemic, going to a virtual format as regards many of its activities (meetings, events). However, the commitment to the common goal of contributing to a more inclusive economy stayed untouched and the project achieved all its objectives. Indeed the fact that the pandemic has strengthened inequities and has affected more deeply already vulnerable groups (as it is the case of people with disabilities) made the focus of the project even more relevant to all partners, highlighting the need for an inclusive and sustainable recovery.
SDGS & Targets
Deliverables & Timeline
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