Disability international participation funding program FAQ

Supporting participation by representatives of people with disability in key international forums on human rights

What is the purpose of this program?

This funding initiative is to support the participation of people with disability and organisations representing people with disability to attend key international forums on human rights in order to inform Australian disability policy development and promote and protect the rights of people with disability in Australia.    

The information on this page has been designed to provide information about:

1: Events eligible for funding

1.1       Is there a calendar or list of events which are eligible for funding?

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) will not publish a fixed multi-year calendar of events.  Instead, the AHRC will publish a regularly updated Provisional Calendar of Events in response to nominations received.

The AHRC has decided it would be more useful to publish a regularly updated Provisional Calendar of Events to encourage the widest participation of people with disability in key human rights international forums. Most importantly, the AHRC does not wish to preclude Disability Peak Organisations and Disability Advocacy Organisations from applying for funding to attend important events if, at first glance, the event they wish to attend is not visible on the fixed multi-year calendar.    

The AHRC will therefore publish a regularly updated Provisional Calendar of Events containing information about events deemed eligible, and ineligible, for funding following the nomination process outlined in Section 2 below.

As soon as an event is added to the Provisional Calendar of Events, an email will be circulated via the Disability Discrimination Commissioner’s electronic mailing list to alert other potential applicants that the event has been added and indicate closing date for funding applications.

To receive notifications about eligible events via the electronic mailing list please subscribe to the Disability Rights Update at  http://www.humanrights.gov.au/about/mailing_lists/index.html .

1.2       How do I proceed?

  • If your event is listed as an eligible event in the Provisional Calendar of Events (Section 1.3), please go to Section 3 for further information about the application process.
  • If your event is not listed in the Provisional Calendar of Events, and not listed as an ineligible event, the AHRC encourages organisations seeking financial assistance to submit an application form for the event to be considered eligible and added to the Provisional Calendar.  Please go to Section 2 for further information about criteria for eligible events and to obtain a copy of the nomination form. The AHRC may include events on the calendar of eligible events at its discretion.  However, the usual process will be for organisations to submit a form nominating an event. 

Please note that a successful nomination for an event does not mean the nominee is also successful for funding.  The nominee of an event will still need to submit a separate application  for funding for the eligible event.  Applicants should see Section 3 for more information about applying.

1.3       Provisional Calendar of Events

The Provisional Calendar of Events is available here.

2. How to nominate an event

2.1       Which events are eligible?

Events that are related to:

  • the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
  • key international forums on human rights for people with disability that relate to the UNCRPD
  • other key international (and if appropriate, domestic) forums that relate to UNCRPD and human rights of people with disability.

2.2       What types of international forums will be eligible?

Funding will be provided primarily for United Nations events that are directly related to the UNCRPD, such as the annual Conference of States Parties, interactive dialogues, and themed discussions.

Consideration will also be given to complementary non-UNCRPD related forums, including:

  • Networking/capacity/capability building events that will enable Disability Peak Organisations and Disability Advocacy Organisations to promote the work of the UNCRPD and/or meet Australia’s obligations under the UNCRPD.
  • Networking/capacity/capability building events that will enable Disability Peak Organisations and Disability Advocacy Organisations to promote the priorities under the National Disability Strategy (NDS)—Key Policy Area 2: Rights protection, justice and legislation.
  • Multi-dimensional disability and disability rights forums, where such events can demonstrate linkages to the UNCRPD articles and/or the NDS—Key Policy Area 2: Rights protection, justice and legislation [Examples include: the Disabled Peoples' International 8th World Assembly, in Durban, South Africa, 10–13 October 2011; and the World Intellectual Property Organisation].

The AHRC, at its discretion may utilise funding toward domestic preparatory processes leading up to the event, or for post attendance feedback activities. Examples of domestic events might include:

  • UNCRPD reporting and Shadow reporting as might be required under the Convention
  • post forum events that promote learnings from event participation, preferably with a focus on key UNCRPD issues.

If unused funds are available, the AHRC, at its discretion, may utilise funding toward opportunities for new and emerging leaders to attend domestic events to help develop future capacity for people with disability at attend future international events.

2.3       What factors are taken into consideration for eligibility of an event?

  • Satisfies at least one of the criteria listed above in Section 2.2  
  • Demonstrated connection to UNCRPD
  • Demonstrated connection to the NDS
  • Brief outline (max 200 words) on how attendance and participation in the forum could positively impact on the work of your organisation and progress the agenda to promote and protect the rights of people with disability in Australia.

2.4       How can I nominate an event?

The event nomination form can be downloaded here (MS Word format).
Please submit completed nomination forms to: disability@humanrights.gov.au  

3. How to apply for funding and the application process

The AHRC urges organisations seeking financial assistance to attend key international forums on human rights to read the information below before submitting an application.

3.1       Who can apply for funding?

Disability Peak Organisations and Disability Advocacy Organisations can submit applications.
The AHRC will also consider joint nominations from Disability Peak Organisations and Disability Advocacy Organisations.

Delegates breaching any of their funding obligations by failing to fulfill the pre event obligations, participation or inappropriate behaviour, or failing to acquit their grants will be ineligible for future grants.

3.2       How many people can be in the delegation? What about the composition of delegations?

Opportunities to participate will be open to all without bias in relation to gender, race, ethnicity, disability type, amongst other variables etc. Numbers will be monitored on a year by year by year basis to ensure, over all, equal numbers of women and men with disability are successful in receiving funding through this program.

In the event participants are selected from different Disability Peak Bodies and Advocacy Groups, the organisations and nominated people will work collaboratively to form a united delegation. A collegiate approach is to be reflected from the domestic preparatory processes through to the completion of feedback activities.

3.3       Can applications include requests to cover costs for carers, aids and equipment?

Additional funding may be provided if the person(s) nominated by the Disability Peak Organisations and Disability Advocacy Organisations requires additional support, such as the assistance of a carer, and other aids and equipment.

The AHRC will consider the needs of the nominated person in determining an appropriate amount to be provided for additional support, for example travel, accommodation, and conference costs for a carer. This amount will be capped at an appropriate level, as determined by the AHRC. Further detail provided in Annexure A: Funding model.

3.4       Who decides if my application is successful?

The Australian Human Rights Commission is responsible for the program including decisions on successful applications.

3.5       When can I submit an application?

An application can be submitted as soon as an event is listed as eligible on the provisional calendar of events until the date for applications closes.

3.6       Will every application that meets the criteria for eligibility be funded?

Unfortunately there are insufficient funds to meet the needs of all requests. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. A list of factors that will be taken into consideration is outlined below in Section 3.7.

3.7       What factors are taken into consideration in determining whether our application for funding to attend an event is successful?

  • Demonstrated connection to UNCRPD
  • Demonstrated connection to the NDS
  • Clear outline of how attendance and participation in the forum will positively impact on the work of your organisation and progressing the agenda to promote and protect the rights of people with disability in Australia
  • Prior successful application of funding under this program
  • Number of other applications received for attendance at the same forum
  • Number of women and men with disability funded in current annual cycle.

3.8       Is there a particular application form I need to use?

Applicants seeking funding do not need to use a particular application form.  However, applications for funding should at least provide information about the following:

  • The organisation/s seeking funding
  • Composition of the delegation
  • Delegation preparation and post event reporting plans
  • Proposed funding sought
  • How attendance and participation in the forum will positively impact on the work of your organisation
  • How attendance and participation in the forum will positively progress the agenda to promote and protect the rights of people with disability in Australia.

Please submit applications for funding to: disability@humanrights.gov.au

4. Reporting requirements for successful applicants

4.1       Delegation Preparation Plan and pre event reporting requirements from the participants

The AHRC will require successful delegations (both the sponsoring organisation(s) and the delegates) to actively engage with Disability Peak Organisations and Disability Advocacy Organisations to seek their input and advice for discussion at the international forum. The delegates will be required to provide a Delegation Preparation Plan to the AHRC about the domestic preparatory consultation process, decisions and outcomes, preferably four weeks prior to the commencement of the forum. This preparation plan may form part of the application process should the AHRC decide appropriate. The AHRC will make the Delegation Preparation Plan available to FaHCSIA, and the plan may be posted on appropriate websites.

4.2       Do I need to submit a report when I get back?

The AHRC will require funded delegations to provide feedback by way of a Post Event Report. The Post Event Report will be made available to the AHRC and FaHCSIA, preferably four weeks, but at least two weeks prior to public release.

4.3       What information should be included in the Post Event Report?

The report should include statements about:

  • the event
  • who the funded participants were
  • what (if any) issues they were taking to present to the event
  • what happened
  • outcomes of the event
  • relevance, usefulness and benefits of the event for Australia
  • information presented at the event  that may inform Australian disability policy development
  • issues that Australia needs to be aware of/consider.

It might also include discussion on:

  • the benefits/short-comings of this funding initiative, and other issues that may need to be considered in the funding arrangements, such as pre event preparation information that may assist future participants.

4.4       Will additional information questions be asked about attendance at the event?

The AHRC may conduct simple, in-confidence peer review feedback sessions with participants of the delegation in order to assist with mentoring and leadership development. These sessions will be held in confidence and only made public with the agreement of participants. Summary information on major issues, learnings and leadership development will be compiled by the AHRC and made available to FaHCSIA.

5. The funding model, evaluation of the program and other information

5.1       Material for publication

The following material should be published in accessible formats, including the option for web hosting:

  • Information about eligible events
  • Details about successful candidates/delegates
  • Delegation reports including (1) Delegation Preparation Plan and (2) Post Event Report
  • Any other additional relevant information from the international event.

5.2       Will the program be evaluated?

At the end of the second year of the Memorandum of Understanding between FAHCSIA and the AHRC, there is to be an internal evaluation of the progress and benefits of this initiative.

5.3       What is the funding model?

ANNEXURE A – Funding Model Supporting participation by representatives of people with disability in key international forums on human rights

The Department of Finance and Deregulation rules on international travel will be followed in this Funding Model: information available on:

The funding for the initiative: Supporting participation by representatives of people with disability in key international forums on human rights is to be expended within the appropriate financial year, and unused funds will not be rolled into following years.

The AHRC can determine the level of co-contribution funding it wishes to grant toward individuals attending solely or as part of a delegation an international event.

The preferred funding model is one that emphasises commitment by the applicants to include in their application an indication of their preparedness to also contribute toward part of the costs for these international events.

The amount to be provided by the AHRC to support participation by representatives of people with disability in key international forums on human rights will:

  • be decided on a case by case basis by the AHRC
  • show preference to those applicants offering to make a co-contribution
  • include considerations for items such as:
    • for the participant
      • air fares — for return economy airfares on QANTAS or equivalent quality airline that has a track record in providing appropriate support to passengers with disability; or return business airfares for those participants who have particular access needs that make travel in economy problematic
      • accommodation — for the duration of the event within a reasonable proximity to the event centre, a minimum of 3 star quality, and has accessible rooms
      • a stipend or daily allowance for incidentals
      • Miscellaneous including transfers and taxi fares — for travel to and from airports
      • conference fees.
    • for additional support, if required
      • The AHRC will consider the needs of the nominated person in determining an appropriate amount to be provided for additional support, such as travel, accommodation, and conference costs for a carer. This amount will be capped at an appropriate level, as determined by the AHRC.
  • for pre event preparation process and post event feedback

Funding may also be provided for in-domestic pre event and post event feedback meetings for the delegates. This funding will be provided at the discretion of the AHRC.

The use of email, video and telephone conferencing, web hosting and online captioning services should all be encouraged to promote low carbon footprint for domestic events.

Some funding caps are recommended to ensure that there is equitable distribution of funds across delegations and across meeting events.

It is recommended that a maximum cap is set at $6600 (GST inclusive) for a successful applicant without the need of an attendant carer and a cap at $11,000 (GST inclusive) if applicant is also bringing an attendant carer or requires other specialised supports.

While the performance indicators targets require a minimum of eight delegation participants to be supported per annum, it is anticipated that a larger number of delegates will be supported based on variations in individual delegation participant costs.

If the delegate cancels attendance of the international event, it is up to the AHRC to determine whether they will accept a nominated replacement from the same Peak organisation or from an alternative organisation, or to leave the spot unfilled.

If the delegate spot is not filled then the grant recipient must seek to obtain refunds from travel and accommodation and conference providers and to the best of their abilities return unspent funds to the AHRC.

5.4       Contact details for further questions

If you have further questions about this program, please send an email to: disability@humanrights.gov.au