IDPP Co-Organizes ISA Working Group on Accessible Global Governance

IDPP Executive Director and American University School of International Service Associate Professor Dr. Derrick Cogburn is co-organizing the Working Group “Accelerating Change in Global Governance: Enhancing the Participation of Excluded and Marginalized Voices Through Information and Communication Technology” at the 2017 International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention on Tuesday, 21 February 2017. Dr. Tina Kempin Reuter, IDPP Faculty Associate and Associate Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Executive Director of its Institute for Human Rights, will co-organize the Working Group.

This unique ISA Working Group will catalyze a network of interdisciplinary scholars interested in understanding the theoretical foundation of and practical remedies for enhancing the participation of excluded and marginalized voices in global governance, with a particular focus on the human rights issues of the more than one billion persons with disabilities worldwide. The Working Group will bring together multistakeholder participants and work toward developing a model and set of recommendations toward the publication of a handbook on the use of ICTs to facilitate the active involvement of marginalized voices in global governance. It is planned that this Working Group will also feed into the development of a United Nations Working Group that focuses on addressing these issues.

Dr. Cogburn will open the all-day workshop by discussing IDPP’s empirical and applied research on “Accessible Global Governance: Overcoming the (In)visibility of Persons with Disabilities in the UN System.” Dr. Tina Kempin Reuter will then discuss “Human Rights as an Agent of Change in Global Governance: Advocacy and Activism on Behalf of Marginalized Populations.”

Subsequently, presentations and discussions from multistakeholder participants will be organized around international organization responses; government responses; civil society responses; and academic responses and feature a group of experts and senior leaders in the field, including from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs / Division of Social Policy and Development; National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce; International Disability Alliance and Disabled Peoples’ International; and leading academic scholars from interdisciplinary fields.

A lunchtime keynote address will feature Dr. Victor Pineda, Chair of the IDPP International Advisory Board, and President of World Enabled and the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), on “Enhancing Disability Participation in Habitat III: The New Urban Agenda.” Dr. Pineda will discuss the global disability community’s successful efforts to enhance disability participation and impact policy language and disability references in the UN Habitat III and New Urban Agenda processes.

In the afternoon, the Working Group will discuss a range of innovative deliverables, initiatives, and next steps, including: the launch of an IDPP Mobile Advocacy Toolkit and Mobile App on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD); the development of a prospective Handbook on ICTs and Inclusive Global Governance; a proposed UN Working Group on ICTs and Accessible Global Governance Processes; and several book launches by IDPP faculty.

In addition to the all-day workshop on 21 February, Working Group participants will follow a recommended "path" of sessions throughout the ISA conference and reconvene for two additional Working Group sessions throughout the conference to share and discuss what they have gained: a working lunch on 22 February and a wrap-up meeting on 24 February.

As part of his participation in the 2017 ISA Annual Convention, Dr. Cogburn will also chair the Junior Scholar Symposium, which is a special opportunity for graduate students and junior scholars to interact with senior discussants from among ISA’s leading scholars to present and discuss their work in this small group setting.