Country Investment Fund (CIF)

As part of the continued work in this AT2030 subprogramme, the Country Investment Fund (CIF) is supporting grants in Africa Countries that have already completed a Country Capacity Assessment.

The Country Investment Fund (CIF) is making direct investments in activities which deliver foundational, strategic, agreed national AT priorities and reach disabled people directly with access to AT. This is undertaken in pursuit of building an evidence base in support of AT2030’s purpose – finding out ‘what works?’ to get AT to the people that need it around the world.

Direct investment will stimulate demand and kick-start processes to shift a non-functioning AT approach to one with sustainable long-term solutions at scale. It is anticipated that the investments will result in both systems level, eco-systems changes (e.g. policy or capacity building) activity as well as direct testing of AT routes (AT in peoples’ hands).

Activities implemented through the Country Investment Fund aim to improve the lives of more than 25 million persons with disabilities across 4 countries. More than 1,000 persons will be directly involved with the delivery of the programme, and more than 100,000 people will be directly impacted. This investment will be matched by more than GBP 0.5 million (including substantial contributions from governments, to be sustainable).

Country Investment Fund: Accelerating Progress and Demonstrating Results

Building on the Country Capacity Assessments and working with CHAI and Maynooth University, the Country Investment Fund (CIF) will be making direct investments in 4 countries – Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone – to implement activities which deliver foundational, strategic, national AT priorities and reach people with disabilities directly with access to AT.

In Liberia, we will support the establishment of a cross-sectoral AT Technical Working Group, who will lead on the development of an integrated national priority assistive product list, national assistive product standards, and service provision and procurement guidelines. Additional activities will support building of procurement and supply chain management capacity, developing standardized AT training packages, and revitalizing local AT repair shops. In partnership with WHO, support will be provided to disseminate the results of the WHO’s rapid AT needs assessment (r-ATA) and integrate AT data into routine information systems.

In Nigeria, we will support the development of a unified AT roadmap for accelerated access to AT, improve disability and AT data to inform country needs, establish a regulatory coordinating mechanism led by the Standards Organization of Nigeria to develop AT standards and technical specifications, identify innovative financing mechanisms for AT procurement, and develop an investment case for inclusion of AT into state funding mechanisms.  

In Rwanda, we will support the development a national AT data system that will inform decision making and policy implementation, including partnering with the WHO on r-ATA, develop national guidelines and standards for assistive products, develop a business case for coverage of AT in the national health insurance package and strengthen national coordination mechanisms around AT.  

In Sierra Leone, we will establish a secretariat role for the country’s inaugural National Disability, Assistive Technology and Rehabilitation Technical Working Group, develop a national AT programme, provide support to relevant government ministries for the revision of the population census to ensure AT inclusion, develop an AT strategy and AT policy, and develop tools for disability and AT data collection.  

This work aims to build an evidence base in support of AT2030’s purpose – finding out ‘what works?’ to get AT to the people that need it around the world.

The need

As the world grapples with COVID-19, the pandemic is also highlighting and deepening pre-existing inequalities. The 2020 International Day of Persons with Disabilities reflected that with the theme “building back better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world”. People with disabilities are among the most excluded and hardest hit by this crisis in terms of fatalities, according to the United Nations. Getting AT access to the people that need it is more important then ever.

Frederic Seghers (CHAI) said;

“We are grateful to UK Aid, GDI Hub and all our partners including Maynooth University and the World Health Organization that we are able to expand on the work that was initiated through the Country Capacity Assessments. This work with governments is both strategic and innovative. It will prepare the ground so that appropriate products and new solutions can reach people that need them faster, better and in a more sustainable manner.

The AT2030 programme has demonstrated that strengthening the awareness and leadership of policymakers can spur action. This work will gather new insights and evidence for the community. We look forward to supporting UK Aid and Global Disability Innovation Hub in spearheading these new initiatives and moving boundaries on what is possible.”

Background documents