Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan 2017-2020

1. Foreword

The World Blind Union (WBU) is the global organisation representing the estimated 253 Million people who are blind or partially sighted worldwide.

This strategic plan sets the direction and priorities for The WBU for the 4-year term 2017 – 2020. It will guide the organisation in its role as the representative voice of blind and partially sighted people worldwide and specifies the policy priorities to be undertaken during this period.

This plan has been developed by the WBU Table Officers, Regional Presidents and a number of resource persons. It builds on the prior Strategic Plans developed for the last three quadrennial periods, reflecting our organizational learning and achievements over the past number of years, emerging environmental trends and the continuation of current priorities as well as new priority areas. It is designed to be a fluid plan which will evolve and be refined as the WBU undertakes its work. The Strategic Plan contains four Strategic Priorities and one Enabling Priority, each of which in turn has a number of Strategic Objectives to bring focus to our work.

The WBU Work Plan complements this document as each strategic objective is expanded upon, providing details of initiatives and action plans that will operationalize the achievement of the objectives. Furthermore, regular status reports are provided by the priority and objective leaders in order to monitor our progress in achieving our objectives, and these status reports form the basis of discussions among the WBU Officers in conjunction with the Officers meetings twice per year. Moreover, a summary of our achievements is compiled into annual reports for each year and the overall summary for the quadrennial period is developed into a Quadrennial report for the General Assembly at the end of the quadrennial period.

The Strategic Plan is the plan of the whole WBU family. Thus, in the implementation of our Strategic Plan we aim to be inclusive of our six geographic regions; our diverse population groups, including women, youth, children, older persons and indigenous persons; of persons who have low vision as well as those who are blind; and our many language communities. Indeed, diversity is considered to be a cross-cutting theme that is reflected in all of our priorities and objectives.

2. Our Vision

We work within a pyramid vision structure which reflects our Vision of what we would ultimately hope to achieve in the long term, as well as our Vision for this strategic planning cycle which is four years.

WBU’s Vision is of a world in which we, as blind or partially sighted people, can participate fully in any aspect of life we choose

Our short term, four-year Vision, has four ladders that together will move us towards the realization of our long-term vision. These four Vision ladders are:

1. That WBU is recognized as the authentic voice representing blind and partially sighted persons at the international level

2. That our members at all levels have the capacity and capability to deliver their programs

3. That Blind and partially Sighted Persons live in a world that is increasingly accessible to us

4. That the WBU is recognized as an international source of information in matters related to vision impairment

3. Our Personality

We are a worldwide community of blind and partially sighted persons that is inclusive, assertive and resourceful.

4. Our Values

We value the abilities of people who are blind or partially sighted;

We are an organisation which is: democratic, accountable, transparent, united, diverse, and professional and has integrity;

We operate by being: respectful, honest, innovative, creative, trustworthy and responsive.

5. Our Purpose

To facilitate achievement of our short and long term visions by building on our progress in our four vision ladders of: representation and human rights, strengthening capacity, accessibility and information sharing and collaboration.

6. Strategic Priorities

Strategic Priority 1: Human Rights and Representation

Priority Leaders: Fernando Riaño, WBU 1st Vice President

“Promoting full participation, equal opportunities, and protecting the human rights of blind and partially sighted persons in all aspects of social, economic, political and cultural life and ensuring that our voice is heard at the global, regional and national levels in all matters affecting our lives.”

Strategic Objectives:

1. Representing Blind and Partially Sighted Persons at the United Nations and relevant UN Agencies and Treaty bodies at the global and regional levels

2. Ensuring that the WBU and its members are actively engaged in the implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at both the international and national levels.

3. Ensuring that the WBU and its members understand the implications and opportunities provided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and proactively engage in their implementation and monitoring process at all levels

4. Advocating for and promoting the human rights of blind and partially sighted persons

5. Engaging with members, other stakeholders and international development organizations to protect the rights of blind and partially sighted persons in situations of disaster, humanitarian emergency or conflict and to ensure that all services and programs are accessible to them.

Strategic Priority 2: Capacity Building

Priority Leader: Arnt Holte, Past President

“Strengthening the capabilities and capacity of the WBU regional structures and member organisations”

Strategic Objectives:

1. Improving employment opportunities for blind and partially sighted persons

2. Work to ensure the sustainability of the WBU Regions

3. Improving the capacity of our member organizations, including our International members, to engage with each other to facilitate interactions, resource sharing, and working collaboratively

4. Supporting our target populations for full inclusion

5. Improving access to rehabilitation services by blind and partially sighted persons

Strategic Priority 3: Accessibility

Priority Leader: Ajai Kumar Mittal, WBU Secretary General

“Working towards a world that is increasingly accessible to blind and partially sighted persons”

Strategic Objectives

1. Improving Access to Information for blind and partially sighted persons

2. Promoting access to low and high technology solutions for blind and partially sighted persons

3. Promoting full access to consumer and household goods

4. Promoting full access to the environment for blind and partially sighted persons including safe and independent travel and access to transportation.

Strategic Priority 4: Information Sharing and Collaboration

Priority Leader: Martine Abel-Williamson, WBU Treasurer

“Supporting and enhancing our advocacy, representation and capacity strengthening efforts through raising awareness and support for our campaigns and initiatives, providing information and resources on matters important to blind and partially sighted persons and collaborating effectively with others.”

Strategic Objectives:

1. Developing and making available a variety of resources to our members and the public through a variety of communications channels.

2. Developing and strengthening international partnerships and collaboration

3. Promoting and advancing the use of braille through the work of the World Braille Council

Enabling Priority: Organizational Effectiveness

Priority Leader: Dr. Fredric Schroeder, WBU President

“Ensuring the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the WBU”

Strategic Objectives:

1. In cooperation with the Regional Unions, supporting the members of the WBU to optimize their representation of blind and partially sighted persons.

2. Overseeing WBU financial resources

3. Developing and implementing strategies to generate resources to support the work of the WBU.

4. Undertaking a review of the WBU membership fees structure

5. Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the WBU operations to support its work

6. Developing and implementing a leadership program for future WBU leaders

7. Recruitment of a new CEO following the retirement of the current CEO by mid-2018.

February 2017

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