Networks & Partners


WBU works with key partners, stakeholder groups and networks towards realising our programme objectives. WBU is a global organisation of blind and partially sighted persons relatively new to the field of urban development. We seek to increase influence of WBU members and OPD partners in discussions guiding urban development; collaborative, co-creative, and multi-stakeholder partnerships are critical. In this section you will find a sample of ongoing engagements.

International Disability Alliance (IDA)

WBU is a founding member of International Disability Alliance (IDA) and sits both in its board and programme committee and other technical committees. IDA is the global disability rights movement’s umbrella organisation – and comprise global and regional organisations of persons with disabilities championing the rights of persons with disabilities. IDA co-chairs the Global Network for Action on Disability (GLAD), gathering major donors within the development cooperation sector. For WBU’s urban programming we work with the IDA-IDDC BRIDGE programme and its global pool of professional alumni to bolster learning, engagement, and advocacy efforts.

Until March 2020, IDA channeled the main source of WBU’s program funding, from the DFID Disability Catalyst Programme.

Partner Constituent Group of Persons with Disabilities – General Assembly of Partners

The Partner Constituent Group of Persons with Disabilities (PCG) is the formally recognised stakeholder group of persons with disabilities in their diversity of representative organisations, within the framework of the General Assembly of Partners (hereinafter called “GAP”). GAP is the mandated multi-stakeholder platform by the New Urban Agenda and provides organised constituent groups such as Older persons, women, children & youth academia, business & industry specifically engaging around the implementation of New Urban Agenda and the urban dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other international agreements.

The PCG engages in relevant policy development processes, forums and is set up to represent persons with disabilities within the work of UN-HABITAT, serve as a platform for peer-to-peer learning about urban development within the global disability rights movement and regional initiatives.

A link to the Term of reference for the constituency group will be uploaded here shortly.

Since October 2019, The WBU through its Program Officer holds one of the co-chair positions for this constituent group and supported the coordination of the group to the 10th session of the World Urban Forum in February 2020.

Global Network for Disability-Inclusive & Accessible Urban Development (DIAUD)

This informal multi-stakeholder network gathers persons with disabilities, older persons, cities, human rights advocates, civil society, policymakers and government officials, urban development professionals, academia, foundations, the private sector, and development cooperation partners. The network is a community of practice seeking to provide a space for knowledge sharing, peer-to-peer leaning and development of resources and initiatives around disability inclusion, accessibility, and universal design in urban transformation. The flagship product of the network is the Global Compact for Inclusive and Accessible Cities and Cities 4 All-campaign launched in 2018 aiming to mobilise cities to commit to the compact and take steps to align their development with the CRPD and relevant global frameworks. The consultancy group World Enabled, GAP-PCG of Older Persons and GAP-PCG of Persons with Disabilities are leading the coordination of this network.

A link to access the Term of Reference will be uploaded here shortly.


The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the UN focal agency for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and urban dimension of the SDGs. UN-Habitat supports national and local governments with resources, tools and advice on how to build inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and communities where no-one and no place is left behind. UN-Habitat has offices at global, regional, multi-country and country levels. Since the initiation of WBU’s work around urban development UN-Habitat has become one of our main partners and the collaboration was formalised in an 4-year milestone agreement signed in January 2020, seeking to accelerate work on disability inclusion, accessibility and universal design in strategies, policies, programs and operations in line with the CRPD and the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy..

United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)

UCLG is the global federation of regional and local governments and is comprised of more than 240.000 members making UCLG to be the representative body of the local and regional government’s global movement. WBU, as part of the DIAUD network, supported the development of a Policy Paper Inclusive and Accessible cities in 2019, which informs the strategic direction of UCLG to mainstream persons with disabilities, universal design, and accessibility within their membership.

City Space Architecture

City Space Architecture is a research association and its flagship product is the international and open access The Journal of Public Space. The association is a close ally in raising awareness on the importance of universally accessible and inclusive public space. WBU and the association has publicly committed to co-create a special edition of the journal on universal accessibility ahead of the World Urban Forum 11 in February 2022.

Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ICT)

G3ICT, a not-for-profit organisation, works to promote the rights of persons with disabilities in the digital age in line with the CRPD. G3ICT is a close ally of WBU and is implementing the renown Smart Cities for All program. The program includes the activities of the Global Alliance for Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES). WBU engages within the advisory committee to this program and collaborates around various initiatives towards WBU’s program objectives.

CBM Global

WBU has a close partnership with CBM Global which has supported WBU with allocation of human resources towards our programming, as well as funding towards the delegation of persons with disabilities to the World Urban Forum 10. WBU and CBM Global are currently engaged in co-creative processes to develop tools and resources on accessibility. From 2020, CBM Switzerland is the primary donor supporting WBU’s urban development programming, including for human resources and provision of technical expertise.


The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is supporting WBU with the secondment of the program officer (Bilateral Associate Expert) based at the African Union of the Blind (AFUB) in Nairobi, Kenya. Sida is a close ally in the promotion of social inclusion within the urban development field and a major cooperation partner with UN-Habitat and UCLG.

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