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Themes: Inclusive Design

GDI Hub’s supports World Enabled’s Inclusive Pandemic Response

GDI Hub submitted recommendations to the ‘Empowering Local Governments on Inclusive Pandemic Response’ document prepared by World Enabled as part of their work to respond to the challenges of COVID19. GDI hub’s contribution to the review process was led by our inclusive design researcher Mikaela Patrick in collaboration with Iain McKinnon, Dr Maria Kett and Giulia Barbareschi.

‘Without an inclusive pandemic response society risks widening pre-existing inequalities further which has the potential to leave some people with disabilities worse off than before. The work World Enabled has been doing to bring together a community to discuss inclusive pandemic responses has highlighted how we need data, examples of best practice and guiding principles to ensure everyone is supported throughout this pandemic. Initiatives like this lay the foundations for a more inclusive society to emerge from this pandemic. We were very honoured to have contributed to this review process’

Mikaela Patrick

GDI hub joined other organisations such as World Blind Union, Global Disability Innovation Hub, GIZ, BMZ, UNICEF, International Disability Alliance, Humanity and Inclusion, GAP Older Persons PCG, Kipu Llaxta, and CBM in contributing.


The COVID-19 outbreak poses a severe threat to global health and the provision of city services. It is radically transforming the societies in which we live. As an ever-increasing number of people live and work in urban environments, the need to support the most at-risk people in our cities is closely tied to the way we choose to reshape, respond and recover from the pandemic.

The COVID-19 uniquely threatens persons with disabilities and older persons, 25% of the world's population, 80% of whom live in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). Persons with disabilities and older persons, depending on underlying health conditions, are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

On July 15th, World Enabled launched the Cities4All document "Empowering Local Governments on Inclusive Pandemic Response" during the Cities4All official HLPF side event, co-organized by The Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Disability and Accessibility, and UNDESA.

The recommendations are inspired by the Principles of the C4All Global Compact on Inclusive and Accessible Cities. The document showcases commitments and proposed actions to promote inclusive pandemic preparedness and resiliency recovery at the local level, including lessons learned and gathered through the Cities4All webinar series and Cities4All Whatsapp Regional Learning Groups. Nineteen organizations contributed as reviewers, including The Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Disability and Accessibility, United Cities and Local Governments, UNHabitat, and the cities of New York, Barcelona, São Paulo, and Abu Dhabi.

More information about this initiative: