Annabel Boud, the Programme Manager (Policy) for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC), attended last week’s 10th Donor Harmonization Group Forum, and wrote about her experience for the ACU website:

On the 21 and 22 November 2019, the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the British Council and the CSC hosted the 10th Donor Harmonisation Group Forum (DHG) in London.

The DHG is an informal network of European agencies that administer aid-funded capacity building programmes in education. The DHG brings these partners together in the spirit of the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness to support each other in improving the quality of aid and its impact.

The theme of this year’s DHG was ‘Leaving No-one Behind: The role of Higher Education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Access, Equity and Social Cohesion’.

For the CSC, the DHG Forum was an opportunity to share our learning from the work we have been doing following our Commitment at the 2018 Global Disability Summit. We’re proud that in 2019 we have a seven-fold increase in the number of Commonwealth Scholars with disabilities. This has been achieved in partnership with organisations including the Leonard Cheshire Global Alliance, the Pacific Disability Forum and Disability Rights UK.

We were able to demonstrate what has worked particularly well for the CSC: partnering with Disabled Peoples Organisations in home and host country, having specific allowances to support disabled scholars to alleviate the financial burdens in their personal lives and having an organisation-wide approach where, for example, all members of the CSC Secretariat and the CSC’s Commissioners undertook training to better understand the social model of disability and our rights-based responsibility to ensure all of our scholars and applicants have the necessary support to succeed.

A large group of professional people posing for a picture

Delegates at the 10th Donor Harmonization Group Forum


The inclusion of students that are engaged and passionate about their futures and want to play an active role in shaping them is a key tenet of the work that we do at the ACU and the CSC and we’re optimistic that through our collaborative networks we will continue to be able to promote higher education in allowing individuals to develop their ‘mindset, potential, attributes, skills, purpose, ability and agility to define their path and create their own future.

To read Annabel’s full post, please visit the ACU website.