Shifting Power through Transformation.

We are changing the way we work.

We want disabled people to have greater access to funding and more power in deciding how this money is used to build powerful movements for positive change. We want to see more resources flow directly to them.

ADD International was founded on values of listening to and supporting people with lived experience of disability to make change through their own organisations. Disabled people know best the solutions that will work for disabled people, and we want to get back to our roots in how we support them to implement these.

The world has become even more unequal and unfair. This hurts everyone, but disabled people are amongst those who lose out the most. Therefore, our role in supporting disabled people also needs to change and evolve to better address the new challenges of our time.

It is more important than ever before to look at the causes of discrimination and injustice, not just the effects. This means recognising the different ways in which disabled people are discriminated against.

We need to think about how to invest more in women with disabilities because we have so much potential and are capable of doing things. That’s why we formed FUWAVITA to make sure that women are included in different spheres – political, social and economic.

Aneth, Disability Rights Activist in Tanzania

What has changed?

We are a participatory grant-maker for disability justice. In 2023 we piloted participatory grant-making in Tanzania and Sudan. In 2024 we are running further pilots in every country where we work.

We are supporting lived-experience leadership. Building on our work supporting young leaders, we are establishing a global disability leadership academy to strengthen the leadership of those who are most overlooked for opportunities.

We are supporting collective action and movement-building by promoting collaboration and learning amongst individual disability rights organisations and leaders in each region.

We are transforming the way we work and our sector. We have made changes to ADD’s structure to prepare for our new approach. We want to lead by example and show others that a fairer way of working is possible. Find out more about this by reading our new strategy, Mtiririko.

Underpinning our change is a commitment to addressing the colonial roots of international development and tackling systemic racism. You can read more about our commitments to change here.

We are currently seeking funding to launch the leadership academy. 

The challenge.

“Power does not shift easily”, write our co-Chief Executive Transformation Officers, Fredrick Ouko and Mary Ann Clements, in an article for Alliance Magazine.

As part of our transformation we are committed to sharing openly about our experience – including the challenges – in the hope that it is useful to other organisations undergoing a similar change.

Funding Disability Activism.

In a blog for Bond, Fredrick Ouko outlines why a total rethink may be needed when it comes to resourcing disability activism. He outlines the challenges, and a way forward, from his unique position of having run a small organisation seeking funds, to being on the other side of the table as a grant-maker, and now the co-CEO of ADD.

“Lots of people will say this change is not possible, so I want to show them that it can be done. We must work out how to shift the narrative to make sure everyone is on board. It doesn’t matter how much money you put towards change if people are not interested in changing.

“I know this transformation is possible, and that every challenge we face will have a solution. I want to inspire others in the same way. Society is dynamic and we need to change and adapt continually if we are to realise a future free from injustices to disabled people globally.”

Back to our roots.

ADD International first started as a supporter and funder to disabled people and their organisations. We’re proud to get back to this way of working and honour this approach, reimagined for the world we live in today.

ADD International’s founder, Chris Underhill says:

“Disability is a revolutionary movement – about how disabled people can liberate themselves. Travelling in southern Africa I started to meet African disabled people who aspired to their own liberation, and that was the motivating force to start the organisation. The origin of the organisation was disabled people themselves.

“The key work was concretising the idea and raising money for it. The most important work was to help disabled people to create their own organisations and their local, nation and international representation. The other side was trying to raise money to support them.

“We wanted to shift the narrative from ‘charity’ and ‘gift giving’, which can be quite short term, to people being able to take charge of their own affairs.”

Get involved.

If you are interested in partnering with us on this transformation, we would love to hear from you.

Please contact our Sabina Basi, Director of Funding, Communications & Transformative Partnerships for more information at

find out more

disability justice

Our panel discussion on what it would take to see a thriving and equitable disability justice movement.


Find out more about our new strategy for Disability Justice.

activist stories

Hear from some of the amazing disability rights activists and organisation leaders we work with and support.