DCDD is a coalition of people and organisations who work, or are involved in, development cooperation, disability organisations and service-provision organisations which have international ties. DCDD strives to be an 'activating' network of member organisations and other parties who work in, or are interested in, disability in connection with development cooperation. As well as a small office run by professional staff, DCDD has an extensive volunteer organisation with advisory committees and working groups. Over a period of 5 years DCDD has developed from a small volunteer working group comprised of a few inspired people to a large 'activating' network of 200 members.
DCDD's mission is to work for the inclusion and social participation of people with disabilities who live in situations of poverty and exclusion, from the perspective of human rights and solidarity. DCDD wants poverty reduction to have a demonstrable and structural effect on vulnerable groups of people, including people with disabilities. The guiding principle is that people with disabilities have equal opportunities for participating in social development and thus DCDD works from a human rights perspective. An important guideline is the UN Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for People with Disabilities, which will be replaced later this decade by a new UN Human Rights Convention on disability. Development policy works best using a twin-track approach: a focus on inclusiveness by mainstreaming, with demonstrable effects for people with disabilities, and a specific focus on people with disabilities in disadvantaged situations. Formulating policy should take place with the participation of, and substantial contribution from, people with disabilities.
DCDD's works through awareness-raising and advocacy. I provides information and education (brochures, newsletters, website), organises meetings and influences policies, as well as of its members as (international) governments.