One Billion Voices Project Tapped as Top 100 Proposal for $100 Million MacArthur Grant

Selvin and Victoria Tuil weigh tomatoes for a customer in their shop.

For immediate release


February 20, 2020—Arlington, VA—The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today announced the One Billion Voices Project as one of the Top 100 proposals in its 100&Change competition. The project is an initiative by the Consortium for Building Inclusive Societies (CBIS), co-founded by Trickle Up, which aims to strengthen and expand advocacy networks and collaborate with governments to build inclusive societies that empower disabled people to lead transformational change themselves. The $100 million prize will fund a project that helps to solve one of the world’s most pressing social challenges.


“Our selection is important recognition that disability rights are essential to solving the world’s most critical social challenges,” said international disability rights advocate and CBIS member Judith Heumann in a release by Management Sciences for Health, another member. “Our consortium members bring first-hand experience and proven expertise in advancing the rights of disabled people, who are the world’s largest minority and routinely face discrimination, marginalization, poverty, and abuse. Together, we will break down barriers and build more inclusive and equitable societies.”


For more than 40 years, Trickle Up has championed economic opportunity for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. People with disabilities are vastly over-represented among those living in extreme poverty and least likely to benefit from existing development programs. That’s why, since 2005, Trickle Up has been adapting our economic development program to meet the specific needs of people with disabilities. Together with Mobility International USA and other disabled peoples organizations, Trickle Up has designed and implemented disability-inclusive projects across Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Mali, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Paraguay that have reached thousands of people and modeled an effective approach for reaching many millions more.


To share our experience, Trickle Up published Disability, Poverty, and Livelihoods in 2014 with funding from USAID to help other economic development organizations build programs that are more inclusive. Trickle Up’s commitment to inclusion enabled us to receive the Disability Inclusion Award from InterAction, a network of US-based poverty organizations, in 2009 and again in 2014, making Trickle Up the first organization to win the award and the only organization to receive the honor twice.


Read more about Trickle Up’s work with people with disabilities.