UN Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations (UN) has developed a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be used for monitoring the success of development activities in the post-2015 era. A key principle of the SDGs is that “no one be left behind.” In that spirit, the preamble to the SDGs states that indicators, where appropriate, be disaggregated by disability and other characteristics linked to vulnerability and poorer outcomes.
The SDGs contain:
- 7 targets specifically mentioning persons with disabilities (education, accessible schools, employment, accessible public spaces and transport, empowerment and inclusion, data disaggregation)
- 10+ universal targets & 8 targets for vulnerable persons
For many of the SDG targets there is need or urgent action for inclusion of persons with disabilities (poverty, social protection, health coverage, violence against women, sexual and reproductive health, access to water and sanitation, resilience to disasters, birth registration).
The WG short set of questions were developed to collect internationally comparable data on disability based on the WHO ICF model to fulfil the monitoring requirements established by the SDGs and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Using the WG to Monitor the SDGs
Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) mandates that ratifying States Parties “collect appropriate information, including statistical and research data, to enable them to formulate and implement policies to give effect to the present Convention”.
For countries to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals, there is an urgent need for countries to strengthen their capacity to collect, analyse, understand, use and disseminate data on persons with disabilities in a manner that is accurate and comparable across different settings, countries, and populations.
The 2014 United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Disability Data and Statistics, Monitoring and Evaluation recommended that the use of the WG Short Set for evaluating the post-2015 development agenda and for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals.
Evaluating Current Capacity to Disaggregate SDGs by Disability
There have been some concerns about whether the information needed to meet these post-2015 goals can be successfully collected and disaggregated by disability. To address this issue, the WG is currently tracking the capability of national statistical agencies to produce such disaggregation and to identify those indicators for which there are the most serious gaps.
The results from this activity have been compiled in a report on the current feasibility for disaggregating the SDGs. Report of Ability of Countries to Disaggregate SDG Indicators by Disability (pdf)
UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disability
The WG short set of questions were developed to collect internationally comparable data based on the The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health model to fulfil the monitoring requirements established by the CRPD.
The WG chose to develop questions that would address a specific aspect of the disablement process, the issue of whether persons with disability participate to the same extent as persons without disabilities in activities such as education, employment or family/civic life, in other words, the equalization of opportunities; which is one of the general principles listed in Article 3 of the Convention and the focus of Article 5 (Equality and Non-discrimination).
In order to address the equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities, it is necessary to identify persons who are at greater risk than the general population of experiencing limited participation in society.
The recommended Short Set of Questions will identify the majority of the population with difficulties in functioning in basic actions; difficulties that have the potential to limit independent living or social integration if appropriate accommodation is not made.
The WG Short Set of Six Questions, when incorporated in censuses or surveys, can provide baseline information that can fulfil the requirements for monitoring.
By standardizing these questions, it will be possible to provide comparable data cross-nationally for populations living in a variety of cultures with varying economic resources; comparable data that can be used to assess a country’s compliance with the UN Convention and over time, their improvement in meeting the requirements set out under the Convention. To this end, the current set of six questions can provide crucial information necessary to the task of monitoring the Convention.
The Incheon Strategy
The Incheon Strategy is based on the CRPD and was agreed upon by The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) countries in November 2012. It is comprised of 10 goals that will help realise the CRPD as well as 27 targets and 62 indicators to help guide and monitor the implementation of the strategy.
There will be a regional meeting in 2017 for the first reporting of indicators. These indicators were determined by ESCAP countries at a meeting in Incheon, South Korea.
ESCAP have published a guide on how to operationalise the indicators.