Past WG Annual Meetings
Past Annual Meetings of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics
To date, 20 annual meetings have been held by the WG:
WG Meeting Summaries:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person meeting scheduled to be hosted by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics was postponed. In lieu of the in-person meeting, a shortened virtual meeting, organized by the WG Secretariat (WGS) and Steering Committee, was held via Zoom. To account for regional time differences, the WG 21 was divided into two session tracks: one to accommodate participants from the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East and another for participants from countries in the Asia and Pacific regions. Approximately 120 participants from over 50 countries representing national statistics offices, ministries of health, academia, international and non-government organizations, and organizations representing persons with disabilities attended the two session tracks combined. The meeting was conducted in English and included interpretation in French.
The objectives of WG-21 were:
- To share what has been accomplished since the May 2021 mid-year meeting and present plans for the year to come.
- To provide feedback to the workgroups and regional groups on their accomplishments and their workplans and discuss next steps.
- To learn about applications of the WG tools in different contexts by WG partners.
- To share experiences on disability data collection in administrative records and plans for the 2020 census round.
The key outcomes of the meeting include:
- To share the psychosocial test questions
- To send examples of questions on transportation to the Environment and Participation work group
- To finalize the development of a guidance document on age-adjustment
- To continue to facilitate spaces to share experiences on the CFM-TV
- To develop guidance on the evaluation of CFM-TV
- To determine the role of WG in disability survey development including the formation of a work group on disability surveys
- To determine the role of WG in addressing the use of WG tools in humanitarian contexts and disasters including the development of a guidance document on use of WG tools in these contexts
- To continue to make progress in advancing the plans of the regional work groups
To account for regional time differences, the meeting was divided into two session tracks: one to accommodate participants from the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East and another for participants from countries in the Asia and Pacific regions. Approximately 120 participants from over 50 countries representing national statistics offices, ministries of health, academia, international and non-government organizations, and organizations representing persons with disabilities attended the two session tracks combined.
Objectives for WG-20 were to:
- Launch and obtain feedback on the newly redesigned WG website
- Provide an update on country data collection activities related to COVID-19 and disability
- Seek consensus on analytic guidelines for developing severity indicators using the WG questions and identify countries with data to replicate the analyses
- Seek consensus on standard templates for reporting results based on the WG questions and identify countries with data to produce country reports
- Seek consensus on draft terms of reference for the Environment and Participation workgroup
- Review the development of measures of psychosocial functioning and agree on next steps
- Discuss next steps for establishing regional disability groups
The key outcomes of the meeting include:
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Analysis and Dissemination with a focus on identifying countries with data to replicate the analysis to develop severity and domain specific disability indicators and the standard reports based on data collected using the WG tools
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Child Functioning with a focus on plans for further testing of the Module for Inclusive Education and Child Functioning Module – Teachers Version
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Psychosocial Functioning and Mental Health with a focus on plans for further cognitive and eventual field testing of the module
- The continuation of the Workgroup on the Environmental Factors and Participation
- The continuation of the work to establish regional entities to collaborate on implementation activities and share best practices for the collection of disability data at the regional level
WG-19 was hosted by the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC) of Argentina.
The meeting was attended by 82 persons, representing over 24 countries as well as representatives from several international, regional and non-governmental organizations.
Webinar: Review and Outcomes of the 19th Annual Meeting of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics available here.
Objectives for WG-19 were to:
- Seek consensus on Analysis Workgroup work-plan: creating a Disability Severity Indicator;
- Seek consensus for Data Dissemination templates;
- Discuss next steps in finalizing the Inclusive Education Module and further work on the Child Functioning Module Teacher’s Version (CFM-TV);
- Endorse the use of the WG-SS and disability modules in ongoing Labor Force Surveys;
- Agree on next steps in finalizing translations;
- Agree on next steps in the development of measures of psychosocial functioning;
- Seek consensus on how/whether to move forward with use of administrative systems for disability data collection;
- Seek consensus on how/whether to move forward in other areas of the environment and participation; and
- Discuss the way forward: regional implementation workshops and regional capacity building/ collaborations
The key outcomes of the meeting include:
- The endorsement of the WG/ILO disability module for use in labor force surveys
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Analysis with a focus developing a disability severity indicator and standard templates for disseminating data collected using the WG questions.
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Child Functioning with a focus on plans for further testing of the Teacher Version of the Child Functioning Module and Module for Inclusive Education
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Psychosocial Functioning and Mental Health with a focus on expanding the cognitive testing of proposed questions and finalizing the scoping report
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Administrative Data (if there is interest and participation from the WG membership)
- The re-establishment of the Workgroup on Environment and Participation (if there is interest and participation from the WG membership)
Webinar: Review and Outcomes of the 18th Annual Meeting of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics available here
WG-18 was co-hosted by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Bank.
The meeting was attended by 97 participants, representing over 52 countries as well as representatives from several international, regional and non-governmental organizations.
The key outcomes of the meeting include:
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Analysis with a focus on more general analytic topics
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Child Functioning with a focus on plans for further testing of the Module for Inclusive Education
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Psychosocial Functioning and Mental Health
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Inclusive Employment (Labor Force) with a focus on plans for further cognitive and eventual field testing of the module
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Administrative Data
There were also discussions on establishing several new workgroups focusing on the following topic areas:
- WG Website Updates & Enhancements
- Data Dissemination
- Humanitarian Uses & Experiences
- Built Environment & Participation
WG-17 was co-hosted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The meeting was attended by 60 participants, representing over 20 countries. One of the key outcomes of the meeting was the announcement of a joint statement issued by the Washington Group and United Nations Statistics Division reaffirming the commitment of both groups to collaborate closely and effectively to achieve further improvements in disability statistics.
Other key outcomes include:
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Analysis (formerly the Workgroup on the Analysis of the Extended Set on Functioning) with a focus on more general analytic topics
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Child Functioning with a focus on plans for further testing of the Inclusive Education Module
- The continuation of the Workgroup on Psychosocial Functioning (formerly the Workgroup on Mental Health)
- The continuation of Workgroup on Inclusive Employment (Labor Force) with a focus on plans for further cognitive and eventual field testing of the module
- The establishment of a workgroup on the use of administrative systems for the collection of disability information
- The approval of work plan and discussion of preparations for the 18th WG meeting
WG-16 was hosted by Statistics South Africa and attended by 65 persons.
The formal WG meeting was preceded by two pre-meeting sessions, including :
- a brief orientation for new WG members providing background on the history and the development of the WG’s data collection tools
- a session directed to representatives from national statistical offices (NSOs) during which issues related to the implementation of the WG questions and the analysis of the resulting data will be discussed. NSOs currently planning or embarking on data collection or analyses are encouraged to attend to share experiences or seek more directed guidance.
The meeting sessions included:
- a review and the approval of guidelines for analyzing data obtained using the WG Extended Set of disability questions on Functioning (WG ES-F)
- the adoption of the final version of the WG/UNICEF Child Functioning Module (CFM)
- a discussion of the further development of modules on barriers and facilitators to school participation (children) and to employment (adults)
- a discussion of issues pertaining to measuring mental health
- special sessions devoted to the use of WG tools for disaggregation of the Sustainable Development Goals by disability status, and Disability Measurement in Africa
- Provide an update on the analysis of the WG short and extended sets of questions and approve guidelines for analyzing data obtained from the WG extended set on functioning (ES-F)
- Present additional work on the UNICEF/WG Module on Child Functioning and Disability
- Review progress in the development of module on inclusive education
- Present work on the development of disability modules on labor force surveys
- Review progress in developing an extended set of questions on environmental factors and participation
- Present progress in work on measures specific to mental health
- Review recent international activities in disability statistics, including the use of outcome indicators for monitoring the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and attainment of the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Approve work plan
Read more about the Fifteenth meeting
- Final results from the analysis of data provided by countries using the WG short set in recent national data collections (censuses and surveys) showed that although countries continue to report disparate disability prevalence rates; with some exceptions, those that use the WG as intended, using a cut-off of least one domain that is coded as a lot of difficulty or cannot do it at all, have reported disability prevalence rates that are comparable – in the range 7 – 10%. Using 2010 and 2011 NHIS data, algorithms for combining multiple domain questions into single domain indicators of disability and developing standards for determination of cut-points using the WG extended set of questions on functioning (ES-F) were presented. A small workgroup was formed to finalize the analysis. The WG/UNICEF workgroup on disability among children and inclusive education and the workgroup on mental health presented the work accomplished in the previous. Two representatives from the Saudi Disability Registry Group (SDRG) presented on their experience developing a national disability registry. The delegates agreed that the workgroup should continue its efforts and provide a status update at the next meeting.
- Results from the continued analysis of data provided by countries using the WG Short Set in recent national data collections (censuses and surveys) and analyses using data from the 2010 and 2011 US NHIS addressing how best to combine information from several questions per domain on the WG extended set on functioning and develop standards for determination of cut-points were presented. The WG/UNICEF workgroup on the development of specific question modules designed to measure disability among children presented the results of cognitive testing that was completed in Oman, Belize, India, Montenegro and USA and the revised Module on Child Functioning and Disability. The presentation on whether and how issues related to mental health could be incorporated into the work of the WG resulted in the creation of a workgroup to further address this. Interest was also expressed in having the WG look into the use of data registers in the compilation of disability statistics.
- Results from further analysis of data provided by countries using the WG Short Set in recent national data collections (censuses and surveys) were presented. Using data from the 2011 NHIS, results from further analysis of the WG extended set of questions on functioning (ES-F) were also presented. Representatives from NCHS provided a presentation focusing on the use of a mixed-method approach to assess validity and cross-subgroup comparability. Results from the 2010 NHIS using the ES-F questions related to pain were presented. The workgroup investigating environmental factors and participation provided an update on their work. The workgroup (in collaboration with UNICEF) on the development of specific question modules designed to measure disability among children presented a review of the conceptual framework for question development and a proposed set of questions. An update on the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) was presented on behalf of UNICEF, as well as, a presentation by a representative from ADAPT (formerly the Spastics Society of India) on the cognitive testing of the module on child functioning and disability in India.
- The Washington Group began to monitor the use the WG Short Set in national data collections (censuses and surveys). Preliminary analyses of data provided by countries using the WG Short Set were presented. Preliminary findings from analyses of the WG extended set of questions on functioning using data obtained from the US National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) were also presented at the meeting. The children’s workgroup presented a well-received proposal for the development of the extended set for children including a conceptual framework and examples of how the framework could be operationalized. A formal collaboration was arranged between the Washington Group and UNICEF to work on the development of specific question modules designed to measure disability among children. The workgroup investigating environmental factors also presented their work consisting of a conceptual framework and related questions sets.
- The 10th meeting of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG) was held in conjunction with the Budapest Initiative Task Force on Measuring Health Status (BI). The primary focus of the meeting was to review results obtained from the 2010 round of cognitive and field testing of the extended set of disability questions that took place in Europe (Granada Group) and South-East Asia (UN ESCAP). In collaboration with the BI, a final version of a question set on health state (a subset of the extended set on functioning) was submitted to Eurostat for inclusion on the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS). It was determined that the workgroups were ready to begin developing question sets designed to measure disability for children and environmental factors.
- The primary focus of the 9th meeting was the presentation and discussion of results from the cognitive tests and preliminary field tests results in South-East Asia. Preliminary results from the field tests in two of the participating UN ESCAP countries (Maldives and Sri Lanka) were presented. The overall conclusion was that further analysis of the field test data was required before a final decision could be made regarding the extended set of questions. It was concluded that it was beyond the scope of the WG to address the issue of dealing with institutionalized populations at that time. Two workgroups were constituted to look more closely at the measurement of child disability and the development of a set of questions on environmental factors as they relate to the measurement of disability. It was strongly recommended by the delegates, particularly those from African countries, that projects similar to the one funded by UN ESCAP in the Asia and Pacific region, also be established in other regions.
- Work on the extended set continued by expanding upon the set of domains already covered in the short set, and adding supplementary questions within domains (cause, age at onset, duration). Development of the extended set/s was to be done in collaboration with the Budapest Initiative, Eurostat, and UN ESCAP. Methodological issues were raised during the 8th meeting concerning the development of questions for children and institutionalized populations and the use of proxy respondents. WG representatives from Canada and France volunteered to look at the work being done in the areas of children and institutionalized populations.
- The work group on the short set addressed the use of the short set as a screener and presented an alternative (optional) question on upper body function. The combined work group on data analysis and methodological issues provided further analyses of the pre-test data presented at the 6th meeting. A large part of the 7th meeting was dedicated to a discussion of work being done on the extended set of disability questions for surveys and survey modules. The extended set work group would coordinate its work with the work of the Budapest Initiative, Eurostat, and UN ESCAP.
- Based on the outcomes of the pre-tests, the WG endorsed the six question set for use in censuses. The set comprises questions on four core functional domains (seeing, hearing, walking, and cognition) as well as two additional domains desired by member countries (self-care and communication). The methodological work group and the data analysis work group merged to continue the detailed analysis of the pre-test data. The work group on extended measures was charged with drafting a position paper on the first extended set.
- Revisions were suggested for the short measurement set, the accompanying rationale, and the implementation protocols. A new work group was formed to plan and implement analyses of the WG pre-tests. All results pertaining to the six WG questions will be considered by the new work group including the WG sponsored pre-tests, the WHO/ESCAP test, and other testing activities.
- Agreement was reached on the following: Conceptual agreement on a draft set of questions for the general disability measure, but wording revisions were required prior to pre-testing; a new workgroup operating in conjunction with a consultant to develop six implementation protocols for pre-testing the short set of disability measures was formed; agreement to start development of the first extended measurement set was reached; and a new workgroup on methodological issues was formed.
- Since disability is multidimensional, it is not possible to ascertain the single “true” disabled population. Different purposes are related to different dimensions of disability or different conceptual components of disability models. Equalization of opportunities was selected as the purpose for which an internationally comparable short disability measure would be developed. A work group was designated to generate a draft set of questions related to this purpose. In addition, two other work groups were formed to propose methods for implementing the short set and to propose an approach for developing extended measurement sets related to the short set. Finally, a plan for WG governance was adopted.
- A link was established between the purpose/s of a short measure on disability and aspects of measurement. A conceptual matrix was developed linking the purpose of a short disability measure with conceptual definitions and question characteristics. An empirical matrix was developed evaluating the characteristics of short set(s) of disability measures currently in use according to the dimensions of the conceptual matrix. Both matrices helped the WG to identify gaps in disability measurement.
- Agreement was reached on the following: 1) it is important and possible to craft a short set/s of internationally comparable disability measures; 2) short and long set(s) of measures that are inter-related are needed; 3) the ICF model will be used as a framework in developing disability measures; and 4) census questions are the first priority.