Fourth meeting: Bangkok, 29 September – 1 October 2004

29/09/2004 - 01/10/2004


The fourth meeting of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics was held 29 September to 1 October in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting was organized in 7 sessions comprised of presentations of draft position papers followed by focused discussion addressing specific session objectives. Session outcomes included key agreements, products, and a work plan.


  • Present work on development of the general disability measure (workgroup 1).
  • Discuss the proposed plan for implementing the general disability measure (workgroup 2).
  • Discuss the proposed approach for development of extended measurement sets (workgroup 3).
  • Discuss methodological issues related to full population coverage.
  • Discuss strategic issues.


Agenda – Fourth Washington Group Meeting

Papers and Presentations

Session 1: Opening session

Objectives: To welcome meeting participants and to provide practical information; provide an update on the work of the WG and developments since the last meeting in Brussels, Belgium; and to review the objectives and agenda for this meeting.

Session 2: Proposal of draft set of general questions on disability (short form)

Objectives: To discuss the proposed approach in the context of the agreed purpose, criteria, and the relationship to the ICF; and to reach agreement on a set or sets of questions for pilot tests.

Session 3: Proposed method/s for implementing the general disability measure

Objectives: To determine key components of the plan for implementing the general disability measure including the development of procedures for pilot testing (delineate steps for pilot testing that can be used across countries).

Session 4: Proposed approach for development of extended measurement set/s

Objectives: To decide on the purpose/s of extended measurement set/s; identify other pertinent issues associated with fielding such questions (such as venue, individual country needs [i.e. war affected areas], complexity, characteristics of the set/s, whether to develop one or many set/s, international comparability, etc.); and to develop priorities for additional work to be accomplished.

Session 5: Discussion of methodological issues related to full population coverage

Objectives: To identify the impact of excluding the institutionalized population and children from disability surveys and discuss problems and approaches for covering the full population.

Session 6: Strategic issues

Objectives: To review country reports in order to identify potential venues and timing for pretesting; plan for use of World Bank Development Grant Facility funds for pre-testing and provision of technical assistance; and discuss governance issues.

Governance Issues


Four workgroups will address major next steps of the WG. Chairs have been identified for each workgroup. The chairs serve as the contact for each group. Information on the workgroup topics and chairs is provided below. WG members who wish to volunteer to participate in one of these groups, please contact the workgroup chairs.

  • Workgroup on General Measure/s
    Chair: Barbara Altman, USA. The group has generated a draft set of questions (short form) related to the purpose of assessing equalization of opportunities. Revised wording and documentation of an accompanying rationale statement are the main next steps for the group.
  • Workgroup on Implementation
    Chair: Joseph Muli-Kalavi, Kenya, International Development Project. This new group will work in conjunction with a consultant to develop six protocols necessary to effectively implement the general disability measure. The protocols include: 1) establishing objectives and an evaluation plan for cognitive and pilot testing; 2) establishing plans for report writing including tabulation and analysis; 3) establishing plans for cognitive testing; 4) translation; 5) enumerator training; and 6) sample design issues. Existing protocols will be used for reference.
  • Workgroup on Extended Measure/s
    Chair: Marijke de Kleijn, The Netherlands. The group will initiate development of the first extended set of measures on disability related to the purpose of equalization of opportunities. The extended set is intended as a module that will go into other existing national surveys. Justification for the extended set will be specified. The workgroup will identify indicators that will be used to demonstrate equalization of opportunities. Members of the workgroup will develop a paper examining the domains of participation and environment and how they relate to the proposed extended set.
  • Workgroup on Methodological Issues
    Chair: Howard Meltzer, United Kingdom. This new group will address the topic of full population coverage as well as other methodological issues including the effects of proxy and non-response, the effects of questionnaire administration mode, and harmonization of health and disability data using modern calibration techniques. The group will examine whether it is feasible to include populations often excluded from national surveys and whether the proposed questions on disability are relevant for these populations.

Executive Summary