The WG-SS questions were originally developed for censuses and large population-based surveys.
The WG-SS was designed as a core set of questions for self- or proxy-reporting of functional limitations at the individual level. Although they were developed to be appropriate for administration as part of a census, the questions can be included in any existing data collection activity within a program-level monitoring and evaluation framework or can be incorporated into smaller-scale surveys that collect data at the individual level.
The WG-SS is designed to avoid some of the failures of earlier ways of operationalizing disability (e.g. using only one question or a screening question such as ‘Do you have a disability?’).
As they were developed for use in censuses, the questions are as succinct and straightforward as possible without compromising their effectivity in the disaggregation of outcome data, for example, access to education or employment by disability status. Disaggregation allows for the determination of whether persons with disability have achieved the same level of participation as those without a disability on the selected outcome indicators.
In order to monitor compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) or evaluate whether programs are including people with disabilities and meeting their needs, baseline data on disability status collected at the individual level and follow-up data are required. Conducting surveys that include the WG-SS at a minimum of two key points in a program (e.g. start and end) will provide valuable information on how people with disabilities have benefited from or been included in a program. These do not have to be large-scale surveys, which may be beyond the resources of a program. In many cases it will be possible to include the questions into the program’s usual data collection processes. Care should be taken to train enumerators to properly ask the questions. Sample sizes should be large enough so that information on the population with disabilities served by the program can be described.