Disability Disaggregation and the SDGs

The seventh meeting of the UN’s expert group on SDG indicators (IAEG-SDGs) was held in Vienna from 9-12 April.

We are very pleased that our long-term advocacy on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the global indicator framework process is producing positive outcomes. One outcome is that the structure of this meeting improved to be more inclusive of stakeholders. Changing from previous sessions, there was only one day of closed sessions with the following three days open to all countries, international and regional agencies and entities, and other stakeholders. Additionally, stakeholders could make interventions in each session during these three days.

The meeting focused on several topics. The most pertinent for persons with disabilities and our advocacy were the (1) discussion on progress made on the work stream on data disaggregation and (2) experiences on implementing monitoring of the SDGs. Also, new and updated documents were shared. Relevant for persons with disabilities, we are quite pleased that the Working Document “Overview of standards for data disaggregation” included all the inputs from the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities, which includes the Priority List of Indicators that should be Disaggregated by Disability.

The session on data disaggregation was quite inclusive of persons with disabilities. OHCHR presented during the session and included disaggregation by disability and also referenced CRPD Article 31 on statistics and data collection. Click here for the full presentation. In addition, UN Women mentioned that the Washington Group was a good tool for data collection. Most impressive was that UNICEF presented specifically on disability disaggregation focusing much on the recent disability data disaggregation meeting in New York with UN Agencies, IDDC, IDA, and others. You can see some of the presentation slides here. The priority list of SDG indicators, again, was included. Click here for the full presentation.

Later in the meeting, disability data was mentioned again by UN Women and also by the National Statistical Office (NSO) from Egypt on SDG data that they are collecting.

Although this is very positive, there is an underlying trend that disability data is not being collected by NSOs for SDG monitoring. Furthermore, connections between global and national processes need to be strengthened.

What can we do? Suggestions are to:

  • continue to monitor and engage with the global process (the 8th IAEG-SDGs meeting will be held in November 2018);
  • build capacity of DPOs at the national level to engage in data advocacy; and
  • focus on data projects at the national level that are framed around SDG indicators with the engagement of NSOs, UN Country Teams, and DPOs.