Tag Archives: Financing for Development

Persons with disabilities included in financing for development outcome document

The 2018 Financing for Development (FfD) Forum is currently taking place this week (23-26 April) at the UN Headquarters in New York focusing on the financing of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Forum is structured with a ministerial session on the first two days and an expert session during the final two days.

Unlike former Forums, persons with disabilities have been strongly included in this year’s Forum as a result of long-term advocacy. The first presentation in the opening session of the Forum, the President of the Economic and Social Council, Marie Chatardová said that financing for development needs to be accessible and to leave no one behind, including for persons with disabilities.

Additionally, the Forum’s inter-governmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations are inclusive with three explicit references to persons with disabilities – for the first time! This outcome document is important as it feeds into the overall follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The references are found in paragraphs 15, 27, and 30 highlighting gaps in financial inclusion; the need to strengthen education, employment, and social protection policies; and efforts to collect, analyse and disseminate disaggregated data for persons with disabilities. Exact language is below.

“We recognize recent progress in financial inclusion, but note that gaps still remain for women, people in rural and remote areas, elderly people, youth, migrants, forcibly displaced persons and people with disabilities, as well as for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and businesses and enterprises in the social and solidarity economy operating in both formal and informal sectors” (para 15).

Science, technology, innovation and capacity-building: “We will support lifelong learning and skill acquisition for all, including entrepreneurial skills, adapt and strengthen employment, decent work and social protection policies and measures for all, as appropriate, and make efforts to address continued gender disparities and enhance inclusion of people in vulnerable situations, including for young people and persons with disabilities” (para 27).

Data, monitoring and follow-up: “We will strengthen our efforts to collect, analyse and disseminate data, disaggregated by sex, age, disability and other characteristics relevant in national contexts, including at the national, subnational and local levels, and gender statistics to improve policy design and implementation with regards to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls” (para 30).

It is very positive that persons with disabilities are included in the FfD outcome document, although the document lacks solutions on how to address these gaps. As a way forward, we need to focus on practical solutions on addressing these gaps, particularly at the national level, focusing on a full, participatory, and human rights approach.


Data and technology and persons with disabilities

Last week I posted a blog over the update on the Financing for Development (FfD) process for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Since then the draft Inter-Agency Task Force on FfD (IATF) full report and key messages and recommendations were released and include references to persons with disabilities. References are found in the sections on data and technology, and positively the references are included in the more concise key messages and recommendations document that is more user friendly. Continue reading for details on the references and other points of interest.


In technology: “Women and girls, people with disabilities, older persons, indigenous peoples and people living in rural areas may face additional barriers in accessing and using technology” (p. 28 / p. 186). In new and emerging technologies and the SDGs “assistive technologies for people with disabilities” is listed as a crucial emerging technology for the SDGs until 2030 (p. 188)

In the related recommendations, marginalized groups are highlighted, which includes persons with disabilities:

  • “…the significant increase in self-employment and new forms of employment calls for adapted and strengthened employment and social protection policies. To address continued gender disparities and enhance inclusion of marginalized groups, such policies should emphasize the equitable participation of women and all social groups in decent jobs” (p. 186).
  • “There are also ethical, socio-economic and human rights questions that have to be carefully considered in the context of new technologies…More diversity in computer science, and greater priority for girls and marginalized groups in STEM education, can help address these concerns” (p. 189).

Data Disaggregation

In data disaggregation: “The range and depth of data demands to fully implement the monitoring frameworks for the SDGs and financing for development outcomes are unprecedented. The framework requires data disaggregated by income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, migration status, disability, geographic location, and other nationally relevant characteristics to cover all population groups and leave no one uncounted” (p. 29 / p. 204).

Additionally, disability is indirectly included under the section on data, monitoring and follow-up in the following areas:

  • The Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data is included (p. 205), which includes disability statistics.
  • The section over the SDG Indicator Framework emphasizes that the “indicator framework is fully implemented so that all goals and targets are appropriately reviewed and no individual or group are left behind” (p. 206).

The IATF report in part feeds into the Financing for Development Forum outcome document, thus is important to influence. Assessing the first informal meeting among Member States engaging in the FfD Forum negotiations (2 March), it is clear that most Member States consider the IATF report as an integral part of the FfD Forum process. Moreover, it is evident that data and technology are key areas for persons with disabilities in the FfD process.

Be sure to stay tuned for more updates as we continue to get into the swing of the FfD.

Additional information:

2018 FfD Forum

Financing for development update

The following are updates on the Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development (IATF) and the Financing for Development Forum

Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development (IATF)

On Friday 23 February, there was a public dialogue at the UN on the preparation of the IATF report. An advanced unedited report will be posted on the IATF website this week and click here for preliminary findings.

The report is broken into sections, including: (1) global context, (2) thematic chapter, (3a) domestic public finance, (3b) domestic and international private business and finance, (3c) international development cooperation, (3d) international trade as an engine for development, (3e) debt and debt sustainability, (3f) addressing systematic issues, (3g) science, technology, innovation and capacity-building, (4) data, monitoring and follow-up.

The report in part feeds into the FfD Forum outcome document and thus is important to influence.

Financing for Development Forum

The third Financing for Development Forum will take place 23-26 April at the United Nations Headquarters. The co-chairs have been appointed and are from Jamaica and Portugal. Click here for the tentative program.

New this year is the SDG Investment Fair, which will take place on 22 April in New York. The SDGI Fair will provide a platform for direct interaction between 100-150 participants representing governments from developing countries, private sector investors, financial intermediaries, and other relevant stakeholders.

The FfD process is important and unique as it is open ended, unlike the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that ends in 2030. Moreover, the FfD Forum is not purely a UN meeting, but also includes non-UN entities, including the Bretton Woods institutions, WTO and UNCTAD indicating a shared space for collaboration with UN and non-UN organizations and institutions.

Click here for more information

Financing for Development: ensuring the inclusion and participation of those furthest behind

The ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up (FfD Forum) concluded today with 20 ministers, UN and non-UN entities, as well as civil society and business sectors in attendance during the week.

The four-day Forum contained a two-day ministerial segment followed by a two-day expert segment. The FfD Forum resulted in inter-governmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations that will feed into the overall follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The outcome document was adopted on 23 May and includes leave-no-one-behind language, specifically “We recommit to ensuring that no country or person is left behind and to focusing our efforts where the challenges are greatest, including by ensuring the inclusion and participation of those who are furthest behind (para 3)” and “We reaffirm that achieving gender equality, empowering all women and girls” (para 5). These important principles are central to our work in CBM of reaching the most marginalized and empowering women and girls with disabilities to create a more inclusive society.

Additionally, the IATF Report was officially launched during the Forum. Fifty agencies participate in the Report, which is very global in nature and extends beyond the UN, including inputs from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. It is the major input into the FfD Forum, although other inputs are also included. The 2017 Report contains 9 references to persons with disabilities, including a reference to the Washington Group on Disability Statistics. For details, take a look at the 2017 IATF Report.

The theme of leave no one behind, especially the most often left behind, was highlighted throughout the Forum from UN DESA, UNDP, the EU and many more presenters. Germany explicitly included persons with disabilities in their intervention and highlighted that women, children, and persons with disabilities are the most affected groups in terms of inequalities in financing for development, and emphasized the importance of disaggregation of data by disability in financing for development to adequately address inequalities.

Additionally, as a positive outcome of broad civil society collaboration, the CSO FfD Group included accessibility and persons with disabilities in their intervention on inequality and growth and again in the session devoted to the country statements after the adoption of the FfD Outcome Document. Furthermore, persons with disabilities were included various times in the stakeholder dialogue, as well as in many side events.

Alt="Three members of the CSO Financing for Development Group at the Forum"

Three members of the CSO Financing for Development Group at the Forum

During the compelling side event focused on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Development Finance, Bruno Rios from the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN highlighted that women and girls with disabilities are a priority for Mexico and furthermore gave the example of the Marrakesh Treaty as a successful example of collaboration between Member States, public and private sectors to jointly set standards for accessible documents for people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.

The Way Forward

The IATF on financing for development will issue the unedited version of its 2018 report no later than the end of February 2018, to be updated with the latest data upon its release, in order to facilitate the timely preparation of the draft conclusions and recommendations.

The third ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up will convene from 23 to 26 April 2018 in New York, and will include the special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions, World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Next year’s modalities will be the same modalities that applied to this year’s Forum.

We will continue to be active in the CSO Financing for Development (FfD) Group. Keep tuned for the future FfD process.


Additional Information

Read here and here for more details on the Forum, here for information on FfD processes, and additional information can be found in the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities Position Paper for 2017 Financing for Development Forum.