Tag Archives: SDGs

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.

 

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.

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.

Technology

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