Tag Archives: Sustainable Development Goals

Global indicator framework as starting point for global follow-up and review of 2030 Agenda

The the 47th Session of the United Nations Statistical Commission took place on 8-11 March at the United Nations in New York. On Friday, 11 March the Statistical Commission agreed that the global SDG indicator framework would be a practical starting point for global follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development subject to future technical refinement. This was a “decision,” not an “adoption” of the resolution to accompany the Report of the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators.

A positive aspect of the resolution is that an expert working group will be established to work on disaggregation of data that was proposed by the United Kingdom and publicly supported by New Zealand. Specifically, the Statistical Commission “Agreed that improving data disaggregation is fundamental for the full implementation of the indicator framework and to fully reflect the principles of the 2030 Agenda to ensure that no one should be left behind and stressed that efforts should be made to strengthen national capacities in this area and to develop the necessary statistical standards and tools, including by establishing a working group to work on data disaggregation (m).” To have a group focused on disaggregation of data is particularly important for all marginalized groups, including persons with disabilities.

The resolution also includes some concerning aspects for civil society and stakeholders, such as:

  • Very little support for civil society involvement and participation in the global indicator process
  • That data only be collected by National Statistical Offices (i.e. excluding data from NGOs)
  • Strong emphasis on national ownership, meaning that each country develops its own data according to its national context and that not all global indicators proposed are applicable to all national contexts (This means that persons with disabilities risk being left out of the process.)
  • The strong need for capacity building, particularly to provide money for developing countries to carry out data collection.

Next Steps

  • The Statistical Commission will submit the initial global SDG indicator framework to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the General Assembly for further debate and to put forth for adoption.
  • The global SDG indicators likely will not be changed significantly, including all 11 references to persons with disabilities, however it was expressed that the indicators need further work and are a “living” document that will continually need to be refined and improved over time.
  • The IAEG-SDGs group will continue to work and will report back to the Statistical Commission at next year’s session on progress made in developing and improving the global indicators, especially on plans to develop methodologies for indicators for which an internationally agreed methodology has not yet been developed (f). The IAEG-SDGs next meeting will take place 30 March to 1 April in Mexico City and CBM’s partner and disability rights activist from Peru, Madezha Cépeda, will be attending to advocate for the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Additional points of interest

  • Wasmilia Bivar of Brazil was appointed as the new chair of the Statistical Commission.
  • The United Kingdom stated during the session that global indicator 3.8.2 needs improvement, which is in line with our IDA and IDDC response to the IAEG-SDGs report in which we asked “To revert indicator 3.8.2 to ‘Fraction of the population protected against catastrophic/impoverishing out-of-pocket health expenditure’ that was proposed by the World Bank and the World Health Organization.”
  • Details are not clear yet, but it is expected that additional indicators for regional, national and sub-national monitoring will be developed at the regional and national levels.

Additional Resources

IDA and IDDC Response to the Report of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators

The Sustainable Development Goal Indicators Website

UN Statistical Commission


Update on the revised global SDG indicators

The revised IAEG-SDGs global indicators report was just released with a revised and “Final list of proposed Sustainable Development Goal indicators” (Annex IV). In the updated version, two more explicit references to persons with disabilities have been included (11.7.2 and 16.7.2). Currently there are a total of 11 explicit references to persons with disabilities in the proposed global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators in the areas of poverty eradication, education (2), employment (2), reducing inequalities, sustainable and inclusive cities (3), and peaceful and inclusive societies (2). Please continue reading below for details on the specific references.

Additionally, the chapeau includes “Sustainable Development Goal indicators should be disaggregated, where relevant, by income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability and geographic location, or other characteristics, in accordance with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics (General Assembly resolution 68/261).”

  1. Poverty eradication: Indicator 1.3.1 Percentage of the population covered by social protection floors/systems disaggregated by sex, and distinguishing children, unemployed, old age, “persons with disabilities,” pregnant women/newborns, work injury victims, poor and vulnerable
  2. Education: Indicator 4.5.1 Parity indices (female/male, rural/urban, bottom/top wealth quintile and others such as “disability” status, indigenous people and conflict-affected as data become available) for all indicators on this list that can be disaggregated
  3. Education: Indicator 4.a.1 Percentage of schools with access to (i) electricity; (ii) Internet for pedagogical purposes; (iii) computers for pedagogical purposes; (iv) “adapted infrastructure and materials for students with disabilities;” (v) single-sex basic sanitation facilities; (vi) basic handwashing facilities (as per the WASH indicator definitions)
  4. Employment: Indicator 8.5.1 Average hourly earnings of female and male employees by occupation, by age group and “persons with disabilities”
  5. Employment: Indicator 8.5.2 Unemployment rate, by sex, age group and “persons with disabilities”
  6. Reducing inequalities: Indicator 10.2.1 Proportion of people living below 50 per cent of median income, disaggregated by age group, sex and “persons with disabilities”
  7. Sustainable and Inclusive cities: Indicator 11.2.1 Proportion of the population that has convenient access to public transport, disaggregated by age group, sex and “persons with disabilities”
  8. Sustainable and Inclusive cities: Indicator 11.7.1 The average share of the built-up area of cities that is open space for public use for all, disaggregated by age group, sex and “persons with disabilities
  9. Sustainable and Inclusive cities: Indicator7.2 Proportion of persons victim of physical or sexual harassment, by sex, age, “disability status” and place of occurrence, in the previous 12 months
  10. Peaceful and Inclusive Societies: Indicator 16.7.1 Proportions of positions (by age group, sex, “persons with disabilities” and population groups) in public institutions (national and local legislatures, public service, and judiciary) compared to national distributions
  11. Peaceful and Inclusive Societies: Indicator 16.7.2 Proportion of population who believe decision-making is inclusive and responsive, by sex, age, “disability” and population group

For the SDG indicators related to disaster risk reduction (1.5.1, 1.5.2, 1.5.3, 11.5.1, 11.5.2, 13.1.1, 13.1.2) “An open-ended intergovernmental expert working group on indicators and terminology relating to disaster risk reduction established by the UN General Assembly (A/RES/69/284) is developing a set of indicators to measure global progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework. These indicators will eventually reflect the agreements on the Sendai Framework indicators.” Thus, there is a move for coherence between the two concurrent indicator processes.

Eleven explicit references to persons with disabilities in the proposed global SDG indicators is a positive step toward ensuring that no one is left behind, yet myriad gaps remain. Persons with disabilities are excluded from many relevant targets that significantly impact the lives of persons with disabilities. Therefore, it is imperative that disaggregation of data by disability status needs to be included in the following areas:

  • End poverty
  • Access to health
  • Sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Access to ICT
  • Violence against women
  • Impact of disasters
  • Access to water and sanitation

Also extremely important is that linkages are put in place between the global SDG indicators and the national and regional indicators being developed.

Stay tuned for more developments and updates.

Upcoming Meetings

8-11 March: 47th session of the UN Statistical Commission at the UN HQ in NY

30 March- 1 April: Third meeting of the IAEG-SDGs in Mexico City, and the Provisional Agenda


Open Working Group Session 10: The Way Forward

In New York, the Open Working Group (OWG) negotiations continued last week with session 10 from 31 March to 4 April. Only three sessions are remaining with the final meeting taking place from 14-18 July. The Co-Chairs will continue to keep the remaining OWG sessions open. The next session will be held from 5-9 May and again will be a discussion over a revised draft of the focus areas. Only during the last two sessions of the OWG, will goals and targets be developed from the focus areas. Continue reading

Promoting disability inclusion at the UN

This was an incredibly busy week at the UN. The 8th and final Open Working Group session (OWG) took place from 3-7 February. The themes covered included: Oceans and seas, Forests, biodiversity, Promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment, Conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding and the promotion of durable peace, Rule of law and governance. CBM and partners were primarily involved in promoting equality on 5 and 6 February. Disability was highlighted throughout the week in various venues.

On 4 February, the high-level side event “Addressing inequalities in the SDGs: A human rights imperative for effective poverty eradication” addressed disability multiple times as a key area in need of focus. Moderator Mr. Craig Mokhiber, Chief, Development and Social and Economic Issues Branch, OHCHR included disability in his opening summary and throughout the event. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN cited examples of effective poverty eradication programs in Brazil, which included social inclusion programs for persons with disabilities.

Highlights from the OWG theme over Promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment on 5 and 6 February are below.

The true highlight was the presentation by Yannis Vardakastanis, Chair of International Disability Alliance (IDA) and President of the European Disability Forum in which he passionately spoke of persons with disabilities and the need for their inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mr. Vardakastanis was the final speaker and ended the session with a bang. Watch his presentation at 2:46

Lenin Moreno, newly appointed Secretary-General Special Envoy of Disability and Accessibility and former Vice President of Ecuador was a distinguished panellist on 5 February. He eloquently and charismatically spoke on behalf of persons with disabilities and provided a real-life example to Member States of the true importance of the inclusion of persons with disabilities. Moreno passionately explained how persons with disabilities are truly ”the forgotten among the forgotten, the marginalized among the marginalized, excluded among the excluded, the left behind among those left behind.” You can watch his entire panel presentation, which I highly recommend at 19:00

alt="Lenin Moreno speaking at the Open Working Group session 8"

Following, Mr. Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya and OWG Co-Chair reiterated that there are a billion persons with disabilities and strongly complimented Lenin Moreno’s presentation. In addition, numerous Member States included persons with disabilities in their statements as indicated below.

Bolivia strongly supported persons with disabilities as part of a human rights dimension.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) mentioned women, persons with disabilities, and indigenous persons in its intervention.

The African Group explicitly supported persons with disabilities in their intervention.

The United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Australia pushed for the “leave no one behind” framework including disability. In addition, they stated that people with disabilities have poorer health rates, lower education levels, and higher poverty levels.

Croatia and Bulgaria also quoted directly from the Report of the Secretary-General, which included disability.

Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka added at the end of their statement that they wanted to specifically address the inclusion of persons with disabilities because they have poorer health rates, lower economic achievements and higher rates of poverty than persons without disabilities. They recommended that the SDGs holistically address the concerns of persons with disabilities across various goals. This inclusion was a last-minute amendment from the direct result of our lobbying efforts with the Pakistan Mission!

Argentina, Bolivia, and Ecuador emphasised the inclusion of persons with disabilities and wanted to specifically address invisible groups, including persons with disabilities. Accessibility for persons with disabilities in the areas of health care, employment, and education.

Switzerland mentioned disability twice as a group that encounters inequality and needs attention in the SDGs.

Nicaragua and Brazil kicked off their statement by applauding Lenin Moreno’s panel presentation and his focus on disability and accessibility.

Egypt explained that persons with disabilities are in their constitution and stressed the importance of persons with disabilities to be included in all aspects of life. This inclusion was also a direct result of Maryanne Diamond (IDA) and my meeting with the Egyptian Mission!

The Republic of Korea strongly and explicitly advocated for persons with disabilities and advocated that disability needs to be explicitly included in the SDGs as a crosscutting issue in the targets and indicators. They expressed that there are one billion persons with disabilities who comprise 15 per cent of the world’s population. Immediately following, Mr. Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary and Co-Chair of the OWG agreed with the importance of the inclusion of persons with disabilities and stressed that one day we all will belong to the disability group, we just don’t know when. He repeated this message in our meeting with him the following day.

Japan also included persons with disabilities as an issue of inequality to address and include in the SDGs.

Poland and Romania also pushed for the inclusion of the most vulnerable and marginalised groups that included persons with disabilities. Dziękuję!

In a long and passionate speech, Cuba supported the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the SDGs.

Israel and the United States emphasised the need for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the SDGs and also advocated for inclusive education for all. In addition, they highly encouraged including disability status in disaggregated data, which is fantastic!

Palau supported statements by the Republic of Korea, Israel, and the United States in regards to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the SDGs.


“Those of us with disabilities have a fundamental role to play in the diverse society that is developing.” – Lenin Moreno, Secretary-General Special Envoy of Disability and Accessibility


Read CBM’s policy brief on Gender equality and women’s empowerment: women and girls with disabilities Thank you Charlotte and Mary!