Improving Disability Data and Statistics

Improving Disability Data and Statistics

Tags : 

The lack of data and information on disability and the situation of persons with disabilities at the national level contributes to the invisibility of persons with disabilities in official statistics, presenting an obstacle to achieving development planning and implementation that is inclusive of persons with disabilities.

The UN General Assembly has stressed in several resolutions the importance of improving disability data and statistics. To be internationally comparable, data should be collected in line with international standards. The Washington Group on Disability Statistics, which operated under the aegis of the UN Statistical Commission, has developed an internationally comparable set of questions for census and surveys. Data collected with these questions will be useful to assist the monitoring of development goals for persons with disabilities. It is recommended that should you be developing a census questionnaire (or any questionnaire/survey related to the collection of demographic data) then the following questions be included:

Census Questions on Disability

Another key resource is the Enable website, which is the official website of the United Nations Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD) located within the Division for Social Policy and Development in the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). The website provides public information on topics related to disability and the work of the United Nations for persons with disabilities.

This website and additional resources may be located here:

Importantly, in October 2015 the United Nations adopted ‘Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. This Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets, which seek to build upon the Millennium Development Goals. These SDGs include seven targets which explicitly refer to persons with disabilities. An additional six SDG targets refer to persons in vulnerable situations – which include persons with disabilities. In addition, several other targets are universal targets, and thus must also be achieved for persons with disabilities. Finally, two other targets address discrimination, which is a key cause of unequal access to opportunities and services for persons with disabilities.

For more information please see:

2015-2030 Sustainable Development Goals Disability – Indicators