United Nations Statistical Commission

Overview   49th Session (2018)   Side Events

Advances in Disability Statistics: The Way Forward

  • Wednesday, 7 MAR 2018
  • 1:15 – 2:30 pm

  • Conference Room A, General Assembly Building, UNHQ, New York

Meeting organized by United Nations Statistics Division and
the Washington Group on Disability Statistics

Advances in disability measurement increase significantly the availability of timely and reliable data on persons with disability. Much progress has been made in the use of common definitions, concepts, standards and methodologies in the production of disability statistics. These data are critical to providing the statistics needed for inclusive policy planning, implementation and monitoring. The success of the 2030 Agenda, in particular in relation to inclusion opportunities for persons with disability, requires strengthening at all levels the capacity of statistical systems to produce high-quality disability data and statistics. In particular, SDG target 17.18 calls for enhancing capacity-building support to developing countries to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by disability, by 2020, well- ahead of the target-year of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In regard to persons with disabilities, the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which has been already ratified by 175 state parties, is also crucial. The implementation and monitoring of the Convention also greatly increased the demand and provided additional opportunities for robust disability data and evidence-based research in line with the CRPD. In particular, Article 31 of CRPD calls on States Parties to collect information, including statistical and research data, and to disaggregate this information to identify barriers faced by persons with disabilities in exercising their rights.


The event will highlight developments in UNSD's Disability Statistics Programme, including efforts to revise key guidelines, and the development of the 2018 UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development. Also included will be presentations highlighting progress in the use of the Washington Group's disability measurement tools to monitor the 2030 Agenda, and regionalized efforts in collaboration with the Washington Group to coordinate, collect and improve disability statistics. Presentations will focus on future directions in disability statistics, capitalizing on the forward momentum created by current successes to meet these future directions.

  1. Panelists:
  2. 2018 UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development
    Akiko Ito & Maria Martinho,
    Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    Division for Social Policy and Development
    Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  3. United Nations Guidelines and Principles for the Development of Disability Statistics
    Margaret Mbogoni,
    Disability Statistics Programme
    United Nations Statistics Division
    Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  4. Washington Group Update: Mobilizing Disability Data
    Jennifer Madans,
    Chair, Washington Group on Disability Statistics
    U.S. National Center for Health Statistics
  5. Regionalized Activities in Disability: The ESCWA Experience
    Neda Jafar,
    Head Statistical Policies and Coordination Unit
    United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

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