United Nations Statistical Commission

Overview   50th Session (2019)   Side Events

Making disability visible in statistics

  • Wednesday, 6 MAR 2019
  • 6:15 – 8:15 pm
  • Conference Room 8

Co-sponsored by the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities, International Disability Alliance (IDA) and CBM International, the Washington Group, and the Department of International Development (DFID)

Contact(s): jafarn@un.org

The aim of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, is to promote, protect and ensure the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons with disabilities and to promote respect for their dignity. This was reinforced by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development “Transforming our world” which pledged that no one would be left behind and determined to end poverty and hunger, in ensuring that all human beings can fulfil their potential with dignity and equality and in a healthy environment. The member states are committed to improving the situation of persons with disabilities, however the establishment of policies that reflect that commitment often involves challenges leading to the exclusion of persons with disabilities as "partners in social life".

The link between the provisions of the Convention and the Sustainable Development Goals in the 2030 Agenda provides important opportunities for Governments, policy makers, civil society and the international community to improve the lives of all members of society and enable the full integration of persons with disabilities into the process of sustainable development.

An increasing amount of quality data on persons with disability based on standardized tools is now made available in many countries. Indicators on persons with disability are necessary to enhance policy-making and decision-making on evidence-based programs, as well as effective monitoring. The importance of data in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of more comprehensive policies is reflected in article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and in the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Agenda which calls member countries to disaggregate indicators by disability status as stipulated in paragraph 48, to measure progress and ensure comprehensive benefit to all and that no one is left behind.

Nevertheless, a gap still exists between policy-makers, civil society and statisticians. Apart from prevalence rates policy makers often do not use the wealth of information made available by national statistical offices.

The side-event focus will be on means of bridging the gap between these groups, which constitutes a major obstacle and a hindrance to making progress on development of policies based on evidence and thus improving the lives of persons with disabilities. It will include presentation of a generic SDG-CRPD Framework of around 100 standard indicators that links CRPD articles to SDG policy areas, including SDG indicators that countries can disaggregate by disability status. In addition, the event will present new initiatives in data collection on persons with disabilities and capacity building programmes that aim to develop countries’ ability to disaggregate the SDGs by disability status, making disability visible in statistics by using data on disability to change programmes and policies and increasing interactions between national data systems, policy makers and civil society.


The event will highlight current activities undertaken by a NOSs, UN agencies, development ministries, organizations of persons with disabilities and civil society to improve the collection and use of disability data to meet the requirements of the UNCRPD and the SDGs.

    Panel Presentations

  1. "SDG-CRPD Framework - Bridging the gap between statistics and policy"
    Neda Jafar, Head of Statistical Policies and Coordination Unit, ESCWA
  2. "On the United Nations Disability Statistics Data Portal: What have we learnt so far?"
    Margaret Mbogoni, Senior Statistician, UNSD
  3. "Recent activities and future plans for the improvement of disability data across sectors"
    Jennifer Madans, Washington Group on Disability Statistics
  4. "Making disability visible in statistics: How DFID is using data on disability to change programmes and policies"
    Neil Jackson, Chief Statistician, Department for International Development, UK
  5. "Reflection on disability data by organizations of persons with disabilities"
    Orsolya Bartha, Senior Advisor on Development and Human Rights, IDA, and coordinator of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities

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