Webinar: HLPF side-event: Inclusion Counts - disability data in crisis response. July 2020

You can watch the complete webinar here.

On July 16th, the High-Level-Political-Forum (HLPL) held a side-event through an online webinar exploring what are the commitments undertaken by governments, UN agencies, and other actors towards the use of high quality disaggregated disability data to ensure that COVID-19 responses and recovery plans are inclusive to persons with disabilities. The main objectives of the webinar were the following to explore the commitments for high-quality disaggregated data, to understand the importance of the data to advocate for inclusion and for leaving no one behind, and to value the importance of the Washington Group set of questions for data collection and analysis.

Tiziana Oliva is Leonard Cheshire Executive Director of Global Influencing and Impact, and she was moderating the session.

Neil Jackson is Chief Statistician from UK Department for International Development (DFID). This department works to end extreme poverty tackling challenges such as mass migration, poverty and disease, insecurity and conflict. He spoke about the key UK government initiatives on data collection and disaggregation: “Disaggregating all the data as much as possible by sex, age and disability status is vital to establish differences and exposure to monitor the impact”, he said.

Dr Ashrafi Ahmad is Project Director of Disability Detection Survey Project and Joint Secretary of Ministry of Social Welfare from the Government of Bangladesh. Such Survey project is undertaken by the Social Welfare Ministry and focuses on meeting the needs of the most deprived as well as on bringing inclusive development throughout disability data. In her presentation, she explained the commitments of the government of Bangladesh to disability disaggregated data. “We have now information stored in a database and today we have 20 types of information from 1.9 million people”, she explained.

Salma Mahbub is General Secretary of the Bangladesh Society for the Change and Advocacy Nexus (B-SCAN), which is a society aiming at creating the awareness of basic rights about people with disabilities. She described how they conducted the disability identification survey within the framework of the i2i project. “Disaggregating data by disability, age and sex improves our understanding of the impact and in designing interventions”, she stated.

Zachary Mwangi Chege is Director General of the Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics, which is an agency of the government for collecting, analysing and disseminating statistical data in Kenya. He talked about the progress Kenya has made on data disaggregation. “The inclusion of the Washington Group set of questions has assisted in addressing data gaps on persons with disabilities”, he said.

Jane Kihungi is Women Challenged to Challenge Coordinator, a Kenyan organisation which advocates and lobby for the issues women with disabilities. She explained how they used disability data through a survey conducted within the context of the i2i project to identify the challenges persons with disabilities face in Kenya. “We really need to do more to be able to help DPOs”, she explained.

Stefan Tromel is Senior Disability Specialist of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). This United Nations agency advocates for international labour standards and promotes rights and social justice at work. He spoke about fostering a disability inclusive social economic response to the crisis supported by the government, donors and Civil Society. “If the assessments are the first steps to the design of the response, we are faced with a problem and we need to address it quickly”, he stated.