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Improving global monitoring of the achievement of the SDGs for persons with disabilities

There are considerable monitoring efforts to determine overall worldwide progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development goals. But there remains a significant evidence gap regarding the progress of persons with disabilities in realising these goals. Recognising this, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) has made the case to improve global disability-sensitive SDG monitoring and launched an initiative to examine disability with regards to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As part of UNDESA’s initiative, Development Pathways was tasked with providing analytical inputs to the report to determine the comparative differences in progress towards the SDGs among persons both with and without disabilities. Development Pathways analysed 33 national surveys representing 29 countries from three major sources of integrated data-sources: the World Bank’s Demographic and Health Surveys; the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series – International;and SINTEF. These data sources provide data on the internationally recognised Washington Group definition of disability. They therefore provide a consistent framework for understanding disability that allows for cross-country comparison of the relative outcomes.

The publication of Realization of the Sustainable Development Goals By, For and With Persons with Disabilities: UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development 2018 represents a milestone in placing a spotlight on the progress of leaving no one behind. Our analysis provided a significant contribution to UNDESA’s publication by providing the report with comparative statistics on SDG indicators for persons with and without disabilities. The evidence that we produced was reviewed by UNDESA to outline recommended actions to promote the realisation of the SDGs for persons with disabilities.

The UNDESA report is available by clicking here.