No one should be invisible. But the voices of disabled people are often missing.
Until recently, systematic collection and analysis of statistics related to people with disabilities has been largely overlooked, making it much harder for disability rights advocates, Governments, International Development Partners and Agencies to highlight inequalities.
That is why in 2018 Leonard Cheshire created our Disability Data Portal. Through this Portal, people with disabilities can be empowered to use this data to monitor and demand changes within their countries. The Disability Data Portal leads the way in synthesising high-quality data to reflect the realities of people with disabilities across the world, and to inform future policy and development reforms.
While the quantitative data disaggregated by disability severity on the Portal shows us one side of the story, we also believe that data generated by Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs), and citizen-reporting, is fundamental in understanding the rights of persons with disabilities. These qualitative data sources are captured on the Disability Data Portal and have informed government and NGO efforts to sustainably improve the lives of disabled people.
Leonard Cheshire's ‘Why Disability Data Matters’ Report 2022
Global disability data collection has progressed considerably in recent years. However, in a world increasingly awash with data, too many countries still have poor disability data, and persons with disabilities are still hidden because of a lack of existing disability data. That is why Leonard Cheshire has produced a report in 2022 ahead of the Global Disability Summit, ‘Why Disability Data Matters’, aiming to show why it is essential that everyone has access to high-quality disability data. The report spotlights key data initiatives achieved by Leonard Cheshire within each of the Global Disability Summit 2022 thematic areas.
It seeks to highlight the meaningful actions and commitments needed to advance inclusive and disaggregated data at the Global Disability Summit. Finally, this report showcases best practice examples of youth and OPD-generated data, engagement with government ministries to support the production of disability data, and the value of high-quality disability data in international development programme settings.
Expansion of the Disability Data Portal
Leonard Cheshire is working with key data actors to improve the quality and increase the availability of disability disaggregated data on the SDGs, with the aim of using this data to contribute to ensuring that no one is left behind. This has included working with Fordham University and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) to pool together the latest disability data onto the Disability Data Portal, which will feed into and inform the policy guidance in the UN’s Disability and Development Report 2023.
Leonard Cheshire has worked closely with researchers at Fordham University, who were responsible for launching the Disability Data Initiative and The Disability Data Report 2021. This report provides a systematic analysis of the disability questions in national censuses and household surveys globally between 2009 and 2018, and indicators disaggregated across disability status for 41 countries with census or household survey data that are based on internationally comparable disability questions.
The Disability Data Portal highlights the key findings from this new data through data visualisations.
Contribute data to the Disability Data Portal – get involved!
In addition to supporting improved quality and increased access to data on disability, Leonard Cheshire is also contributing to the global debate on how to capture data on disability using evidence from our long-term experience in the field of disability data research and policy. Leonard Cheshire is committed to becoming an Inclusive Data Charter Champion, to catalyse broader action on inclusive disability data. Leonard Cheshire will be working closely with the Inclusive Data Charter to fully develop an action plan to achieve this.
Recognising that disability data is often difficult to capture consistently at a national level, Leonard Cheshire is also very keen to support National Statistical Offices to develop and implement the most effective data collection techniques to capture information on the extent to which people with disabilities are being included in efforts to achieve the SDGs.
Leonard Cheshire is well placed to undertake this work, with strong experience of gathering data on people with disabilities in both our international and our UK programme work. We are very keen to work with others to improve the inclusion of disability data in the data revolution for sustainable development data and the SDGs.