International Symposium on Disability and Data

The International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, along with CBM, Sightsavers, ICRC and Handicap International will be hosting an International Symposium on ‘Disability in the SDGs: Forming Alliances and Building Evidence for the 2030 Agenda’ on 18 and 19 February 2016.

CBM participation

CBM will be strongly represented at the Symposium. Diane Kingston from CBM’s department for International Advocacy and Alliances (IAA) will chair a session on ‘Disability and the SDGs’. Lars Bosselmann, IAA director will chair a session on ‘Inclusion measurement and promotion’. Dr. Babar Qureshi, CBM’s Director for Neglected Tropical Diseases will present the results of an inclusive eye health study conducted in Pakistan. Kathy Al Ju’beh, Senior Technical Advisor on Inclusive Development will speak on exploring critical fault lines for achieving equality for people with disabilities in the 2030 AgendaCBM UK’s CEO, Kirsty Smith will also chair a session on poverty. Joerg Weber, CBM Advisor on Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) will chair a session on CBR. Christiane Noe, CBM's Research Manager will lead a discussion on planning, implementation and moving finds into practice. Petra Kiel, CBM’s Evaluation Manager, will present a poster on Monitoring on Inclusion. 

Launch of Infographic

On 18 February 2016 CBM will also launch an infographic linking Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at the 2016 International Symposium.

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Objective of the Symposium

With the new Sustainable Development Goals framework proposed to guide development until 2030, the international community is in an important transition period.

In the SDG framework seven of the 169 targets specifically mention disability. We must ensure that data disaggregation by disability is included in global level indicators to ensure that persons with disabilities are not excluded from various development processes. This is an opportune time to continue to build momentum and awareness around issues of disability and development in the 2030 agenda, including the promotion of good practices and evidence which can be shared with the development community. 

The two day symposium brings together researchers, activists and practitioners to discuss new research findings and debate academic and policy issues related to Global Disability and Health. The objective of the symposium is to form alliances, build evidence and maintain momentum in the field of global disability and development.


Topics for the symposium include:

  • Evidence on Inclusive Development and Universal Access
  • Measuring Disability Inclusion
  • Evidence of Best Practice in Disability Programmes

Subtopics will focus on Community based rehabilitation, social protection, universal health coverage, barriers to participation, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). 


Why is improved data and statistics on disability so important

The previous development agenda in the form of the Millennium Development Goals was silent on disability, effectively excluding people with disabilities from fifteen years of International Development, and widening the gap between them and people without disabilities. Quality disaggregated data on disability was also excluded from the Millennium agenda, creating a vacuum of evidence and further marginalising people with disabilities from development.

However the newly agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development focuses on “inclusive development” that leaves no one behind. To monitor this, we must ensure that robust, reliable and comparable data on disability is included in all reporting on achievements towards the goals. As per the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities(UNCRPD) there needs to be full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of development. This can be ensured only by collecting data on whether or not people with disabilities are being included in international development and social progress.

The data revolution that has been called for internationally, is not just a scientific exercise. It is about reaching out to all people, designing well-targetted policies and, ultimately, about making the slogan leaving no one behind a reality for all including persons with disabilities.
Lars Bosselmann, Director of CBM’s department for International Advocacy and Alliances

New resources on Agenda 2030 and the CRPD

Some new resources have recently become available on Agenda 2030 and the CRPD

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Importance of data in disability

Islay Mactaggart from ICED talks about the importance of data in disability

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Disaggregation by Disability: A way forward

A key challenge ahead for implementing the SDGs is how disability will be included in the monitoring and evaluation of goals.

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