Development and human rights for all

International Day of Disabled Persons, 2001 - Full participation and equality: The call for new approaches to assess progress and evaluate outcome

The International Day of Disabled Persons, 3 December, was proclaimed in 1992 the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 47/3. The annual observance of the Day aims to increase awareness and understanding of disability issues and trends, and to mobilize support for practical action at all levels, by, with and for persons with disabilities.

The theme for the year 2001 observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons is "Full participation and equality: The call for new approaches to assess progress and evaluate outcome." The theme of the Day is based on the goal of full participation and equality of persons with disabilities in social life and development, established by the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, adopted by the General Assembly in 1982. During the almost twenty years since the adoption of the World Programme of Action, initiatives have been taken to realize its goals worldwide. Awareness and information about the situation of persons with disabilities is important if full participation and equality are to be achieved. As we look back to what has been achieved, and forward to a society where equalization of opportunities is a reality, it has become more critical than ever to monitor progress towards full participation and equality and evaluate outcomes.

The use of information on disability for planning and evaluation involves obtaining information for initial planning to analyze the current situation, set objectives and plan activities; as well as, for monitoring and evaluation, where information is used for programme evaluation or for progress.

Monitoring refers to the practice of setting goals and objectives and establishing evaluation criteria to determine whether the goals and objectives have been achieved.

Gaining a new and better understanding of information available for disability-sensitive monitoring and evaluation is a necessary step towards realizing the goals of the World Programme of Action.

Secretary-General's message on the International Day of Disabled Persons

To observe the International Day of Disabled Persons at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, the Division for Social Policy and Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, will hold an Expert Group Meeting, 3 - 5 December, on Disability-sensitive policy and programme evaluation and monitoring, and a Panel Discussion, 6 December, on New approaches to assess progress and evaluate outcome. The Day, 3 December, will be celebrated by launching an art exhibit of paintings by Walter Engel, organized by the United Nations Recreation Staff Council Colombian's Cultural Club in cooperation with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Department of Public Information.