Development and human rights for all

Expert Group Meeting on Mainstreaming Disability in MDG policies, processes and mechanisms: Development for All

WHO Headquarters, Geneva
14-16 April, 2009

Background Note:


I.   INTRODUCTION

The Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) in collaboration with the World Health Organization is organizing an “Expert Group Meeting on Mainstreaming Disability in MDG Policies, Processes and Mechanisms: Development for All”.  The meeting will be held at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on 14-16 April 2009.

The meeting will invite, in their individual capacity, experts with experience in MDG policies, programmes, monitoring and evaluation and disability.  The meeting is expected to review existing policy frameworks, resource and tools, mechanisms for mainstreaming disability in MDG processes.  It is also expected to provide policy recommendations, linking the MDG processes with reference to other internationally agreed development goals.


II.  BACKGROUND

Millennium Development Goals and persons with disabilities

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established a unifying set of developmental objectives for the global community.  Bringing together United Nations agencies, governments and civil society around eight key development issues, the MDGs foster collaborative action to reduce poverty, improve health and address educational and environmental concerns around the world’s most pressing development problems.  The MDGs are specifically designed to address the needs of the world’s poorest citizens and the world’s most marginalized populations.

MDGs will not be achieved however if their policies, programmes, monitoring and evaluation do not include persons with disabilities.  While persons with disabilities make up ten per cent of the world’s population, disability is associated with twenty per cent of global poverty according to the World Bank’s findings.  Currently, there are no references to persons with disabilities either in the MDGs themselves or in the accompanying body of guidelines and policies, programmes and conferences that are part of the on-going MDG efforts.  In addition, the new revisions of the MDGs currently in process do not include persons with disabilities.

The international community needs urgently to act to mainstream disability in the MDG processes.  This requires policy makers and technical experts specifically tasked with the programming, monitoring and evaluation of current MDG programmes to begin to consider disability so that the next phase of the implementation of the MDGs will include disability as an important component of its core mission.

The United Nations Expert Group on Mainstreaming Disability will develop a “roadmap” for how disability can be included in the planning, monitoring and evaluation of all MDG related plans, programmes and policies in international development currently in operation or in the planning stage. 
 

Objectives of the expert group meeting

The expert group meeting is expected to: (a) review the on-going international, national and regional efforts in mainstreaming disability and empowerment of persons with disabilities in developmental contexts and (b) identify emerging issues and trends concerning the advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities in the broad human rights-development framework.  The expert meeting will focus on options for linking disability with MDG processes with reference to other internationally agreed development goals.

The meeting is expected to review and analyze the current situation and then provide recommendations in three main segments.

(1)  Overview: review and analysis of issues and trends concerning incorporation of disability in mainstream development addressed in the current MDGs, based on existing data.

(2)  Options for strengthening and improving monitoring and evaluation of MDGs through inclusion of disability in the current monitoring and evaluation practice/incorporating the disability perspective based on existing data:

(a)   Inclusion of the disability perspective in policies and programmes designed to foster social and economic development;

(b)   Specific goals and objectives for such policies and programmes;

(c)   Establishment of specific indicators to meet these goals and objectives; and development of periodic monitoring systems to obtain these indicators.

(3)  Policy-oriented advice and recommendations in formulating and assessing options for the linkage of monitoring and evaluation of existing disabilities specific instruments -- including the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities -- and the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals.

III. EXPECTED OUTCOME AND FOLLOW-UP

The Expert Group Meeting will engage in the following activities:

• Develop a list of recommendations for the MDGs – a “road map” for disability inclusive planning, monitoring and evaluation of plans, programmes and policies in international development;
• Explore ways to improve the understanding of the strategic MDG framework in the context of disability, so as to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in MDG planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation;
• Discuss the technical/strategic issues involved in where/ when/ how to make suggestions and changes in the current MDGs, the associated literature and the MDG revision process;
• Initiate collaborations within the United Nations system and with relevant stakeholders to foster strategic thinking and planning on the MDGs and disability.
• The results of this Meeting will be presented at the upcoming consultation in June 2009 among UN entities involved in MDG processes.


IV: ORGANIZATIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

The Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) in collaboration with the World Health Organization will organize the EGM at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on 14-16 April 2009.

Approximately 10-12 technical experts, in their individual capacity, will be invited by the Division for Social Policy and Development in close collaboration with the World Health Organization.

United Nations agencies and organizations, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations may participate as observers.


V.  LANGUAGE OF THE MEETING

The working language of the meeting will be English. Documentation for the meeting will be provided in English. 

Report:

Mainstreaming Disability in MDG Policies, Processes and Mechanisms:  Development for All, 2009