The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Disability
UN Publication: Disability and the Millennium Development Goals: A Review of the MDG Process and Strategies for Inclusion of Disability Issues in Millennium Development Goal Efforts (PDF, 7.7 MB; accessible version forthcoming)
- Expert Group Meeting on the MDGs
- Meetings and Panel Discussions
- UN initiatives
- Other initiatives
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 meeting on Mainstreaming Disability in MDG Policies, Processes and Mechanisms: Development for All worked to 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.
- The Millennium Development Goals cannot be achieved without the full and effective inclusion of persons with disabilities and their participation in all stages of the MDGs processes.
- The current MDGs framework, tools and mechanisms provide several opportunities to mainstream disability in the MDGs.
- The existing data gaps on disability within the context of the MDG evaluation and monitoring continues to be a major challenge. Available data, however, could be used to support the inclusion of disability in current MDG evaluation and monitoring processes, while on-going and new MDG evaluation and monitoring efforts should add a disability component as part of their overall data collection endeavours.
- Specific measures should be taken for mainstreaming disability at global, regional and national levels for short-term, medium-term and long-term results.
- With a view to the 2010 periodic review, priority should be given at this time to targeting actions at the global level in the context of monitoring.
- Collaborations should be initiated within the United Nations system and with relevant stakeholders to foster strategic thinking and planning on the MDGs and disability. In this regard, establishing an informal resource group could ensure that a platform for on-going dialogue and feed back is possible.
- Some specific options where disability may be mainstreamed include: (a) reports, tools and guidelines; (b) specific MDGs and MDG indicators and (c) mechanisms and processes.
Reports, tools and guidelines
- At the global level, two main areas of strategic action for short-term results include the report of the Secretary-General on the work of the organization and the Millennium Development Goals report.
- Tools and guidelines that would be effective entry points to mainstream disability in monitoring of MDG policies, processes and mechanisms at the national level would be the handbook on Indicators for Monitoring the Millennium Development Goals—Definitions, Rationale, Concepts and sources and at the national level, theguidance note on the Country Reporting on the Millennium Development Goals.
MGDs and MDG indicators
- All MDGs are relevant to and affect the lives of persons with disabilities.
- Focusing on the inclusion of disability in current indicators would be more effective in the short-term to promote the inclusion of disability data than proposing new indicators.
- Where data is not available, options of where and how disability could be addressed should be provided. The absence of data may also be an indication, among other things, of the lack of attention that disability may receive in the context of a particular issue.
- The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) should propose options to Inter-Agency Expert Group on MDG indicators to mainstream disability in its work.
- UNSD should engage with national statistical offices to increase awareness and build capacities to collect disaggregated data on disability.
Processes and Mechanisms
- The IAEG could provide guidance and support on how disability could be mainstreamed.
- At the regional level, Regional Commissions who work in cooperation with regional partners, United Nations specialized agencies and other development partners such as regional development banks could use disability supplementary targets by region in their regional analysis.
- Other entry points/mechanisms include: the Second Committee of the General Assembly as well as human rights treaty bodies such as the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Committee on the Rights of the Child; Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
- A/RES/65/186 Realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities towards 2015 and beyond
- A/RES/64/131 Realizing the Millennium Development Goals for Persons with Disabilities
- A/RES/63/150 Realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities through the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- A/RES/62/127. Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons: realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities
- A/RES/60/131 Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons: realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities
- A/RES/58/132 Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons: towards a society for all in the twenty-first century
Commission for Social Development Resolution:
Secretary General Reports:
- Keeping the Promise: Realizing MDGs for Persons with Disabilities Towards 2015 and Beyond: Report of the Secretary-General (A/65/173)
- Realizing the Millennium Development Goals for Persons with Disabilities: Report of the Secretary-General (A/64/180)
- Fifth quinquennial review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons: Report of the Secretary-General: (A/63/183)
- Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons: the Millennium Development Goals and synergies with other United Nations disability instruments: Report of the Secretary-General: (A/62/157)
Economic and Social Council Report:
Expert Group Meetings
International Day of Persons with Disabilities:
- IDPD2010: Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond
- The Secretary-General Message for the International Day 2009
- Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their
communities around the world, December 2009
- Cross-sectionalities of gender, disability, and development: Towards equality for women and girls with disabilities, 4 March 2010
- Mainstreaming disability in the MDG processes, 3 September 2009
- Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world.
- Recommendations European Conference on 'Millennium Development Goals: Inclusion of People with Disabilities', Bratislava - Senec, Slovakia, 14 -15 May 2007
- The statement of the Millennium Development Goals and Disability Africa Regional Conference, held at the Panafric hotel, Nairobi, Kenya 15th to 17th September, 2008
Civil society Organizations:
- Millennium Development Goals and Persons with Disabilities, Nora Ellen Groce, Jean Francois Trani Leonard Cheshire Centre for Disability and Inclusive Development, University College London
- Statement by Leonard Cheshire Disability, a non-governmental - Forty-eighth session of the Commission for Social Development - 3-12 February 2010
- IDA CRPD Forum Steering Committee
- Raijmakers, Mark. “Impaired Development Goals?”, Dutch Coalition on Disability and Development, October 2005.
- Thomas, Philippa. “Disability, Poverty and the Millennium Development Goals: Relevance, Challenges and Opportunities for DFID”. Disability Knowledge and Research (DKR), June 2005.
- “Disability and the Millennium Development goals”, in Lessons from the Disability Knowledge and Research Programme, DisabilityKaR Knowledge and Research.
- “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals for All”, Inclusion International, June, 2005.
Include Everybody Campaign: Disability and the MDGs by the International Disability and Development Consortium
- Inclusion International resources on the MDGs
- E-forum: Disability Poverty and the Millennium Development Goals,Organized by the Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi (FEDOMA) and Healthlink Worldwide as part of a Disability KaR roundtable programme. Malawi, 2-4 November 2004
- The Pacific Rim International Forum on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Declaration on Millennium Development Goals