UNESCO Institute for Statistics Re-evaluates its Efforts on Disability Statistics

Hendrik Van Der Pol, the Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), has informed RESULTS that letters from our activists ‘encouraged [the UIS] to revisit the issue of statistics on children with disabilities and re-evaluate the efforts that UIS could make.’

In his letter Mr Van Der Pol set out UIS’s commitments to:

  • collaborate with countries to advance understanding and application of survey-based approaches that seek to improve knowledge on educational exclusion and affected groups;
  • connect demand from Member States for specific measurement solutions regarding disability to relevant experts;
  • work together with other international agencies to promote the work of specialists who are active in this field.

You can read the full letter here.

We are pleased that UIS have now set out some more detail about what they will do to tackle the lack of data on disabled children, who make up a third of all out-of-school children in the world. We will be continuing our dialogue with the UIS, so watch this space!


2 responses to “UNESCO Institute for Statistics Re-evaluates its Efforts on Disability Statistics

  1. Gillian Price

    Hendrik van der Pol in his letter says that:
    We at the UIS are limited in what we can do to develop international definitions and reach consensus among countries on concepts, statistical frameworks, and data colleciton tools related to disability. This is outside of our mandate and is the role of the World Health Organisation. But unless this is done it is difficult to introduce international data collection’

    Should we now be lobbying WHO to ask them what they are doing to develop statistical frameworks and data colleciton tools related to disability?

  2. Hi Gill,

    Thanks very much for your comment. We’re looking into the possibility of lobbying the WHO as well as the UIS on this issue.

    There is some question about whether the WHO are actually the right body to be leading efforts to reach consensus on concepts of disability, because disability is not a simple medical issue. The social aspects of disability are often argued (particularly by disabled persons’ organisations) to be much more significant than the medical.

    I’m working with some colleagues at the moment to try to sort out how to take this forward, and we will definitely let you know when we have more details.

    Thanks again for your engagement with the issue!

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