FEEDBACK – The challenge and promise of disability disaggregated data in humanitarian and developing settings

Posted by: on Oct 29, 2018 | No Comments

More and more development and humanitarian actors are now using the Washington Group Questions (WGQ) to collect data on persons with disabilities. The report  ‘Disability Data Collection: A summary review of the use of the Washington Group Questions by development and humanitarian actors’ presented at the 2018 World Humanitarian Forum on 22 October by Humanity & Inclusion (HI) and Leonard Cheshire (LC) presents how the WGQ have been used in development and humanitarian programming and the impact of using the methodology.

The report concludes that the WGQ can be used by development and humanitarian actors in their data collection efforts. However they are not for every situation or context.

HI at the 2018 World Data Forum

HI- Leonard Cheshire event on disability disagregated data, World data Forum 2018.

Pauline Thivillier presenting HI & Leonard Cheshire’s report on disability disagregated data, World data Forum, 2018.

Between 22 and 24 October, the 2018 UN World Data Forum took place in Dubai. HI Humanitarian Data Technical Advisor Pauline Thivillier shared the preliminary results of HI’s study on the collection of data on persons with disabilities in humanitarian action during an event on “Leaving No One Behind: The challenge and promise of disability disaggregated data” organised by Sightsavers. The panel also saw contributions from Mitch Loeb, from the Washington Group, IDA Executive Director Vladimir Cuk, Neal Roux for Statistics South Africa, Rachael Beaven from UK DFID and Sophia Abrahamsson from Sightsavers.

Ms Thivillier explained that collecting data on persons with disabilities in humanitarian action presents challenges; some linked directly to the humanitarian context. For example, depending on the type of response (sudden onset, refugee crisis, protracted crisis), the WGQ are more effectively used at different times of the project implementation. Humanitarian actors also have concerns over the impact of the WGQ on programming in a resource and time scarce environment.

HI’s preliminary findings showed that the WGQ took a lot less time to ask (3 minutes) than they were perceived to (7 minutes), and that they identified more people than other methodologies, ensuring that persons at risk of restricted participation in humanitarian programming were being better identified. Using questions on anxiety and depression from the WG extended set was also seen to identify persons with psychosocial and mental health difficulties, which is pertinent in humanitarian action.

HI and Leonard Cheshire report on Disability Data Collection

The use of the WGQ by humanitarian and development actors goes beyond the original purpose of the questions, which was to generate comparable data for governments.

As such, in the report ‘Disability Data Collection: A summary review of the use of the Washington Group Questions by development and humanitarian actors’, HI and LC show how organizations need to be clear about the needs and objectives for collecting such data and understand the strengths and limitations of the WGQ. Used alone, the WGQ will not give all the information needed to design disability inclusive programming.

Going forward HI and LC will produce a further in depth report to showcase the full set of findings that have come out of the research in both the humanitarian and development contexts.

 

Disability Data Collection DIGI