India hosted the 9th Global DPI (Disabled People’s International) world Assembly in April 2016 and was host to over 200 people with disabilities from over 70 countries from Asia, Africa, CIS, Latin America, and North America & Caribbean. The theme of the Assembly was ‘Building Human Capital Realizing the (Sustainable Development Goals) SDGs for persons with disabilities.
Thanking the DPI executive council upon his re-election, Javed Abidi said, “The much touted Millennium Development goals (MDGs) had no reference to persons with disabilities. SDGs are more developed than MDGs. The SDGs are universal, apply to all countries, and have a very daunting focus on eradicating poverty in all its forms. The MDGs had 8 Goals, 18 targets and 48 Global indicators, whereas the SDGs have 17 Goals, 169 targets and 231 Global indicators. There are seven instances in the SDGs, targets and/or indicators with explicit references to people with disabilities. This means that we are making progress.”
WHO and the World Bank estimate that one billion people in the world live with a disability. Of this, as many as 800 million live in the developing countries or the Global South. Hence decision making on disability needs to move to the Global South.
Javed Abidi’s re-election brings the spotlight back on the global south. He adds, “If people with disabilities are to monitor whether development programmes in their countries are inclusive of disability or not, it is important to develop their capacity to advocate for disability data collection and disability data disaggregation.”
A recent study by DPI and the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict) shows that 78% of Global South countries do not collect any data on disability related to the SDGs. The study found significant gaps exist among the majority of Global South countries with respect to their readiness and preparedness for implementing, monitoring, and reporting on key SDGs.