The UN World Data Forum took place in hybrid form, online and in Bern, Switzerland from 3–6 October. We were actively involved with strategic and effective advocacy actions. The following details our presence and work in the Forum.
Prior to the Forum, collaborative advocacy efforts led by CBM Switzerland in partnership with CBM Global advocacy and the International Disability Alliance resulted in excellent inclusion of persons with disabilities into the Forum’s sustainability concept with actions and recommendations around principles of sustainability. Please read more about the concept here.
During the event, we supported two main events. First, we organized a session with the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities (SGPwD), the International Disability Alliance, and the World Blind Union on “Innovative responses to data collection about and by persons with disabilities in the time of COVID-19” on 5 October.
José Viera, our organization of persons with disabilities (OPD) partner, presented on the disability data advocacy toolkit that we co-authored, as well as our new partnership with UNFPA that has emerged from this work. Additional OPD partners were panelists, including Anderson Gitonga from United Disabled Persons of Kenya and Laisa Vereti from Pacific Disability Forum. Furthermore, our UN data partners from UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the Washington Group were panelists, Neda Jafar and Jennifer Madans respectively. The stellar moderator was Facundo Chávez Penillas, Human Rights & Disability Adviser from OHCHR. You can watch the recording with International Sign interpretation and captions in English here.
The overall key messages from the event include:
1. Data disaggregated by disability have to be at the center of policy design and decision-making across the board in order to remove barriers and allow participation of all persons with disabilities, including in current and future emergencies.
2. A greater focus on mainstreaming the collection of disability data is needed to continuously monitor the status of persons with disabilities and be better prepared for the next disaster.
3. Recognizing OPD-led data mobilization and creation, building key partnerships, investing in disability data, and building data capacity are vital to addressing disability data gaps.
Second, on 4 October, José Viera, Permanent Representative of the SGPwD, presented in the high-level plenary session on leaving no one behind, the need to measure equity. He highlighted the importance of gathering and using disability data, ensuring data are accessible, and including and consulting organizations of persons with disabilities in data processes. Click here to watch the full session.
As for next steps, the World Data Forum in 2023 will be hosted in Hangzhou, China and the 2024 Forum will be hosted in Medellín, Colombia.