Disabilities and rehabilitation


Valid, reliable and relevant disability data are essential for evidence-informed disability policy. Ideally, disability data would be standardized across countries. Such standardization would allow for international comparisons, which in turn would facilitate the monitoring of progress on disability policies, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). However, disability is a complex and multidimensional experience and poses several challenges for measurement. Despite the efforts of many in the international community, the current lack of comprehensive and standardized data on all aspects of disability means that a truly complete picture of disability and functioning cannot easily be determined. This hinders the ability of governments and their partners to identify the strategies needed to improve the well-being of people with disabilities.

What WHO is doing

In order to improve disability data, WHO:

  • develops normative tools, including standardized survey instruments and related manuals;
  • supports countries to improve their capacity to collect, analyze and use disability data;
  • offers training programmes on disability data for statisticians and for national and international users of data on disability;
  • advocates for improvements in disability data in line with the CRPD;
  • works with a broad range of stakeholders to achieve these objectives.

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