Disability Statistics Programme

In 2016, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) initiated the Disability Statistics Programme and implemented three activities in its framework in the region.  In June 2006, ESCWA had developed a questionnaire on disability statistics to compile national data from national statistical offices (NSOs) on disability, cross-tabulated with a number of socioeconomic fields such as age, marital status, living arrangements, family size, education, employment, occupation and sector.  Information in areas such as access to resources, wealth, violence and benefits were scarce or did not comply with international standards.  All tables were disaggregated by sex and geographical area. Available data are presented in the present publication.

The process of collecting disability statistics provides valuable information and generates the information needed for evidence-based policymaking. In the process of compiling and verifying the data, ESCWA built the capacity of member States, identified weaknesses and strengths and made recommendations for future improvements.  Seventeen countries were engaged in the data collection process initiated by the Statistics Division of ESCWA.

Two meetings were also organized in the framework of the Disability Statistics Programme. The first one was held in Muscat from 14 to 16 March 2017, in cooperation with the United Nations Statistics Division, under the title “Regional Meeting on Disability Measurement and Statistics in Support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 2020 World Population and Housing Census Programme”.  The objectives were to take stock of good practices and enhance countries’ understanding of disability concepts and definitions, and produce updated global guidelines. The second meeting was held in Casablanca, Morocco in April 2017, in cooperation with the WG, under the title “Regional Workshop on Improving Disability Statistics”. It focused on best practices for implementing the Washington Group Short Set (WG-SS) of questions, reviewed challenges encountered in collecting disability statistics, and proposed improvements to practices of implementation of the WG-SS questions. The aim was to prepare a guidebook to improve disability data collection and analysis in the Arab countries using the WG questions.

Arab Disability Statistics in Numbers E-publication

The main purpose of Arab Disability in Numbers is to present the situation of persons with disabilities in comparison with those with no disabilities in numbers. All data featured are national data compiled and verified by the ESCWA Statistics Division in cooperation with member countries.