Everybody Counts

Globally, there’s a lack of accurate data on disability. We aim to change this by looking at new ways to collect data about the inclusion of people with disabilities.

Children waving.

Many governments and policymakers don’t know how many people in their countries have disabilities.

This means they also don’t know how to make sure people with disabilities are included in the life of their communities, and can access services.

To find out what works (and what doesn’t), we’re gathering data in some of our programmes using the Washington Group Short Set of questions. Rather than asking people if they have a disability, these questions ask whether people have difficulty performing everyday tasks such as walking, seeing, hearing, communicating or getting dressed. This can help to identify people with disabilities even though they may not classify themselves as ‘disabled’.

The evidence and learning we gain will not only help us to evaluate and improve the accessibility of our own programmes, but also help us contribute to the debate on how best to collect data that will lead to the increased inclusion of people with disabilities in global development.

Councillor William Mwambu from Masindi District in Uganda explains how a lack of accurate data on disability affects the way decision-makers plan, budget, allocate resources and influence policies.

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Reports and policy briefs

Everybody Counts: 2017 policy brief

This briefing shares Sightsavers’ experience of collecting disability disaggregated data using the Washington Group Short Set of questions on disability.

View policy brief [pdf]


Disability disaggregation of data – Baseline report

This baseline report contains information on the initial steps (prior to the start of data collection) undertaken to include disaggregation of data by disability in two projects in Tanzania and India.

View baseline report [pdf]


Disability disaggregation project: India mid-term review report

This mid-term review (MTR) report contains information on the first six months (July-March) of the disability disaggregation pilot project taking place in Bhopal, India.

View report [pdf]


Everybody Counts: 2016 policy brief

In order to realise the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ‘leave no one behind’ more data on current and future access by people with disabilities is required.

View policy brief [pdf]


Everybody Counts: final evaluation

This evaluation report details the process we applied to disaggregate data by disability in two pilot projects, in India and Tanzania.

View final evaluation [pdf]



Everybody Counts: learnings from data disaggregated by disabilities (DDD) pilot project

This SlideShare of the pilot project in Bhopal, including methodology, results and useful lessons in the SDG context, won first prize in its category when it was presented by Archana Bhambal (Area Director of Sightsavers India) at the Vision 2020 12th Annual Conference in Pune, India, 4-5 June 2016.

View the presentation [Slideshare]


Disaggregating routine monitoring data by disability – an example from eye health

This presentation, given by Emma Jolley at the international symposium ‘Disability in the SDGs: Forming Alliances and Building Evidence for the 2030 Agenda’ in London, UK, 18-19 February 2016, includes highlights of our project in Bhopal.

View the presentation [Slideshare]


Collecting and using age and disability disaggregated data in humanitarian settings

This one-hour webinar (hosted 26 January 2016) focuses on the use of six census questions on disability endorsed by the Washington Group. Mitch Loeb reflects on his work in humanitarian settings. Pauline Thivillier discusses the experience of Sightsavers in using the Washington Group Short Set of questions on disability in a pilot project in India and Tanzania. Presentations are followed by questions and discussion.

View the webinar [Youtube]


Piloting disability disaggregation in routine data collection

This presentation was given at the Washington Group Annual Meeting in October 2015, as part of the session on outcome indicators to monitor the UNCRPD and attainment of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. The presentation highlights the initial data and lesson learnt/challenges from our pilot as well as next steps.

View the presentation [Slideshare]


Piloting disability disaggregation in routine data collection

This presentation from October 2014 highlights Sightsavers’ learnings from our disability data disaggregation pilot project.

View the presentation [Slideshare]

External links

Washington Group on disability statistics


World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning


Mainstreaming disability-inclusive development: ensuring no one is left behind

A roundup of the one-day seminar hosted by Sightsavers with ADD International and WaterAid on approaches to mainstreaming disability (targeted at agencies receiving strategic grants from the UK Department for International Development.


DevEx: Data disaggregation for disability-inclusive development

The UK Department for International Development’s new Disability Framework signals the first step in DFID’s commitment to making its programmes systematically inclusive of and accessible to people with disabilities.


SciDev: View on disability: how to count aid beneficiaries

In an opinion piece for UK paper The Independent earlier this month, the politician David Blunkett backed the conclusions of an inquiry into the Department for International Development’s disability work and urged it to adopt a coherent disability strategy.

More about data disaggregation

Close-up photo of hands reading braille.
Sightsavers blog

The UK disability summit: 100 days to go

It's 100 days until the world’s first global disability summit, hosted by the UK government’s Department for International Development.

Dom Haslam talking with a microphone, next to a lady and a man.

Event shows how inclusive data can ensure no one is left behind

The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data has highlighted the importance of using data to shine a light on groups that are often excluded.

Men reading

Sightsavers set to promote crucial role of data at world-first forum

Properly understood, reliable data is central to delivering equitable development.

Want to learn more about our work?

Sightsavers and disability rights