A partnership to drive action on disability data
Sightsavers has been working in Kenya with the government and partners on inclusion for many years, and we’ve learned a lot along the way. So we were keen to support the government in their efforts to strengthen the production and use of disability data.
The State Department for Social Protection led a highly consultative process, which we joined, together with other organisations including the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Kenya, Development Initiatives, National Council of Persons with Disabilities, and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, to support the development of its IDC action plan.
As a group, we contributed a range of perspectives and experiences that were helpful in creating the action plan. We took a number of steps, such as conducting an extensive review of the government’s existing data systems to check whether they were disability inclusive. That exercise revealed additional issues and gaps where urgent action was needed.
Sightsavers participated in conversations with senior leadership, including the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, who are the custodians of data in the country, to make them more aware of gaps in the data on disability. The consultative process supported the State Department to build political will for the IDC, with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics co-signing the final action plan.
Sightsavers also helped to organise workshops and consultations to validate the IDC action plan, involving government, civil society and OPDs. This approach ensured that there was buy-in from the different groups involved, which will be crucial when the government starts to implement the IDC action plan.
Ensuring that no one is left behind
While Kenya has made progress, there is still a lot of work to do. With better quality disability data, we can better understand the needs of people with disabilities and take action.
The key learning from our work in Kenya on the IDC is that we need to form partnerships that are inclusive – bringing in government, civil society, people with disabilities and others. That’s how you mobilise action and create change.
Launching Kenya’s IDC action plan is the first step. Now we need to implement it. Sightsavers will be there to support the government of Kenya, and will continue to collaborate with other partners in this work.
With the next Global Disability Summit coming up in 2022, we need others to commit to prioritising disability data, because for data to be inclusive, we must ensure that everyone is counted. By signing up to the Inclusive Data Charter, governments and organisations can join a community of champions who are working to ensure that all their citizens are included in the data, so that no one is left behind.