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

Penny Mordaunt gives a sign language speech onstage as a roomful of people look on.

Sightsavers welcomes disability summit commitments

At the summit, there were more than 300 signatories to the UK government's Charter for Change, and more than 170 other specific commitments made.

Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame speaking to a room full of people in Parliament.

Ministers attend Sightsavers-supported event in parliament

The Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt, joined MPs and peers to mark the upcoming Global Disability Summit.

Speakers at the event.

Sightsavers signs up to new Inclusive Data Charter

The charter aims to make the collection of global development data more disability-inclusive. 

Want to learn more about our work?

Sightsavers and disability rights