Today marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The day promotes the rights and wellbeing of people with disabilities in all areas of society. Disability inclusion is essential to upholding human rights and fulfilling the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ‘Leave No One Behind’.

Kenya’s Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes is committed to enabling the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities at every level of society. However, a lack of reliable, inclusive, and disaggregated disability data affects our ability to devise programs and policies that effectively meet the needs of persons with disabilities.

The Ministry, through the State Department for Social Protection, is accelerating our efforts to produce, analyze, and use timely, comprehensive, and disaggregated disability data by launching our Inclusive Data Charter (IDC) Action Plan.

The action plan outlines concrete steps to advance the understanding, generation and use of disability disaggregated data to inform our decisions and planning, enabling us to empower and include persons with disabilities in national development, on an equal basis with others. The action plan is co-signed by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

“In order to live up to the promise inherent within the Sustainable Development Goals, to “Leave No One Behind,” there is need for timely, comprehensive, and disaggregated data, to better understand the situation of the poorest and most marginalized, hence the importance of the IDC Action Plan.” - Hon Patrick Ole Ntutu, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes, speaking at the action plan launch event on November 30, 2021.

The action plan has been developed, reviewed and validated through a highly consultative process over the past year and a half, involving organizations for persons with disabilities and a core working group*. Looking ahead, the action plan will support and strengthen the engagement and coordination of State and non-State actors in the collection, analysis and utilization of disaggregated disability data.

Since committing to the IDC at the Global Disability Summit in 2018, the Government of Kenya has made important steps forward on disability data and towards implementing the UN  Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The IDC action plan will be critical to advancing this progress further, but this is just the start.

We aim to over time expand the action plan to focus on other population groups which are marginalized and scale it across the government. We invite our national and international colleagues to join us on this journey - please read our action plan and get in touch if there are ways that we can collaborate.

*The core group is comprised of the Inclusive Data Charter (IDC) secretariat, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD), Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Kenya, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), Development Initiatives, and Sightsavers.

The Inclusive Data Charter is an open multi-stakeholder initiative that supports governments and organizations to put inclusivity at the heart of their data systems, enabling them to better understand, address and monitor the needs of people who are marginalized.