Disability Data Lab: a practical guide to all things disability data

Join the Bond Disability and Development Group (DDG) for the first in a series of exciting events and practical workshops on how to collect and use data on disability.

Event date: Tuesday 22 October, 09:30-16:00, Central London

The Disability Data Lab will be a practical and interactive workshop facilitated by leading experts in the disability data field and is aimed at both disability-focused and mainstream organisations alike.

This series is organised by the DDG and Bond in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund. This event is an opportunity to share information and lessons on how to collect and use data on disability. You will learn how to apply these practices within your own organisation.

You'll hear from experts on the various disability data collection tools available and the opportunities and challenges presented by disability data for international development programmes and advocacy.

Participants will then have a chance to take part in two breakout sessions of their choosing. The breakout session will explore specific topics in which participants will learn tips and techniques on how to practically apply disability data collection methodologies in their work, share experiences, and trouble-shoot common challenges with experts from across the sector. 

What you'll get:

  • information and lessons on how to collect and use data on disability
  • knowledge and skills on data and disability that you can practically apply to your work
  • connect with colleagues and learn from peers about their work in this area

The event will be held at the Hallam Conference Centre, 44 Hallam Street, London, W1W 6JJ.


The event will run from 09:30-16:00 (lunch will be provided).

  • The importance of disability data and its relevance to your work  - Speaker: Diane Kingston, Sightsavers, Tom Palmer, Islamic Relief Worldwide
  • Key initiatives on data and disability 
  • Donor perspectives on disability data 
  • Examples of how NGOs are collecting data on disability in different contexts, including in humanitarian settings 
  • An introduction to the Washington Group questions and examples of how they have been used in practice 

Breakout sessions 1, you can attend one of:

  • Washington Group Questions 101 
    The Washington Group Short Set of Questions (WGQs) is the name of a methodology with which those working in international development may already be familiar, but how many actually know what this data collection methodology approach does or how to apply it in their work?  This session provides an overview of the WGQs from the team working with Washington Group on global dissemination of this methodology, providing an overview and  giving tips for organisations looking to using the WGQs for better data on disability from collection to application, including some of challenges in using the WGQs in different contexts. Speaker: Professor Nora Groce, University College London. 

  • Data on children with disabilities 
    What are the risks on collecting data on children and how can child focused disability data be used to ensure they are fully included and protected in our programming? This session will focus on the particular considerations for the collection of use of disability data in child-focused programming. Speaker:  Lauren Watters, AbleChildAfrica. 

  • Data for Advocacy 
    This session will discuss why data and evidence is important in global advocacy. Whether you are pushing governments to implement international conventions and frameworks such the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities or the Sustainable Development Goals, or working with specific sectors to mainstream disability within their work knowing how to apply data for monitoring and accountability will greatly enhance your chances to influencing policy change.
    Speakers: Jazz Shaban, Leonard Chesire, Maeve O'Reilly, Leonard Cheshire

Breakout sessions 2, you can attend one of the following:

  • Data in Humanitarian settings
    Humanitarian actors often lack information and knowledge about available or appropriate tools to collect disability data. Without this data humanitarian actors are not equipped to identify and address people with disabilities’ needs, or design and implement inclusive projects. This session will discuss some of the challenges for collecting and using data in humanitarian and crisis context and will look at various tools available to ensure people with disabilities are getting access to humanitarian programmes and services.
    Speakers:  Alice Hawkes, International Rescue Committee, Florian Pujol, Humanity and Inclusion

  • Data on mental health 
    Mental health is a crucial and often neglected development issue. This session will explore how development actors can better collect data on mental health – to make sure that your programmes are better including people with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities and that you better understand the impact your programmes can have on mental health and wellbeing. 
    Speakers: Grace Ryan, Centre for Global Mental Health of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

  • Collecting and using qualitative data 
    Often the focus of disability data is about disaggregating by disability. However, collecting qualitative data on the lived reality of people with disabilities is also crucial to understand the barriers that people experience and how they can be overcome. This session will explore the opportunities and challenges associated with collecting and using qualitative data on disability. 
    Speakers: Mary Wickenden, Institute of Development Studies