October 24, 2014

Can better data collection in developing countries improve prospects for disabled?

Developing countries are being encouraged to streamline data collection methods to improve prospects for people with disabilities.

The Department for International Development (DfID) has said that reliable data on world disability is lacking, due to variable definitions of disability and inconsistent information collection methods.

Without concrete information, it is more difficult for world leaders to understand the size and nature of the disabled population, and refine national policies accordingly.

The World Health Organisation and World Bank estimate that about 15% of the world’s population is affected by physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities.

Further research from University College London suggests that 80% of disabled people live in developing countries. This study also shows that these people are less likely to find stable employment, and are more likely to face discrimination and fall into poverty.

In a report released earlier this year, chair of the UK’s International Development Committee Sir Malcom Bruce said: "Disabled people in developing countries are the poorest of the poor: if we are serious about tackling extreme poverty, our development work has to target them."

Several IZA World of Labor articles use empirical data to suggest how policy should be formed to reduce poverty. Tim H. Gindling suggests that a higher minimum wage in developing countries may help, depending on particular characteristics of the labor market.

Gordon Betcherman, meanwhile, discusses how labor markets should be regulated in developing countries to best protect workers and improve market efficiency.

Today marks both United Nations Day and World Development Information Day, which promote the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve development problems.

Read more here.

Related articles:
Does increasing the minimum wages reduce poverty in developing countries? by T. H. Gindling
Designing labor market regulations in developing countries, by Gordon Betcherman