The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is officially termed as Transforming out world: the 2030 agenda for sustainable development consists 17 different global goals targeting 169 factors the world is suffering from. The United Nations commanded these goals through a process that involves 193 member states and the global civil society. These goals are placed in the para 54 of the United Nation Regulations A/RES/70/1 of 25 September 2015 . This SDG is built on the values of resolution A/RES/66/288 that is termed as “The future we want” and is a nonbinding article, a result of Rio+20 meeting happened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2012. After the historic success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nation wanted to propose a plan worldwide that has the ability to change the bottom line needs of the human wellbeing and people could avail the basic needs for their living without any problem . Therefore, the urge for such goals lead them to construct a SGD that has the ability to change the entire world. The framework for this purpose started on 19 July 2014 when the Open Working Group (OWG) advanced the proposal of SDG to the UN General Assembly (UNGA). The UNGA, on December 5, 2014 accepted the report of secretary general that stated the SDG goals would be based on the proposal of the OWG. Finally, In the SDG summit held on September 25 to 27, 2015 in New York, USA these goals were accepted for the future .
Disability Inclusion Development is a part of UN SDGs proposed to create a better world altogether. 15 percent of the world population, which is nearly one billion, is suffering from any kind of disability and such occurrence is higher for developing countries than the developed ones. It is a fact that person with disability, throughout the world, has to suffer more in every case than the person without disability does . These suffering may include, less education, less healthcare opportunities, less employment and higher rates of poverty. The poverty alone can increase the rate of disability through malnutrition, which is the prime reason for mental disability of children worldwide. Further, it increases the chance of less educational and work related opportunities, polluted and unhygienic conditions and the prime reason is their bottom line needs to achieve a respectful living for them, which is food, education and employment. Inclusion of disabled person to the mainstream and expanding windows for equal opportunities is the prime goal for the sustainable development goals 2030 that focuses on the basic needs for the world population . Therefore, it is the responsibility of the world population, who are blessed to have everything in their life, to share a bit with these needy people. Inclusion of disability in the sustainable development goal 2030 is of importance because there were no goals mentioned for the disabled people in the MDGs and due to which such people were feeling left out of the global agendas. However, adding them in the UN agenda is not going to help these people, it needs proper vigilance and tracking as they are not always given the respect and right they deserve .
This critical analysis of the UNGA Resolution A/RES/70/1 Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is going to discuss the different issues regarding disability and disability inclusion mentioned in the SDGs. the number of goals for disability is linked with SDGs, their link with human rights and their proper details are going to be discussed. How these goals support the inclusion and development in all the countries for people with disability will be discussed. Strength, shortcomings and inadequacy of these goals for implication in developed and developing countries by different governmental and non-governmental organizations are going to be analyzed critically. Steps that can be used to achieve these goals and the ways by which the developed countries are collecting data and measurement are going to be discussed. different process of data gathering and measurement and evaluation for disability inclusive development is going to be discussed and its importance in the implication will be analyzed. Implication of these SDG goals in developed and developing countries needs changes in few existing laws and policies. This report is going to discuss the laws that need to be changed to implement the SDGs for disabled people. Finally, a suggestion will be provided to achieve the SDG 2030, with discussion about the pros and cons of the human right based approach of Disability inclusive development.
Human rights, Sustainable Development and disability inclusive development
Human rights is an integral part of the 2030 SDGs. the millennium development goals were proposed for the developed countries only and therefore, so many issues related to human rights were neglected in those development goals. However, the SDGs proposed in 2015 general assembly unequivocally anchored in human rights. while the range of MDGs were narrow and included a set of economic and social issues, the SDG included 17 goals and 169 targets covering an array of issues that puts out different human right issues in an open platform . As an example, the topic that SDG addresses are availability, quality affordability and accessibility of education, water, sanitation, health and many more issues that is an integral part of the human rights for years. Therefore, it is quite evident that SDG is human right based.
Unlike the MDGs, the SDGs are very vocal about the basal level needs of people with disability and talks about their basic human rights. It can be evident from the fact that, eleven times the SDGs mentions ‘person with disabilities’ or disability in the 2030 agenda. Not only the physical disability, the SDGs expresses its concern about mental disability as well and mentions the vulnerability in persons more than six times . The SDGs that mentions the disability inclusive development directly are-
- Goal 4 which discusses about building equal, accessible and guaranteed education for every children by creating inclusive environment for learning. it also mentions to provide the assistance, disabled people needed to thrive.
- Goal 8, which discusses about the equal economic growth and providing equal opportunity and access to disabled person in job market.
- The goal 10 sets the parameter and discusses about emphasizing the political, social and economic inclusion of disabled people.
- The goal 11 discusses about creating equal condition for disabled people for living, travel, and other topics by creating cities with accessible water resources. For travel, the transport has to be sustainable to provide safe, accessible and green public space.
- Finally, the goal 17, that defines the importance of data collection and monitoring of the SDGs and emphasizes on the Disability disaggregated data .
SDGs support to Disability inclusive development in all the countries
SDGs five goals are directly inclusive of people with disability and is proposed to implement the goals for the betterment of these people. Partner countries are trying their best to implement these goals and one such process is application of Washington group questions that helps to gather the data about disability. It is a set of six questions, which can help to gather the information about people with disability. Almost 50 countries has included these questions in their consensus questions and are getting positive results . Other countries have their internal methods to implement these goals in their territory.
Implication of SDGs for government in developed and developing countries
The sustainable development goals were difficult to implement in so many countries as these new goals needed to be implemented only after making some changes in the current policies. Governments of those countries, who were to adapt to the SDG indicators, targets and goals had to implement changes in their existing laws and their national situations. Countries has set up different groups to follow up the process of implementation of SDG in their territory. The strength of this process is the honest moves that are implemented to include the disabled people in the mainstream . Governments are changing their policies for education, food and shelter, employment and providing the disabled with equal rights for all these basic needs for their sustainable development. nearly one third of the 58 million out-of-school students are disabled hence, such countries are applying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), according to which, mental and psychological disability also need to be provided with all the help physically disabled person is provided with . Further, for the governments, disability is not only about physical or mental disability, disability is concerned in case of gender inequality; food; hunger; poverty and disability to live like a middleclass able person. Hence, governments are applying the amendments of CRPD and trying to make possible changes in their legislative system to smoothly operate the rules.
Implication of SDGs for non-governmental organization in developed and developing countries
The role of Non-governmental organizations in implication of sustainable development goals are very important as they work as a system to review the laws, the government is preparing. disability, as it is previously discussed can be of many types, disability to eat, stay healthy, disability to educate and employment, is as adverse as the physical and mental disability . Furthermore, it is evident that these social conditions are one of the reasons for the disability the world is facing. Non-governmental organization plays very important role as they help the community with all their basic needs such as medication, diagnosis, basic education and many more. As the timeframe and pace of achieving the goals are different for developed and developing countries, only private sector has the ability to bring strength and capacity to those countries to implement the SDGs for disabled inclusive development . The strength of these non-governmental organizations are they are attached with several national and international organizations, hence in case of any problem or corruption, the organization can raise its voice internationally to protect the rights of disabled. However, the weakness is their ‘less power’ compared to the governmental organization.
Implication for stakeholders
The role of stakeholders is very important to implement the proposed amendments in order to comply with the sustainable development goals proposed as goal 2030. The proper meaning of disability inclusive development is that every disabled person will be provided with the equal opportunities for education, work, healthcare justice and protection. The government will perform its duty by amending new policies and laws to support the disabled, whereas the non-governmental organization will help by raising their voices and amending those laws on their own. Finally, it is the duty of the stakeholders to implement the changes. People with disability, healthcare professionals, caregivers and education and health service providers are the one who can bring change to implement the SDGs in society . They can participate in the formation and implementation phase of law, which is non-discriminating and equal. They need to be vocal about their own rights and should demand their basic needs rightfully. The prime strength of such stakeholders are their unity, which help them to strengthening governance. However, the weakness in inability to bring such stake holders together. Stakeholders are a part of society and if the SDGs were affecting their own life, they would not be able to support that. secondly, as the developing countries like India and Bangladesh are living with such situations for many years, the prime stakeholders are not been able to connect to the SDGs for their betterment and feeling left out. Hence, absence of strong will power to make changes in their own life is another weakness . Several developed countries has started implementing new policies to comply with SDGs. India, for example, has allotted 10 to 15 percent of its annual budget for the welfare of disabled. The government of India has increased the reservation rate of disables in education and employment field and has started new transport systems for the travel convenience of the disabled person .
Assessment method to make these goals possible to achieve
For developing countries, it is very important to assess the implemented policies to apply SDGs for disability inclusive development. Implementation of new policies and amending those in the workforce is important step to include the disabled in the mainstream population. However, the amount of services they are achieving or the rules are properly helping them or not can only be known after a proper evaluation is carried out. Choosing a particular data collection method can be tricky as collection method depends upon the information needed to evaluate . Using existing data will be useful for situation analysis or initial project design. Rapid assessment for disability (RAD) is one of the major tools that is used to estimate the presence of disabled person in a pool of population. Further, it helps to create a baseline study among adults, to support the design, implementation and evaluation of the project. This assessment method consist of a set of quantitative questionnaires that is either household or individual surveys. Several countries has also included the Washington group short questions in their survey to assess the disability inclusive development in their country .
The data gathering and measurement tools, developed countries use are population census, sample survey and administrative collections and registries. The advantages of using these techniques to collect the data are its availability. The data in this process can be tabulated for small geographical areas as the target population at risk are generally colonized in such places. The data measurement tools are chosen according to the data collection tool, for example if the collection tools are individual specific, then the data measurement tool should be individual as well .
The needs of disability data gathering
- Around 15 percent of the world population is living with disability (1 billion). 80 percent of these disabled person lives in developing countries, in which 22 percent are in poorest communities. Hence, disability is present in every developing program the SDG is working on .
- Despite of several progressive and developing projects for disabled people, they are not been provided with the positive outcomes of these schemes. Hence, measurement tools are important.
- To include the disabled in the mainstream, it is important to understand the discrimination and politics they face on the ground level. Without the understanding, it is ineffective to implement any development program or disability inclusion strategy .
- Lack of data about disability prevalence often causes the exclusion of such people from the developmental goals. Due to the lack of prevalence data, people with disability are underestimated, even in the official reports and statistics, which can make disability inclusion, appear less of a priority.
Laws that need to be changed around the world for disabled
Every country has its own laws and policies that are implemented to provide the population with justice. However, it is seen that disabled are always neglected in every countries. Therefore, a common change in the law of those countries need to be amended to change the scenario. The United Nations Convention on the Right of Person with Disability (CRPD) is a set of rules or policies, which helps to bring a paradigm shift in the policies of the participating nations . This law generally focuses on the educational, food and employment aspect of living and focuses on securing these basic needs in their life.
Pros and cons about human right based approach in the disability inclusive development
Despite of the fact that Human rights helps to strengthen the voice of people and help them to get their rights, there is a negative side of it as well. To successfully implement the sustainable development goals for disabled inclusive development by 2030, human rights are a very important way. The pros and cons of human rights for the advocacy of disabled are mentioned below:
In developed countries, where the nation is struggling for its political grounds, mass population issues, it is difficult for the disables to raise their voice for their own rights. Human rights lays a major role in this case and help those people with justice by providing them with the basic needs of their life . On the other hand, the cons of human rights are for the poor developing countries, where not only disabled but also the entire community is struggling for their rights. In such situation, if the nation is concerned about only disables and neglects others, that will be unethical as well.
Suggestions to achieve SDG by 2030
The developed countries are setting up benchmarks to implement the SDGs for the improvement of disabled in their country. They are doing their best to improve the quality education, employment, reduced inequality and to create sustainable cities and colonies to let these people live their normal life . The developed countries has focused three aspects of disability and are working on it. These are – disability due to age, disability due to disease and mental disability. Several old age homes and intervention centers have been created to help people with age related disability. To overcome the mental disability, people medication system has been issued to the local governments. Finally, to improve the disease related issues, public hospitals are instructed to provide the disables with free quality healthcare .
Few suggestions that need to amend by the developing countries to achieve the SDG by 2030 are:
- All the countries should create a disability exert group. The prime role of this group will be to ensure the inclusion of policies for disabled in every key initiatives or schemes.
- The countries should focus on creating guidelines to include the disabled from all over the nation so that, they can avail the benefits.
- Like developed countries, developing countries should also empower the officials to carry out census or data collection regarding the disabled. a consensus need to be built to apply this model throughout the state.
- Governments should focus on secondary aspects that can lead to disability such as poverty, sanitation, health education. This will help to change the mindset of the population.
The world always bears a negligence attitude against the disabled people. During the millennium development goals or MDG, not a single development goal was mentioned to help the people with disability or for their betterment in future. Furthermore, on September 25 2015, a common development goal was set by the UNGA for 2030. This sustainable development goal finally focuses on the need of the disabled and dedicated five goals that includes the basic needs of these people and urge the nations to take pledge for their development. Goal 4, 8, 10, 11 and 17 was vocal about the different basic need of disabled such as food, shelter, education employment and security. In many countries, it is difficult for disabled to communicate or thrive inside a community where everybody is ‘normal’. In this situation, SDG and its associated human rights are the only way to let them avail their rights. Therefore, the developed and developing countries should utilize their governmental and non-governmental institutions to help the people in need. In this discussion, the implications regarding the SDGs for developed and developing countries has been mentioned with their pros and cons. the process by which the developed countries collect the data and measure the disability has been mentioned with the need of collection and measurement. Finally, the pros and cons of the human right based approach to include disability in the mainstream population has been mentioned. Suggestions for the developing countries to achieve the goal by 2030 has been put up.
- Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development [Internet]. Un.org. 2017 [cited 2 November 2017]. Available from:
- Taylor S, Williams B, Magnus D, Goenka A, Modi N. From MDG to SDG: good news for global child health?. Lancet (London, England). 2015 Sep 26;386(10000):1213.
- Sachs JD. From millennium development goals to sustainable development goals. The Lancet. 2012 Jun 9;379(9832):2206-11.
- Buse K, Hawkes S. Health in the sustainable development goals: ready for a paradigm shift?. Globalization and health. 2015 Mar 21;11(1):13.
- Wolbring G, Mackay R, Rybchinski T, Noga J. Disabled people and the post-2015 development goal agenda through a disability studies lens. Sustainability. 2013 Sep 25;5(10):4152-82.
- Grech S. Disability and development: Critical connections, gaps and contradictions. InDisability in the Global South 2016 (pp. 3-19). Springer International Publishing.
- Izutsu T, Tsutsumi A, Minas H, Thornicroft G, Patel V, Ito A. Mental health and wellbeing in the Sustainable Development Goals. The Lancet Psychiatry. 2015 Dec 1;2(12):1052-4.
- Tasmania Department of Health. Dhhs.tas.gov.au. 2017 [cited 2 November 2017]. Available from:
- DISABILITY INCLUSIVE SDGs. Un.org. 2017 [cited 2 November 2017]. Available from:
- Gupta J, Vegelin C. Sustainable development goals and inclusive development. International environmental agreements: Politics, law and economics. 2016 Jun 1;16(3):433-48.
- Waage J, Yap C, Bel S, Levy C, Mace G, Pegram T, Unterhalter E, Dasandi N, Hudson D, Kock R, Mayhew S. Governing Sustainable Development Goals: interactions, infrastuctures, and institutions.
- Fitzpatrick JJ. Moral and Ethical Issues in Mental Health. Archives of psychiatric nursing. 2016 Dec 1;30(6):647.
- Norheim OF, Jha P, Admasu K, Godal T, Hum RJ, Kruk ME, G?mez-Dant?s O, Mathers CD, Pan H, Sep?lveda J, Suraweera W. Avoiding 40% of the premature deaths in each country, 2010–30: review of national mortality trends to help quantify the UN Sustainable Development Goal for health. The Lancet. 2015 Jan 23;385(9964):239-52.
- Blewitt J. Understanding sustainable development. Routledge; 2014 Jul 25.
- Alleyne G, Beaglehole R, Bonita R. Quantifying targets for the SDG health goal. The Lancet. 2015 Jan 17;385(9964):208-9.
- Education for Sustainable Development Goals – Learning Objective [Internet]. Unesdoc.unesco.org. 2017 [cited 2 November 2017]. Available from:
- Thornicroft G, Patel V. Including mentalhealth among the new sustainable development goals. BMJ (Clinical research ed). 2014;349:g5189.
- Australian Disability and Development Consortium [Internet]. Addc.org.au. 2017 [cited 2 November 2017]. Available from:
- Bossel H. Indicators for sustainable development: theory, method, Available from:
- Shonkoff JP. Building a new biodevelopmental framework to guide the future of early childhood policy. Child development. 2010 Jan 1;81(1):357-67.
- EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT [Internet]. Usaid.gov. 2017 [cited 2 November 2017]. Available from:
- Taylor SJ, Bogdan R, DeVault M. Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource. John Wiley & Sons; 2015 Oct 19.
- Law M, Cooper B, Strong S, Stewart D, Rigby P, Letts L. The person-environment-occupation model: A transactive approach to occupational performance. Canadian journal of occupational therapy. 1996 Apr;63(1):9-23.
- Walmsley J. Normalisation, emancipatory research and inclusive research in learning disability. Disability & Society. 2001 Mar 1;16(2):187-205.
- Sachs JD, Schmidt-Traub G, Durand-Delacre D. Preliminary Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Index and Dashboard. Sustainable Development Solutions Network. 2016 Feb 15;15.
- Kanwar A, Cheng R. Getting Practical About SDG 4 in Teacher Education in Africa.