Disability and the post-2015 development agenda

Rachele Tardi, Janet Njelesani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: The article considers the extent to which disability has been recognized and included in two main documents produced to date as part of the United Nations Post-2015 Development agenda process. This is the process that is defining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will succeed the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after the latter reach their target date in 2015. The two documents examined in the article are the Outcome Document (July 2014) of the Open Working Group (OWG) on SDGs and the Report (August 2014) of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF). The OWG consisted of 30 seats shared by 70 UN Member States and was in charge of proposing goals and targets for the SDGs. The ICESDF worked in parallel to the OWG and its report proposed options on an effective financing strategy. The article emphasizes the importance of including persons with disabilities in the Post-2015 Agenda, especially in view of the latter's overarching focus on eradicating poverty. Results: The inclusion of persons with disabilities is being recognized in the Post-2015 Agenda discussions as central to achieving sustainable development. Disability has been explicitly mentioned in the OWG and ICESDF documents. Conclusion: Although the results so far have been very good, more work still needs to be done to ensure that these explicit references are maintained in the final version of the SDGs, which will be adopted in September 2015. Furthermore, the new framework needs to have a stronger human rights foundation on which to ground these references and future indicators. Light for the World is an international confederation of national development non-governmental organizations (NGOs) aiming at an inclusive society, where the rights of persons with disabilities are realized without discrimination. Through a rights-based approach, Light for the World supports 175 programs in 25 countries in the areas of prevention of blindness, rehabilitation, inclusive education, awareness raising and advocacy, both at EU and UN level. Light for the World has been advocating for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the Post-2015 Agenda, working closely with the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), of which it is a member, and the International Disability Alliance (IDA).Implications for RehabilitationThe new Post-2015 development agenda is a fundamental opportunity to ensure that persons with disabilities are fully included in future development efforts.Inclusive development, as enshrined in the UNCRPD, has clear implications for the disability community and for policy makers.Advocacy from the disability community is critical to help keep the inclusion of persons with disabilities high on the agenda of the Post-2015 process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1496-1500
Number of pages5
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number16
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Disability-inclusive development
  • Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
  • Post-2015
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • United Nations
  • disability advocacy
  • persons with disabilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Disability and the post-2015 development agenda'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this