27.09.2017 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Inclusion as a Process: Participatory Data Collection for Disability-Friendly Cities

UNESCO Jakarta Office

On 26th of September 2017, UNESCO Jakarta Office and Kota Kita Foundation convened the representatives of the city government of Solo and several local disability rights NGOs to present the participatory data collection methodology, and the Disability-Inclusive City Profile produced through its application. The tools helped generate lively discussions and constructive feedback from many different stakeholders. Once finalized, the tools will be used for advocacy and capacity-building towards social, economic and political inclusion of persons with disabilities.

In Indonesia, cities are often at the forefront of inclusive social policy innovation to fulfill the rights of persons with disabilities. But the lack of disaggregated, reliable, timely and fit-for-purpose data makes it very difficult for the municipal policymakers and the civil society to design and implement policies that leave no-one behind.

One way for city authorities to bridge the data gap and thereby strengthen the inclusive character of urban environments is by fostering closer links with persons with disabilities, increasing their participation in all aspects of policy process – including gathering data and evidence needed for effective city-level policy and action. Such participatory approaches can also offer the possibility of mobilizing the skills and expertise of persons with disabilities and disabled persons organizations (DPOs) in inclusive planning.

UNESCO and its partner NGO Kota Kita (which translates as “Our City”) collaborated in 2017 to deploy a participatory data collection methodology in Solo. A neighbourhood-level mapping conducted by the project led to the enrichment and standardization of the participatory data collection methodology, and the development of a disability-inclusive city profile.

The initiative goes beyond mapping and identifies constraints and opportunities for disability inclusion. It uses volunteers to gather vital socio-economic and demographic data at the smallest administrative division level – referred to in Indonesia as “rukun tetangga” (RT). The persons with disabilities responding to a specially designed questionnaire transmit the information into a citywide dataset. This enables mapping of various key determinants of exclusion and inclusion, such as the concentrations of persons with disabilities throughout the city and in relation to the location of various vital public institutions for education and healthcare. The exercise has already produced datasets that are unique in Indonesia in being able to provide fine-grain information about the city residents with disabilities, and the degree of their inclusion in different aspects of life.

By its completion at the end of 2017, the initiative will represent a scalable model that can be replicated in other cities of Indonesia. UNESCO, together with the Network of Mayors for Inclusive Cities of Indonesia will continue to work with Kota Kita to make this happen.

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