Ethiopia: CSA Improves Mechanisms to Get Precise Figure of PWDs

Addis Ababa — Central Statistical Agency (CSA) says it has improved mechanisms and included the globally recognized Washington Group Questions to assess and identify the precise figure of persons with disability (PWDS) in the upcoming 4th national census.

In an exclusive interview with ENA Population Census Director of CSA, Abate Fideli said "we have jointly worked on formulating the questionnaires for the upcoming national census and provided capacity building training's."

"We expect to find the exact number of people with disability in the upcoming 4th National Census using the Washington Group Questions," he pointed out.

The Washington Group Question assesses whether the respondents have a disability based on their response to questions that assess difficulties with universal basic activities rather than by asking them to identify as having disability.

The 3rd national census indicated that only 1.1 percent of the total population was persons with disabilities while World Health Organization and World Bank's reported indicated it was 17.6 percent.

"We do not think the data is inaccurate," Abate said, and added that it was obtained from what was on the ground with the questions that defines the existing data by then.

The improvements in the definition of the types of questions to be asked during the questionnaire will definitely enhance the quality of the data to be obtained, the Director anticipated.

Executive Director of Federation of Ethiopian National Associations of Persons with Disabilities (FENAPD), Abayneh Gujo said that not finding out the exact number of persons with disability has caused significant impacts.

"The major impediment in easing access for disabled over the last ten years was because of the reason that work are not being done without having the accurate number of persons with disability," he pointed out.

According to him, so as not to repeat the previous mistakes, the Federation in collaboration with the government has done comprehensive work to find out the accurate total figure of disabled persons as well as the specific type of their disability in the upcoming census.

CSA has included the globally accepted Washington Group Questions that focuses on individuals with difficulty of hearing, seeing, walking, remembering and taking self-care and its extent, he elaborated.

Lack of capacity, appropriate questionnaire and most notably the long-lived erroneous social attitude towards people with disability (PWDS) were among factors that affected the previous census, Abate stated.

However, he pointed out that government's due attention to the disabled, postponement of the census that helped to incorporate missed components and provide adequate capacity building training were the enabling circumstances.

He stressed "to realize that no one is left behind and ensure the inclusivity of persons with disability, Ethiopia should first know the exact number."

Mentioning that many countries address the issues of disability by setting a ministry, he argued "ours is still crawling to a directorate level under a ministry."

FENAPD, which is a network of six single disability focused national associations, aspires to see a disability inclusive socio-economic environment in Ethiopia.

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