International Journal of Arts and Humanities

ISSN 2360-7998

A gap analysis on SDG 17, based on the reports from the United Nations: A Disability lens

Abstract: The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 17 calls for “Strengthening the means of implementation and revitalising global partnerships for sustainable development” (UN, 2015). It implies that countries ensure sustainable futures for all by addressing global challenges such as inequality and disability. Every country submits progress reports to the UN following a guideline that reflects reporting on SDG 17. While acknowledging the great work done by various countries at their possible pace, there is continued identification of disability as hardly mentioned in the reports. Baron (2016) expressed caution in this regard. The same assertion was brought up in the inaugural UN flagship report on SDGs and disability, reinforcing that it is hardly part of tracking and monitoring the progress of SDGs, yet there are only less than six years to evaluate the SDG's achievement in 2030. Therefore, the current article seeks to interrogate UN reports on SDG 17 through the lens of the UNCRPD because little is known about SDG 17 and disability in the academic space. Thus contributing to the disability debate within the SDGs. The contents of SDG progress reports were reviewed following a content analysis approach. A particular focus was on the UN-generated guideline framework (system) in line with Goal (SDG) 17`s custodian agencies. This implies that preconceived categories emerged from key assessment areas/ indicators, which are: (i) finance/ foreign aid, (ii) technology, (iii) capacity building and (iv) data monitoring, as vital for achieving the goal. The findings reflect an existing gap in specific reporting on progress on disability, let alone the mention of "disability". It leaves a lot of questions about whether the reporting framework has a ‘blank spot’ on disability inclusion or whether disability is overshadowed by other societal phenomena’s progress in pursuing the SDGs. Therefore, the implication is if the status quo is maintained this raises concerns on disability matters that cut across other goals. Thus, the author recommends a review of guidelines (including awareness of the UN-SDG 17 guideline framework to be reviewed from a UNCRPD lens.) for reporting that explicitly incorporates disability for all tracking monitoring and measuring progress enshrined in SDG 17. Further propositions are pointed towards tracking and reporting done through the National Reporting by member states; Custodian Agencies; UN Reporting guidelines and Global reporting to the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)..Keywords: Disability; Sustainable Development Goals; Goal 17

Keywords: Gap analysis, SDG 17, United Nations: Disability lens