Resources for Creating Shadow Reports
Article 35 of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) requires that State Parties submit reports on how the rights of people with disabilities are being implemented within their country. States must first report within two years of ratifying the Convention, and then every four years after that. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) examines each report and responds with a List of Issues (LOI) that raises questions and requests additional information. The states party must then follow up with a Reply to the List of Issues, providing answers to the Committee’s questions and providing the additional information that they requested. The Committee then issues Concluding Observations, in which they make suggestions and general recommendations in reaction to the report and to the Reply to the List of Issues.
Article 33 and the CPRD Committee’s guidelines on State Reporting support participation of non-governmental bodies, especially Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) in the monitoring and reporting process. DPOs are allowed and encouraged to submit shadow reports (also known as parallel reports) that are reviewed by the Committee in addition to the reports submitted by State Parties.
UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The UN CRPD Committee’s guidelines for how to participate in the monitoring, reporting and other activities of the Committee include basic guidance on word limits, format, and language.
Download below: Guidelines on the Participation of Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) and Civil Society Organizations in the Work of the Committee (2014)
In addition to the UN CRPD Committee’s guidelines, DPOs may wish to review a few shadow reports written by DPOs in other countries as a model for their own. To find shadow reports by country, visit the CRPD Committee website visit the CRPD Committee website. In the right hand navigation bar, under the sub-head “Country-Specific Information”, use the pull down menu to select the country you want. This will bring you to a list of all the treaties that country has ratified and started reporting on. Select “CRPD” to see a list of recent reporting cycles, then open each reporting cycle to see all documents related to that reporting cycle for that country. This will include the official report from the country government, the LOI from the Committee (if any), the Reply to the LOIs, and the Committee’s Concluding Observations. If any DPOs or other non-governmental organizations have submitted a shadow report for that country, then these will be listed as “Info from Civil Society Organizations”. In some countries, there might not be anyone writing shadow reports. In some countries, for example Mexico, there may be several civil society organizations submitting reports.
UN Office of the High Commissioner
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) guide provides information on how to assist in monitoring state implementation of the CRPD. It also provides recommendations on how to effectively include persons with disabilities in monitoring activities and advice on collecting information (see page 40).
Download below: Monitoring the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Guidance for Human Rights Monitors (2010)
Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI)
DPI’s guide suggests content and provides a template for a shadow report.
Download below: Shadow Reporting Guidelines on the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) for Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) and Civil Society Organizations (2012)
International Disability Alliance (IDA)
IDA provides a comprehensive guide for DPOs and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to help understand the requirements for CRPD monitoring and reporting. The Guidance Document also advises on how to engage in the State Party monitoring and reporting process and prepare shadow reports.
Download below: Guidance Document: Effective Use of International Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms to Protect the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2010)
Disability Council International
A basic two-part guide for NGOs that are participating in shadow reporting. Part A explains the CRPD’s monitoring mechanism, and Part B lays out the requirements for the contents of states parties’ reports and what the NGOs and national human rights institutions need to consider and include in their shadow reports.
Download below: Shadow Reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: A Practical Guide for NGOs (Undated)
The National Democratic Institute (NDI)
NDI’s citizen participation team’s comprehensive guide explores the work that the Institute and its partner groups have conducted across five types of political-process monitoring – legislative monitoring; budget monitoring, budget advocacy and expenditure tracking; shadow reporting; monitoring government follow-through; and election campaign-related monitoring.
The chapter on Shadow Reports highlights NDI’s work with Mexican Coalition for the Rights of Disabled Persons (COAMEX) to prepare the Coalition’s Shadow Report on the Mexican government’s implementation of the UN CRPD.
Download below: Political Process Monitoring: Activists Tools and Techniques – Shadow Report Chapter
World Health Organization (WHO)
The World Health Organization MIND-bank website provides a comprehensive database and links to Shadow Reports submitted by NGOs, national human rights institutions, UN agencies, and other bodies to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The webpage for each country’s Shadow Report includes links to the State Party Reports, and the UN CRPD Committee’s Concluding Observations.
Webpage: Collection of Civil Society “Shadow” Reports, State Party Reports and UN CRPD Committee Concluding Observations
Data Collection Resources
Trusted reporting on the implementation of laws and policies must include valid and verifiable quantifiable and qualitative data. Many of the resources above include information about data collection (especially NDI’s Political Process Monitoring: Activists Tools and Techniques – Shadow Report Chapter). The resources below provide specific data collection tools.
Disability Inclusive Development Resource
A summary of resources of current disability data options available for use at the national and program levels. The resources provide means to help establish disability prevalence and priorities, inform policy and programs, and enable measurement of effectiveness.
Website: Data collection to inform design and measurement
World Health Organization (WHO)
An explanation of the Model Disability Survey (MDS). The MDS is a general population survey that provides detailed and general information on the lives of people with disability. It allows direct comparison between groups with differing levels and profiles of disability, including comparison to people without disability.
Download below: Model Disability Survey: Providing evidence for accountability and decision-making
The Repository website presents work that is being done in preparation to the implementation of the Model Disability Survey, an instrument that was initiated by the World Bank and World Health Organization. The model survey aims to gather information on impairments and limitations as well as environmental barriers to functioning.
You can find the following information by world region:
- Countries where disability surveys have been performed,
- Name of the survey,
- Year of the last wave, and
- Links to the survey webpages
Website: Repository of Disability Surveys and Censuses
The Washington Group on Disability Statistics
The Washington Group’s Short Set of Questions for census data collection help to identify persons with disabilities. The short set of questions should identify the majority of the population with difficulties in functioning in basic actions and difficulties that have the potential to limit independent living or social integration if accommodations are not made.
Download below: Monitoring the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2009)