Quantification of Social Protection Needs
Data on the most vulnerable groups of the population such as disabled people are seriously scarce in most of the databases in Pakistan, leading to a lack of accurate and reliable data on their socio-demographic characteristics, health status, education, employment, and other relevant aspects of life. Most common data collection methods may not be accessible to individuals with certain disabilities, like visual or hearing impairments, limiting their participation and thereby their representation. Surveys and data collection tools are rarely inclusive and often under-represent the marginalized groups such as disabled people. Similarly, there are different definitions and classifications for disabilities, making it challenging to report accurately. This makes it difficult to track the life trajectories of individuals with disabilities. This is one of the impediments to understanding how disability evolves and how interventions may impact outcomes.
Similarly, data may be more readily available in urban areas than in rural regions, leading to potential disparities in understanding and addressing the needs of those in rural communities. Data often fail to capture the intersectionality of other factors like gender, age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, which can result in overlooking specific challenges faced by certain subgroups. For example, information on the availability and utilization of assistive technologies for PWDs may be scarce, hindering efforts to improve PWDs’ access to essential tools.
The existing data are fragmented across different government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and research institutions, which makes it difficult to create a comprehensive and unified dataset. Addressing these data limitations requires a concerted effort to improve data collection methods, enhance surveys’ inclusivity, promote disability-inclusive research, and ensure data privacy and confidentiality. Accurate and representative data are crucial for designing evidence-based policies and interventions that cater to the needs and rights of the most vulnerable groups of the population.
This requires regular data collection, policy research, and monitoring and evaluation of care facilities and key infrastructure are crucial to developing evidence-based policies and interventions that improve social care services in Pakistan. However, the existing tools and mechanisms applied to collect information are divergent and the estimates vary significantly. For example, there is no reliable data on the actual and current use of assistive technologies to estimate the gap and undertake the necessary measures to make technologies more accessible, particularly to the poorer segments of society.
In this respect, the SPRC plays its role as a think tank to address some of the data, research, and services-related gaps. The SPRC works on the quantification of social protection needs include:
• Sensitizing the relevant agencies and officials on the issues of data and quantification
• Organising workshops with expert groups to develop data collection methodologies
• Assisting departments in digitalization of the data and records
• Design data collection instruments fir-for-purpose
• Arranging the peer review of the data and methodology
• Collaborating with key organizations dealing with data collection