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G3ict Releases the Second Edition of the DARE Index: Real-World Data for Advocates and Policy Makers to Track Digital Accessibility Implementation

The DARE Index 2020 features an upgraded data collection, with 137 individual country report cards, an expanded methodology, advance analysis, and two key report highlights in four languages.

ATLANTA (October 08, 2020) —

The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) announces the release of the second edition of the Digital Accessibility Rights Evaluation (DARE) Index — DARE Index 2020 — a benchmarking tool for disability advocates, governments, civil society, international organizations and policy makers to trace country progress in making Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) accessible for all, in compliance with Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Data collection for the DARE Index 2020 was completed in cooperation with Disabled People’s International (DPI) and its National Assemblies, along with the support of other organizations of persons with disabilities and experts in countries around the world where DPI correspondents were not available. With 90% of the world population covered, the second edition of the DARE Index comprehensively documents the advances made by 137 countries, among the 182 States Parties to the CRPD, in eight regions: Africa, Central Asia, East Asia and Pacific, Europe, Latin American and Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, Northern America and South Asia.

On the occasion of the DARE Index launch, Axel Leblois, President of G3ict, remarked, “The results of the DARE Index 2020 demonstrate the considerable advances of digital accessibility advocacy as a majority of countries are now implementing policies and programs in application of Article 9 of the CRPD. The DARE Index 2020 also points to gaps in their implementation and proven solutions to overcome those. Our sincere appreciation goes to the more than 160 local advocates participating in the DARE Index Research Panel for their detailed sharing of information, which constitutes a unique resource for governments, advocates and civil society.”

Mrs. Henrietta Davis-Wray (DPI Global-Chair) commented, “Based on the results shown in the DARE Index 2020, Disabled People’s International (DPI) would like to commend all government efforts around the globe on enhancing their commitment towards the deployment of laws, policies, and regulations to ensure the right of persons with disabilities to digital accessibility and inclusive ICTs. We at DPI yet recognize the continuing gap on the levels of implementation capacity and outcomes that are reflected through the ten ICT areas addressed in this year’s DARE Index. We look at this reality with even stronger motivation and commitment to continue our advocacy and mobilization efforts in partnership with G3ict to call on all stakeholders to further invest in enhancing global and multilateral collaboration for ensuring the right of persons with disabilities to digital accessibility and inclusive ICT in light of the CRPD and other related human right treaties and sustainable development goal platforms. We would like to congratulate G3ict at this extremely important occasion of releasing the DARE Index 2020, and we would like to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation for its precious partnership to together continue our joined efforts promoting the right of persons with disabilities to digital accessibility and inclusive ICTs.”

The DARE Index 2020 edition relies on an upgraded data collection, with 26 new countries compared to the 2018 edition, and on an expanded methodology featuring three new variables and incorporating qualitative research for the top 16 performing countries to document in-country specific laws, regulations, and policies serving as an additional informative resource. It also offers advanced analysis such as the relationship between ratification date and DARE Index Points and a separate comparative analysis for 105 countries that participated in 2018 and 2020 DARE Index editions. Furthermore, in order to reach a larger audience and better support G3ict’s advocacy mission, the DARE Index 2020 two accompanying key report highlights have been translated and are available in four languages (Arabic, English, French, and Spanish).

The DARE Index is an independent research program managed by the G3ict's Institutional Advocacy Division. G3ict is supported by financial contributions from corporations and foundations including Adobe, AT&T, IBM, Microsoft, Waymap and BarrierBreak. “We are grateful to our corporate and institutional partners for their ongoing support and enthusiasm for the DARE Index and for making this work possible,” highlighted Francesca Cesa Bianchi, G3ict’s Vice President of Institutional Relations and Advocacy.

This Press Release is available in the following languages:

DARE Index 2020 Key Findings

Altogether, the DARE Index 2020 shows consistent efforts and improvements countries have made in terms of progress and compliance with country laws, regulations, and policies. The ratification of CRPD has clearly been a success among the countries surveyed in the DARE Index 2018, 93% of the countries have ratified it. For instance, 88% have general legislation protecting the rights of Persons with Disabilities, a remarkable progress achieved in a 16-year period. Similarly, legal definitions such as “Reasonable Accommodation” and “A Definition of Accessibility that includes ICTs,” which merely existed in countries legislation prior to the CRPD launch, are now present in 68% and 61% of the countries surveyed for the DARE Index respectively.

Capacity building is a more complex challenge due to the cross-sector collaboration and coordination needed by public, academia and private sectors to address limited resources to access technical information, including, for example the:

  • Lack of involvement of DPOs is a global phenomenon, with the global percentage for involvement of DPOs in policy making of 26% of countries as reported by the DARE Index 2020;
  • Lack of country references to international ICT accessibility standards, with only 44% of countries surveyed reported to reference international accessibility standards; and
  • Lack of availability of ICT accessibility courses offered by professional educational services in countries, with merely 38% of countries which have them in place.

Levels of outcome and actual implementation are increasing globally with 46% of countries in the process of implementing policies at various stages. However, the vast majority of those are still either at a minimum level of implementation such as pilot projects (24%) or are at a partial level of implementation only (19%) deployment program is proceeding, but with still limited impact.

Martin Gould, Director of Research of G3ict, emphasized, “People across the globe continue to look to leaders to rise to the challenges of achieving a digital accessibility agenda that is both universal and adaptable to the conditions of each country. Their voices have underscored the need for sustainability, livability, and more effective governance and capable institutions; for new and innovative partnerships, responsible businesses and local authorities; and for an enabling ICT strategy, accountability mechanisms, and vigorous partnerships. The DARE Index provides a clear view for leaders and citizens to enable the digital human rights enshrined in the Convention.”

The top 10 countries outperforming with the best overall scoring in promoting digital accessibility rights for persons with disabilities include Qatar, Australia, Israel, Italy, South Africa, France, Ireland, Brazil, United States of America and Malta. Detailed country report cards posted on the G3ict web site provide information, scores and rankings on countries’ performances in commitments, capacity and outcomes.

Top regional champions include South Africa and Kenya for Africa; the Russian Federation and Tajikistan for Central Asia; Australia and Philippines for East Asia and Pacific; France and Italy for Europe; Brazil and Uruguay for Latin America and the Caribbean; Israel and Qatar for the Middle East and North Africa; the United States and Canada for Northern America; and India and Pakistan for South Asia.

The DARE Index results are presented in the format of country profile report score cards with a feedback mechanism for suggestions under the G3ict Country Dashboard web page. This style of format serves as an informative and easy to access tracking tool for local advocates and policy makers who may want to analyze differences and progress between: their own country score cards with worldwide averages; peer group averages by level of income and region; and, identify areas of opportunities to promote digital accessibility in their countries.

According to the DARE Index 2020 analysis, most countries are making considerable progress in establishing the legal and regulatory foundations for ICT accessibility, and to a lesser extent progress in capacity to implement and outcomes and actual implementation. Nonetheless, each of the critical gap areas reported by DARE Index results constitute opportunities for improvement by ratifying countries. Advancing towards more inclusive societies requires establishing, coordinating, and deploying long-term and well-established joint efforts between the public sector, industry, academia, non-profit sector, DPOs and NGOs.

Note on Methodology

The second edition of the DARE Index covers 137 countries, of which 130 State Parties have ratified the CRPD. The total of the 137 countries surveyed have a combined population of approximately 7 billion corresponding to 90% of the world population. The DARE Index is based on one set of questionnaires completed by more than 160 local correspondents in 137 countries during the period of September 2019 and February 2020.

The DARE Index evaluates three categories of variables in each country: country commitments (legal, regulatory, policies and programs), country capacity to implement (organization, processes, resources) and actual digital accessibility outcomes for persons with disabilities in 10 areas of digital products and services. This three steps analysis (i.e., commitments, capacity to implement, and outcomes) is consistent with Human Rights monitoring principles and allows for useful gap analyses and linkages between variables. Variables for the DARE Index were derived from the G3ict – ITU Model Policy on ICT Accessibility report and the Digital Accessibility Decennial Call for Action issued at the United Nations on 3 December 2016 by the International Disability Alliance, Disabled People's International and G3ict.

The 2020 edition has upgraded and expanded its methodology to reflect the advances achieved in ICTs worldwide including one new question under each of three categories of variables: “The Marrakesh Treaty Ratification/Accession” under Country Commitments; “Government Agency for accessible ICTs” under Country Capacity to implement; and, “Internet Availability and Usage among Persons with Disabilities” under Outcomes for persons with disabilities in 10 areas of products and services. G3ict provides a comparison analysis between the years 2018 (DARE Index 1st edition) and 2020 (DARE Index 2nd edition) focusing on those 105 countries that participated in both years using the same set of variables.

For cross-tabulation purposes, G3ict analysts use the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, World Bank and International Monetary Fund country classifications.

G3ict – the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies – is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006, in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA. Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) promoting digital accessibility and Assistive Technologies. G3ict enjoys consultative status with ECOSOC (United Nations Economic and Social Council) since 2017 and is a COSP (Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) civil society accredited organization. It is an active member of the UN Global Compact and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T, ITU-D and ITU-R). For more information, please visit the G3ict website.

DPI - Disabled Peoples' International - Established in 1981, DPI is the world’s first cross-disability, human rights based disabled people’s organization (DPO). DPI’s founding coincided with the UN International Year of Disabled Persons. DPI gave the world the famous slogan ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ and till today continues to be the only global DPO with an unparalleled outreach of over 130+ countries across seven regions – Africa, Asia-Pacific, Arab region, CIS, Europe, Latin America, and North America and Caribbean. Most importantly, it is the only global disability organisation to have such an outreach at the grassroots across disabilities in countries of the Global South – where 800 million of the world’s 1 billion people with disabilities live. DPI also enjoys special ECOSOC status with the United Nations since 1983. For more information, please visit the DPI website.


For inquiries, please contact: Viviana Montenegro, Research Analyst DARE Index 2018-2020, G3ict,