Report 6: July - December 2022
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The Disability Action Plan (DAP) 2019–2023 aims to improve the wellbeing of disabled people through 29 work programmes aligned with the New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016-2026. 12 government agencies are responsible for work programmes in the plan. Of this:
- 28 work programmes are overseen by individual agencies
- one work programme is an across-government commitment to improving disability data and evidence.
Unfortunately, the cross-government data and evidence project was not reported against during the July to December 2022 period due to changing personnel in charge of that programme.
To monitor the DAP’s progress, the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) has historically managed six-monthly reporting. This work continues now that ODI is now part of Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People. This is the sixth progress report to be produced.
This report covers the period July to December 2022. At the start of this period, ODI was integrated into Whaikaha, the Ministry of Disabled People and soon afterwards members of Whaikaha and other government agencies appeared in front of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the United Nations for their second review.
Progress on the 29 work programmes is recorded as follows:
Progress Rating for the 6th Round of the Disability Action Plan
On track or ahead 7 (7)
On track minimal risks 15 (14)
Off track low risks 5 (5)
Off track significant risks 1 (3)
Total Number of Reports 28 (29)
Numbers in brackets refers to the figures from the last period.
There is some disagreement regarding the status of some of the agency reports, this arises when the agency writing the report and the DPO Coalition have differing opinions about whether the report is on track or not. Where this happens, the agency’s classification stands unless the DPO Coalition meets with the agency and a new status is agreed. Agency reports are tracking well, and agencies are maintaining their good work since the January to June 2022 progress report.
- 7 (24%) work programmes were recorded as being on track or ahead.
- 15 (52%) work programmes were on track with Minimal risk.
- 5 (17%) work programmes were off track with low risk.
- 1 (3.5%) work programmes were significantly off track.
- 1 (3.5%) work programme was not completed this period.
This progress, as reported, is an improvement on the last report. One more programme is on track with minimal risks this time, and two less programmes are off track with significant risk. However, one programme was not reported on at all. Furthermore, there was some disagreement between the review groups and the agencies about the overall status of two of the reports, the agencies giving a higher status to their report than the review group felt was justified. If these findings are taken into account then there is little difference between the DAP report statuses from this period to the last.
The ongoing impact of COVID-19 on people and services was the most common reason cited for work programmes running behind schedule. Other reasons included, staff illness, other than COVID-19 and IT issues. In the next reporting cycle (January to June 2023) this column will be changed to refer to any constraints on the progress of the work, so as not to simply focus on COVID-19, which the DPO Coalition expressed in the July to December 2022 report, agencies should no longer be using as a ‘reason’ for not progressing their DAP work programme/s.
The review groups that looked at the DAP reports for this period provided the following comments:
- That the agencies were putting a lot of effort into this mahi.
- That there is evidence of good cross agency collaboration particularly in the Outcome Five, Accessibility work programmes.
- That agencies need to provide stronger evidence when stating that improvements in services for disabled people, have occurred.
- That agencies should consider how they can involve disabled people in their work.
- That agencies should seek opportunities to embed the Enabling Good Lives Principles within their work.
- That agencies need to pay more attention to the status of their work programmes.
- That some agencies cite their work as off track with minimal risk however, some programmes that are not progressing as quickly as intended create a significant risk for disabled people in that their rights remain unprotected.
- That agencies should check with the DPO Coalition before marking a piece of work as complete because often there is important follow up that needs to take place.
- That significant concern was raised with regards to the housing sector, both with the 15% of new builds being accessible and the lack of progress on the original work programme put forward by HUD.
- That all MSD work under Outcome Two should really be complete by now;
- That if work is to be marked as ‘on hold, work covered by alternative work programme’ then it must be clear what that alternative work programme is and when it will commence;
- That the roll out of Enabling Good Lives (EGL) will just be about rolling out of the principles instead of rolling out the funding and that the service will operate differently across different regions.
- That increased knowledge of an issue does not necessarily correlate to increased confidence in that work programme.
- That many of the documents referred to in the DAP report are not accessible.
- That reports do not always portray an adequate picture of how the actins set out in the plans are impacting upon individual disabled people.
- That some agencies are prone to focusing solely on the needs of neurodiverse people.
If agencies wish to update or change the actions they are taking as part their DAP work programme, the DPO Coalition has asked this is done in consultation with them. If agencies believe their work programme is complete, they need to discuss this with the DPO Coalition as there may be further appropriate actions for the agency to undertake before the current DAP concludes at the end of 2023, or their may be new projects to undertake in the new Disability Action Plan which will run from January 2024 to December 2028.
At the time of writing, work is about to begin on the creation of the new Disability Action Plan for the next four years.
There is significant mahi underway in relation to the New Zealand Disability Strategy’s eight outcome areas, and the DAP.
Most work is progressing well, but some agencies are finding it difficult to stay on track with their work programmes.
Agencies continue to be encouraged to write their reports for disabled people as the primary audience and impose tighter deadlines upon their work.
The DAP Review Group recommended future reports focus on the recommendations made by the IMM Domestic Forum and the UN Committee on the rights of people with disabilities.
Earlier DAP reports and executive summaries, including alternate formats, can be found here: https://www.odi.govt.nz/disability-action-plan-2/dap-biannual-reports/.
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