Large Scale Listening: Monitoring the implementation of the UN CRPD in the Netherlands

Friday, November 1, 2013
First author:
Agnes C. van Wijnen
The Rights of Belonging

Coalition for Inclusion (CVI), Utrecht, the Netherlands

All authors:

Agnes C. van Wijnen 

Public Policy & Rigths
Human Rights, Inclusion, Monitoring, Implementation


In the Netherlands the ratification of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has been promised by the current administration, the implementation process is being prepared. The Coalition for Inclusion, a Dutch networkorganisation of people and organizations campaigning for human rights and inclusion of people with disabilities in all areas of life, developed therefor “Treaty around the corner”. The aim of the project is twofold: 1. Awareness raising on the content and significance of the CRPD amongst stakeholders, and preparing local action plans. 2. Developing a research instrument for monitoring the implementation of the CRPD on a local and national level. CVI intends to use the output of the monitoring as input for alternative reports on the Netherlands to the UN-CRPD Committee, and as input for parties involved in local implementation. We will focus on the background, the functioning, and the results of the LSL monitoring in the pilot.


To monitor the implementation of this human rights treaty there are several options of what to measure and how. Basic choice here is to measure the implementation progress as perceived by the main stakeholders, people with disabilities, their families and their fellow citizens. The method we use is Large Scale Listening (LSL). This method is used on several continents with a diversity of topics.


The “VN Vertelpunt”, the digital monitoring instrument is finished and working in a pilot version via the CVI website In VN Vertelpunt, people tell their experiences in daily life concerning disability and society, about inclusion and exclusion. After sharing their experience they answer questions such as where it happened, if it was about autonomy, education, work or something else and whether it was a positive or negative experience. People also rate what effect the case had on their lives. So far people have included more than 150 experiences, positive and negative on all kinds of subjects from a variety of people.


Our conclusions with respect to the effectiveness of this instrument for the purpose of monitoring the implementation of the CRPD are that VN Vertelpunt certainly has the potential to monitor local and national implementation given that the number of entries grows. It collects stories from a large variety of people involved, from all over the country with and without disabilities on both positive (inclusion) and negative (exclusion and discrimination) experiences. The VN-Vertelpunt doesn’t measure the investments nor the output of implementation but the impact  that the level of implementation has in the lives of people.