Resources search

Missing millions: How older people with disabilities are excluded from humanitarian response

SHEPPARD, Phillip
POLACK, Sarah
McGIVERN, Madeleine
July 2018

Expand view

The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of older people with disabilities across a range of humanitarian settings, considering:

  • whether older people with disabilities have additional needs and challenges accessing humanitarian assistance and protection
  • what factors facilitate or limit access by older people with disabilities to humanitarian assistance and protection
  • to what extent is humanitarian response inclusive of older people with disabilities

A systematic literature review of published studies was conducted. Key online humanitarian guidelines were explored to review how far they explicitly address older people with disabilities. Data from six population-based disability surveys comparing the living situation of older people with and without disabilities were analysed. These included databases from two crises-affected populations in Haiti (post-earthquake) and Palestine. Data from four non-humanitarian settings was also reviewed to explore more broadly the situation for older people with disabilities – India, Guatemala, Cameroon and Nepal. Interviews were held with older people with disabilities, members of their families and local key informants in two conflict-affected populations in Ndutu and Mtendeli refugee camps in Western Tanzania, and Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Eastern Ukraine to find out about their experiences. Staff of five international agencies working in humanitarian response were also interviewed. 

 

Findings highlight particular issues facing older people with disabilities in humanitarian crises: more risk escaping from danger;  barriers to accessing social protection and work; barriers to accessing health and rehabilitation services; barriers to accessing food and other essentials; unsuitable housing and poor living conditions;  insecurity and discrimination; threats to dignity and independence; social isolation and loneliness; risks to mental health; and missing from humanitarian response.

 

A table brings together the findings from the different components of the research to show the needs, risks, barriers and enablers for older people with disabilities identified in the research. Recommendations are provided to humanitarian donors, policy makers and practitioners

Disability inclusion : translating policy into practice in humanitarian action

PEARCE, Emma
March 2014

Expand view

This report “documents positive practices and ongoing challenges to promote disability inclusion across UNHCR’s and its partners’ work in multiple countries and multiple displacement contexts. The report provides lessons and recommendations for other organizations and the wider humanitarian community on engaging persons with disabilities at all levels of humanitarian work. It draws on consultations with over 700 displaced persons, including persons with disabilities, their families, and humanitarian staff, in eight countries”

Note: This report is also offered in plain text format

Empowerment and participation : good practices from South & South-East Asia in disability inclusive disaster risk management

BOLTE, Patrick
MARR, Samadhi
SITOMPU, Dewi
et al
2014

Expand view

This report presents good practices showing examples of inclusion and active participation of persons with disabilities in disaster risk management. The paper is structured in three sections that illustrate general recommendations towards greater participation of persons with disabilities.

Section A provides the background on disability inclusive disaster risk management and reviews existing guidelines as to how the participation of people with disabilities in disaster risk management can be facilitated. 

Section B contains the actual good practices, structured in three separate chapters that illustrate general recommendations towards greater participation of persons with disabilities. Each practice highlights the involvement of individual persons as well as groups, describes the initial setting, the achievements, and the lessons learned from the practice. Each practice concludes with a box with key insights.

The final section C presents the key recommendations that can be drawn from the good practices and that are geared to inform future programming

E-bulletin

Source e-bulletin on Disability and Inclusion

Subscribe to updates