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Geneva Academy briefing on Disability and armed conflict 2019

PRIDDY, Alice
April 2019

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This publication brings attention to the devastating impact conflict has on persons with disabilities and, crucially, highlights that many of the key international humanitarian law (IHL) provisions that serve to minimize the impact of armed conflict – such as the proportionality assessment and advanced effective warnings – are not being applied in a disability inclusive manner, resulting in persons with disabilities being killed, seriously injured or left behind as families flee armed attacks.

 

Research methods included a combination of: desk research; structured interviews with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, NGOs and humanitarian personnel; and field workshops through which feedback was sought on discrete issues. 

 

The project focused on the situation of persons with disabilities in five states experiencing different levels of armed conflict or its aftermath (the DRC, Colombia, Palestine, Ukraine and Vietnam). These states were selected because they are all States Parties to the CRPD, and they represent a diverse range of regions and cultures, differing types of conflicts (including the involvement of ANSAs), different stages of conflict or post-conflict situations, differing levels of economic development and varying levels of international assistance

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

SHEPPARD, Phillip
POLACK, Sarah
McGIVERN, Madeleine
July 2018

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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

Mental Health Care, Diagnosis, and the Medicalization of Social Problems in Ukraine

YANKOVSKYY, Shelly
2014

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This paper focuses on cultural issues associated with reforms of the mental health system in Ukraine. Specifically, the paper will explore the adoption of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), with its heavy focus on biomedical definitions of health and illness, and the applicability of applying this model cross-culturally. Using first hand ethnographic data with psychiatrists, social workers and advocates, as well as patients or ‘bolnoi’ (bolnoi translates literally as ‘an ill person’) of psychiatric services, I argue that ‘mental illness’ is not always, or solely, biological, but also culturally shaped, and therefore a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to mental health becomes problematic. I follow this argument with a discussion of how social problems more generally come to be redefined in Ukraine as medical in nature, where issues such as gender relations, alcoholism, poverty and environmental disasters are subject to medicalization. Here ‘symptoms of oppression’ or ‘distress’ are diagnosed within a psychiatric framework and become ‘symptoms of illness’, to be treated within the biomedical arena. This redefinition places the responsibility for larger societal issues on the individual and ignores the social and environmental underpinnings of suffering - a dynamic that was also operative in the Soviet system. I argue that the growing popularity of the medicalization of behavior coupled with its relationship with the pharmaceutical industry is thus a moral issue, and one with harmful results.

 

Disability and the Global South, 2014, Vol. 1 No. 2

Disability and the Global South, 2014, Vol. 1, No. 2 - Special issue: Globalising Mental Health or Pathologising the Global South? Mapping the Ethics, Theory and Practice of Global Mental Health

2014

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Articles include:

  • EDITORIAL Globalising Mental Health or Pathologising the Global South? Mapping the Ethics, Theory and Practice of Global Mental Health
  • How ‘evidence-based’ is the Movement for Global Mental Health?
  • Reciprocity in Global Mental Health Policy
  • Culture, Politics and Global Mental Health
  • Globalizing psychiatry and the case of ‘vanishing’ alternatives in a neo- colonial state
  • Faith Healing in India: The Cultural Quotient of the Critical
  • Mental Health Care, Diagnosis, and the Medicalization of Social Problems in Ukraine
  • Passive-Aggressive: Māori Resistance and the Continuance of Colonial Psychiatry in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Neurasthenia Revisited: Psychologising precarious labor and migrant status in contemporary discourses of Asian American nervousness
  • Tools for the journey from North to South: A collaborative process to develop reflexive global mental health practice

The IMF, the global crisis and human resources for health : still constraining policy space

LEFRANÇOIS, Fabien
February 2010

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This report "...examines evidence from nine IMF country programmes, chosen based on their HIV prevalence rates, and finds that although the IMF has changed its tune and is talking about greater flexibility, these changes are not enough and are only temporary. "In 2006, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that 57 countries were facing a severe health workforce crisis.... Addressing this shortage, and action alongside it to strengthen health systems around the world, requires substantial, concerted effort from both aid donors and recipient governments. The current global downturn threatens to undermine steps taken in this direction so far and jeopardise progress towards the health-related Millennium Development Goals. "...the IMF has adapted its rhetoric so that it now claims its programmes are more flexible on fiscal and monetary policies, which determine to what extent governments can maintain or increase spending - including of foreign aid - and stimulate economic activity"

Benchmarking antiretroviral prices in countries of the former Soviet Union

WANING, Brenda
et al
June 2008

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This study benchmarks ARV prices of former Soviet Union (FSU) countries against each other and against global and European region ARV prices. The study reveals that extreme price variation exists within and across FSU countries for identical ARVs, which suggests that some countries may be able to obtain ARVs at lower prices and therefore purchase additional ARVs to treat more people

USAID/Ukraine : country strategic plan for 2003-2007

UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (USAID)
2002

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This document sets out the goals of USAID strategy in Ukraine for 2003-2007. Although over the last few years economic performance has improved and the political system has stabilised, USAID emphasises the need to consolidate progress and strengthen the economic and political institutions, and civil society. The new strategic objectives include: improved investment climate; accelerated growth of SMEs and agriculture; increased engagement of citizens in promoting a democratic market-orientated state; greater effectiveness and accountability of government institutions; improved social conditions and health status. This document will be of interest to organisations working in USAID funded programmes in Ukraine, and for donors cooperating with USAID

HIV/AIDS and security

CARBALLO, M
CILLONIZ, J
BRAUNSCHWEIG, S
2001

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This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the ways in which the growing HIV/AIDS pandemic is affecting national and human security. It looks at the impact of sexually transmitted diseases on the military and other uniformed services, what is known about the incidence / prevalence of the problem, and where and why military personnel are most vulnerable. It also reviews what some of the main international agencies and NGOs are doing in this field and provides information on selected case studies

Social capital : a multifaceted perspective

DASGUPTA, Partha
SERAGELDIN, Ismail
Eds
2001

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This collection of essays debates the definition of social capital, broadly understood as the the effect social networks and shared attitudes can have on economic performance, and asks how the concept can be applied to development policy and analysis. Among the questions debated are how do social capital theories help broaden thinking about development?; what impact do informal social networks have on the state and other formal organisations?; and what role does trust play within large organizations? This book is of interest to people seeking a better understanding of social capital and its impact on development efforts

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