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A disability inclusive response to COVID-19 - four lessons learned about including people with disabilities in humanitarian aid

MORRIS, Lisa
ELLIOTT, Chris
PIERI, Susan
September 2021

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Inclusive Futures played a crucial role in supporting some of the most marginalised people with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper summarises what we learned and it can be used to include people with disabilities in future programming, particularly in contexts at risk of crisis.

The protection situation during COVID-19 in Syria. The impact of COVID-19 on protection activities and on vulnerable groups

PROTECTION CLUSTER, UNHCR
February 2021

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After nearly nine months of preventative COVID-19 measures in place by the Government of Syria, the protection sector and its area of responsibilities ( Child Protection AoR, Gender Based Violence AoR and Mine Action AoR) have attempted to understand the level and types of impact this has had on the implementation of activities, specifically on partners' ability to provide services through community centers, and on the most vulnerable groups of the served population. The aim is that this report will provide protection partners with key information for reviewing and revising their current activities in light of the ongoing pandemic.

The data presented in this report was gathered during December 2020 from 213 protection partners and staff working directly or through partners with the affected population throughout Syria through an online survey. The main protection issues affecting persons with disabilities as a result of COVID-19 situation are identified.

If not now, when? Keeping promises to older people affected by humanitarian crises

McGIVERN, Verity
November 2020

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This report looks at the extent to which older people’s rights are being upheld in emergencies and their needs met. The picture it paints is a bleak one. Although some efforts are being made to support older people, overall, the humanitarian system is failing by the standards it has set itself.
 
The report draws on the findings of needs assessments carried out by HelpAge International in the 13 months to the end of 2019. We interviewed 8,883 people aged 50 to 80 - plus affected by natural disasters, conflict or socioeconomic crises in 11 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
 
Since the data was collected, COVID-19 has swept across the globe. The pandemic has both increased the need for humanitarian aid and disrupted its delivery. The response to coronavirus has thrown into stark relief the gulf between the risks older people are facing and the level of support available to them. The findings in this report provide important lessons for improving this response
 

Getting the data - How much does aid money support inclusion of persons with disabilities?A guide for advocates in the disability movement to work with the data generated by the OECD-DAC ‘disability marker’ in aid.

MEEKS, Polly
July 2020

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Official Development Assistance is a vital resource for realising the rights of persons with disabilities. In 2019, development partners spent 153 billion US dollars of ODA. Under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Sustainable Development Goals, development partners are committed to make their ODA disability inclusive. And ODA is governed in a way that offers important advocacy opportunities for the disability movement. Taken together, these factors make ODA an essential resource for realising the CRPD. ODA can never be a substitute for national governments’ obligations to finance the rights of persons with disabilities, but it can make a very significant contribution in the short term. In fact, research in some countries has found ODA to be a much bigger source of finance for the rights of persons with disabilities than domestic government budgets.

The new ‘disability marker’ in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s database helps to answer how much ODA actually aims to be disability inclusive. Using the disability marker, every ODA project in the database is now sorted into one of 4 categories

How can social protection responses to COVID-19 be made disability inclusive?

BANKS, Lena Morgon
HUNT, Xanthe
June 2020

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Question & problem

The COVID-19 pandemic and strategies essential for its containment are resulting in severe strains on economies, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). These impacts will be felt most by groups already in or at risk of poverty, including the estimated 1 billion people with disabilities globally. Interventions to address the short- and long-term economic effects of the pandemic are urgently needed. Some countries have begun implementing or announced plans for interventions addressing the economic impacts of COVID-19, such as food assistance, emergency cash transfers, unemployment assistance or expansions to existing social protection programmes. As these programmes are developed, it is important to consider the extent to which their design and delivery is inclusive of people with disabilities. Failure to adequately include people with disabilities in this process will lead to widening inequalities.

Disability-inclusive Social Protection response to COVID-19 crisis

INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION (ILO)
et al
April 2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic and its related socioeconomic consequences magnify obstacles and inequalities. Persons with disabilities are in many ways more exposed to the crisis. Social protection, which, at any point in time, is critical for persons with disabilities, has proven to be a crucial vector of relief in the recent weeks. This brief presents several elements that can help make the most of the social protection systems response to COVID-19 to support persons with disabilities.

 

Joint brief by ILO, UNICEF, UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, International Disability Alliance, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Making cash inclusive in humanitarian responses

David Brown
Manuel Rothe
April 2020

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The use of cash and vouchers as part of humanitarian responses has increased significantly over the past decade. It is a commitment in the Grand Bargain between some of the world’s largest donors and humanitarian organisations, which aims to get more means into the hands of people in need. Disability inclusion has also become a key part of international humanitarian frameworks, such as the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. While provision of cash is a way to allow aid to take a form which responds to the real needs of people affected by disasters, barriers remain to the participation of persons with disabilities in such schemes

Aid out of reach: A review of the access to humanitarian aid for women and men, girls and boys with disabilities affected by Cyclone Idai, Mozambique

BAART, Judith
WESTER, Mirian
2019

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The objective of this study is to generate empirical evidence on the barriers to accessing aid for women and men, girls and boys with disabilities in a post-Cyclone Idai context. By doing so, it also seeks to contribute to policy development for an inclusive humanitarian response in Mozambique

The research followed a qualitative design, using interviews and focus group discussions followed by inductive analysis to reveal dominant themes and stories. Data was collected in 30 in-depth interviews with women and men, girls and boys with disabilities and/or caregivers in communities (Beira), as well as in resettlement sites (Dondo).

Global humanitarian assistance report 2019

URQUHART, Angus
September 2019

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This report aims to reflect, respond to and inform efforts to improve the delivery of humanitarian assistance. This year's focus is on recurrent and protracted crises, to better understand how assistance is provided over the multiple years of a crisis. In the context of ever-more-complex and enduring crises and the increasing demand on limited resources, there is a pressing need to address the underlying causes of crises. The GHA Report therefore looks beyond humanitarian financing to examine other resource flows to countries in crisis, including developmental official development assistance (ODA less humanitarian assistance) and foreign direct investment, and the role they can and should play alongside humanitarian assistance to address crisis. 

Chapters of the report include: people, crisis and assistance; internation humanitarian assistance; wider crisis financing; effectiveness, efficiency and quality; and methodology and definitions. [Each chapter can be downloaded separately]

 

Associated datasets are also freely available

  • International humanitarian assistance provided by government donors, 2000–2018
  • International humanitarian assistance by recipient countries, 2000-2017

Multi-purpose cash and sectoral outcomes: a review of evidence and learning

HARVEY, Paul
PAVANELLO, Sara
et al
May 2018

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This report provides a summary of key findings of multi-purpose cash investments in multiple sectors. 

Growing attention to multi-purpose cash offers an exciting opportunity to redress a long-standing shortcoming of humanitarian response. There is a need to better understand and respond to crisis-affected people in a more holistic and coherent way, going beyond sectors to bring the emphasis back to how people live and perceive and prioritize their needs. Multi-purpose cash opens up possibilities for enhanced collaboration among technical sectors and between cash and sector experts. Sectoral expertise should be more adequately represented in multi-sectoral assessments, design, implementation and monitoring of multi-purpose cash.

JSLU, JSPACA, PKSA, Cash and in-kind transfers for at-risk youth, the disabled, and vulnerable elderly social assistance programm and public expenditure review 7

WORLD BANK
February 2012

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Direct cash transfers for vulnerable elderly and disabled populations have been provided by the Indonesian Ministry of Social Welfare (Kementerian Sosial, Kemensos) since 2006; a similar cash transfer for at-risk youth was inaugurated in 2009. These programs Jaminan Sosial Lanjut Usia (JSLU), Jaminan Sosial Paca Berat (JSPACA), and program Kesejahteraan Sosial Anak (PKSA) for the elderly, disabled, and youth respectively transfer cash directly to beneficiaries. They account for increasing shares of the Kemensos overall budget, but subsidies directed to care and rehabilitation facilities as well as direct provision of institutional care still account for a noticeable portion of the Kemensos budget for these groups.  The report summarises quantitative and qualitative evidence in order to build a sound foundation for evaluating these cash transfer programs . Design features, efficiency and effectiveness of program implementation and operation, and impacts are analyzed. 

Cash transfer programming in emergencies. Good Practice Review 11.

HARVEY, Paul
BAILEY, Sarah
June 2011

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This edition of Good Practice Review is intended primarily for humanitarian practitioners who plan and implement emergency responses both those who are already familiar with cash-based interventions and those who are not. It synthesizes cash transfer guidelines, highlights lessons from evaluations and adds practical examples drawn from experience in the field.

Sphere guidelines : humanitarian charter and minimum standards in humanitarian response|3rd Ed

THE SPHERE PROJECT
2011

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This handbook establishes shared principles and a set of universal minimum standards in core areas of humanitarian response. It provides a new chapter on protection principles, which considers the protection and safety of populations affected by disaster or armed conflict as an integral part of humanitarian response. It describes core standards for effective and accountable humanitarian response and advocacy, and outlines the minimum standards in the following four technical chapters: water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion; food security and nutrition; shelter, settlement and non-food items; and health action. Each minimum standard highlights key actions, key indicators and guidance notes
This edition also addresses emerging issues, such as climate change, disaster risk reduction, early recovery of services and livelihoods, cash transfers, and civil-military relations. Understanding and supporting local responses to disaster is a priority reflected in the whole handbook, as is reinforcing the capacity of local actors
This handbook is useful to all working in humanitarian response

Disabilities among refugees and conflict-affected populations

WOMEN'S COMMISSION FOR REFUGEE WOMEN AND CHILDREN
June 2008

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"This report is the culmination of a six-month project...to address the rights and needs of displaced persons with disabilities, with a particular focus on women (including older women), children and youth. Based on field research in five refugee situations, as well as global desk research, the Women’s Commission sought to map existing services for displaced persons with disabilities, identify gaps and good practices and make recommendations on how to improve services, protection and participation for displaced persons with disabilities"

Disabilities among refugees and conflict-affected populations : resource kit for field workers|Improving services for displaced persons with disabilities : lessons learned and ideas for action

WOMEN'S COMMISSION FOR REFUGEE WOMEN AND CHILDREN
June 2008

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This resource kit offers ..."practical ideas on how to improve services and protection for people with disabilities and enhance their inclusion and participation in community affairs. It is based on the findings of five country field studies, as well global desk research into other refugee and internally displaced persons programmes and an analysis of existing international policies and practices relating to displaced persons with disabilities. It would be useful to United Nations, non-governmental organisation, community-based organisation and disabled people's organisation field staff working with refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons with disabilities"

Looking with a disability lens at the disaster caused by the tsunami in South East Asia

OOSTERS, Barbara
2005

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Disabled people are likely to feel the negative impact of a crisis more than other citizens. Their ability to cope and survive may be completely dependent on others, and the capacity of any family to support its disabled members is keenly tested. Anecdotal evidence from acute emergencies suggests that disabled people suffer particularly high rates of mortality and morbidity. In addition to those who were disabled before the onset of the crisis, many more become disabled

Humanitarian charter and minimum standards of disaster response|The Sphere handbook

THE SPHERE PROJECT
2004

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This handbook is the result of an international initiative aiming at improving humanitarian and emergency assistance. The handbook describes the core principles and minimal standards of humanitarian action. This edition includes vulnerable groups such as women, children, elderly people and disabled people. The handbook is a practical tool that can be used to define overarching project goals and to monitor the success of the assistance that is provided

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