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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

Including children with disabilities in humanitarian action

UNICEF
July 2017

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"The purpose of Including Children with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action is to strengthen the inclusion of children and women with disabilities, and their families, in emergency preparedness, response and early recovery, and recovery and reconstruction. This series of booklets provides insight into the situation of children with disabilities in humanitarian contexts, highlights the ways in which they are excluded from humanitarian action, and offers practical actions and tips to better include children and adolescents with disabilities in all stages of humanitarian action. The booklets were created in response to UNICEF colleagues in the field expressing a need for a practical resource to guide their work. The information and recommendations are based on evidence and good practices gathered from literature and field staff experiences. The six booklets on how to include children and adolescents with disabilities in humanitarian programmes are as follows: 1) general guidance; 2) child protection; 3) education; 4) health and HIV/AIDS; 5) nutrition; 6) water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)".

General guidance available July 2017. Others to follow.

In addition to the PDF versions in English, Arabic and French, the guidance is also available in a range of accessible formats, including EPUB, a Braille-ready file and accessible HTML formats. 

The guidance was developed in collaboration with Handicap International.

 

Accessible formats:

DAISY [zip file]

EPUB [EPUB]

HTML [zip file]

Braille-ready 

 

 

Additional resources:

Checklist for including children with disabilities in preparedness [English] [French]

Checklist for including children with disabilities in response and early recovery [English] [French]

Checklist for including children with disabilities in recovery and reconstruction 

Humanitarian Hands on Tool (HHoT)

CBM
2017

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The CBM smartphone app 'Humanitarian Hands-on Tool' (HHoT) provides step-by-step guidance on how to implement an inclusive emergency response. With disability-inclusive humanitarian action broken down into individual task cards, which explain the basic 'how-to' details in simple language and images, this web-based tool and downloadable mobile app aims to become the ‘go-to’ field resource for all agencies planning humanitarian work that leaves no-one behind

Guidelines for integrating gender-based violence interventions in humanitarian action: Reducing risk, promoting resilience and aiding recovery

WARD, Jean
LAFRENIERE, Julie
et al
2015

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The purpose of these Guidelines is to assist humanitarian actors and communities affected by armed conflict, natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies to coordinate, plan, implement, monitor and evaluate essential actions for the prevention and mitigation of gender-based violence (GBV) across all sectors of humanitarian response. Part One presents an overview of GBV, provides an explanation for why GBV is a protection concern for all humanitarian actors and outlines recommendations for ensuring implementation of the Guidelines. Part Two provides a background to the ‘thematic areas’ in Part Three. It also introduces the guiding principles and approaches that are the foundation for all planning and implementation of GBV-related programming. Part Three constitutes the bulk of these Guidelines. It provides specific guidance, organized into thirteen thematic area sections: camp coordination and camp management; child protection; education; food security and agriculture; health; housing, land and property; humanitarian mine action; livelihoods; nutrition; protection; shelter, settlement and recovery; water, sanitation and hygiene; humanitarian operations support sectors. The importance of cross-sectoral coordination is highlighted in each section. It is also recommended that sector actors review the content of all thematic area sections. The Guidelines draw from many tools, standards, background materials and other resources developed by the United Nations, national and international non-governmental organizations, and academic sources. In each thematic area there is a list of resources specific to that area, and additional GBV-related resources are provided in Annex 1. The importance of indicators being disaggregated by sex, age, disability and other vulnerability factors is highlighted throughout.

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

Infant and young child feeding in emergencies : making it happen, proceedings of a regional strategy workshop

EMERGENCY NUTRITION NETWORK (ENN)
et al
2008

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Young child feeding in emergencies is often poorly managed and supported, yet is a crucial component of an adequate emergency response and an important intervention to save lives and prevent malnutrition. This four day workshop aimed to reach consensus on how to protect and support Infant and young child Feeding in Emergencies (IFE) in the region. The particular focus was on emergency preparedness and the early humanitarian response on IFE

In the face of disaster : children and climate change

MCDIARMID, Paula
INTERNATIONAL SAVE THE CHILDREN ALLIANCE
Ed
2008

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This report explores the potential impact of climate change and natural disasters on children’s health, nutrition, protection and education. The report also raises concerns about how vulnerable households will cope and adapt to these changes, and what this might mean for children’s survival. It focuses on improving disaster risk reduction, including the use of child-centred approaches, and improving humanitarian response

Infant and young child feeding in emergencies : operational guidance for emergency relief staff and programme managers

IFE Core Group
February 2007

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This document aims to provide concise, practical (but non-technical) guidance on how to ensure appropriate infant and young child feeding in emergencies. A number of elements are also applicable in non-emergency settings. It is intended for emergency relief staff, programme managers, national governments, United Nations agencies, NGOs and donors, and it applies to all countries. It includes six sections of practical steps, references, key contacts and definitions. Members of the IFE Core Group are: UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR, WFP, IFBAN-GIFA, CARE USA, Fondation Terre des hommes and Emergency Nutrition Network. It is also available in Arabic, Bahasa Indonesian, French, Portuguese and Spanish

Checklist to facilitate gender sensitivity of relief and reconstruction efforts for survivors of the earthquake in Pakistan

RASHID, Maria
January 2006

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The purpose of this work is to improve the effectiveness of relief efforts by identifying the gender dynamics that arise in crisis situations. The aim is to understand the diverse gender-based needs and issues that can arise in complex emergencies and to prevent exploitation by utilising coping strategies within a community context. This work would be useful for anyone with an interest in disaster situations and gender issues

Protecting and assisting older people in emergencies

WELLS, Jo
December 2005

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The rapid increase in the older population worldwide poses new challenges, particularly in resource poor countries and in emergency settings. Older people are particularly vulnerable to the effects of natural disaster or conflict and less able to adapt to sudden disruptions in their lives. They can also make crucial contributions to their communities, caring for orphans, providing inter-generational support, helping resolve conflicts, offering their knowledge on alternative and traditional healing practices. This document looks in some detail at both the needs and strengths of the elderly in emergencies and calls for greater promotion of the rights of older people, their inclusion in all stages of humanitarian interventions, mainstreaming and allocation of adequate resources for older people's protection

Guide our steps : 101 participatory Bible studies on development issues

CARTER, Isabel
2004

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This is a tool for communities and groups willing to reflect on the Scripture and Christian understanding of development issues. Covers a wide range of topics, including environment, advocacy, nutrition, water and sanitation, health disasters but also church's role and spiritual growth. Each topic is briefly commented, and provided with a relevant passage from the Bible and a set of questions to guide discussion during group meetings and workshops

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

Facts for life

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF)
2002

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A comprehensive guide aiming to provide parents and other caregivers with the information they need to save and improve children's lives. Presents information in non-technical language so it can be understood and acted upon easily by people who do not have a scientific background. Though mostly about the diseases, infections and other factors that can slow or hinder children's growth and development, it also includes a section on 'child development and early learning' which describes what children need to develop socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually

Medbox : the aid library

MEDBOX

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Medbox is an online library aimed at improving the quality of healthcare in humanitarian action. An independent internet platform supported by international agencies and scientific institutions active in humanitarian assistance and development, this resource collates online professional guidelines, textbooks and practical documents on health action.

 

Resources are divided under the following main headings: Key resources (subheadings include Disaster Preparedness, WASH, Project Cycle Management), Clinical Guidelines, Pharmacy and Technologies, Women and Child Health, Public Health, Countries and Toolboxes

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