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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.

COSP14: One Pandemic, Different Realities.

July 2021

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Evidence on the Experience of the Diversity of Persons with Disabilities, their Representative organisations and Civil Society Organisations in dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic and preparing to Build Back Inclusively. The International Disability and Development Consortium, the International Disability Alliance, Inclusive Futures, Social Development Direct, UK AID and the UNPRPD's side event as part of the 14th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP14).

 

This event aimed at providing guidelines to local, national and international stakeholders to support their recovery and build sustainable resilience to future shocks, based on the findings from three complementary research projects. With the UNPRPD support, IDA and IDDC gathered data respectively on the experience of persons with disabilities since the first wave and on the COVID-19 consequences on projects and programmes run by CSOs in the Global South. The Disability Inclusion Helpdesk, a FCDO funded facility, IDA and Sightsavers investigated the pandemic impact on OPDs

COVID-19, gender, and disability checklist: Preventing and addressing gender-based violence against women, girls, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic

UN WOMEN
WOMEN ENABLED INTERNATIONAL
June 2021

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This checklist is intended to guide a wide range of States, gender-based violence (GBV) support service providers, and other stakeholders, as well as United Nations Country Teams, providing guidance on pandemic response and recovery efforts on how to prevent and respond to GBV against women, girls, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies.

It is also a tool to guide recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that rights at the intersection of gender and disability are respected, protected, and fulfilled as part of that recovery.

Taking a Disability-Inclusive Approach to Pandemic Responses

WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
SHAW, Jackie
2021

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The Covid-19 pandemic has affected communities globally, yet the impact has not been equal. People with disabilities were already often living with severe disadvantage and marginalisation and, as predicted by many disability-focused agencies, Covid-19 has exacerbated these inequalities. Emerging evidence from Inclusive Futures, a UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)-funded programme, highlights the catastrophic emotional and material impacts on people with disabilities in Nepal and Bangladesh. To respond to and plan for future crises, decision makers should consult inclusively with both organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs) and people with disabilities themselves.
 

How targeting mechanisms can identify people with disabilities for inclusion in social protection programmes

SAMMON, Elayn
CARRARO, Ludovico
COTE, Alexandre
ZEVENBERGEN, Stacey
HOLMES, Rebecca
March 2021

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Developed by Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19: Expert Advice (SPACE) in collaboration with the UNPRPD joint program on inclusive Social Protection, the UNPRPD global initiative on COVID 19 inclusive response and recovery, and Humanity & Inclusion.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that countries which have disability identification mechanisms and registries already in place have been in a better position to provide fast relief and expand shock responsive support to persons with disabilities and their families. 

This guidance note includes:

  • Brief introduction to the definitions and terminology surrounding disability and the concept of inclusive social protection
  • Summary of the rationale for the inclusion of persons with disability in social protection programming
  • Examples for overcoming the challenges for outreach, identification, and registration, and needs assessment
  • Some country examples
  • Overall implications for future programming.

Considering age and disability in the Rohingya response

ASSESSMENT CAPACITIES PROJECT (ACAPS)
February 2021

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This report evaluates existing data on the Rohingya refugee response. It highlights the key challenges and constraints faced by persons with disabilities (PwD) and older people in accessing essential services and explores how COVID-19 and related containment and risk mitigation measures have affected humanitarian programming for PwD and older people. It also identifies information gaps and challenges linked to disability prevalence in the camps

 

This secondary data review focuses on the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar and combines publicly available secondary data with 11 key informant interviews conducted with age and disability experts working on the humanitarian response. The interviews took place between 1 July–30 August 2020 with experts from the UN, national NGOs, INGOs, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.  

Disability & inclusion survey, Malakal Protection of Civilians site

International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM DTM)
February 2021

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The International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM DTM), Protection and Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support teams joined efforts with Humanity & Inclusion (HI) to undertake an assessment of the level of access to services and the barriers faced by persons with disabilities within Malakal Protection of Civilian site (PoC site). The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) contributed to the qualitative component of the study as the main Protection and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) actors operating within the PoC site. The study, based on data collected between March 2020 and June 2020, aims to improve the knowledge base available to the humanitarian community about access to services by persons with disabilities living in the site. It provides a quantitative estimate of the prevalence of disabilities among the IDP population and an assessment of the barriers faced by persons with disability in accessing humanitarian services across sectors. It also seeks to empower persons with disabilities living within the PoC site, giving them the opportunity to express their concerns and preferences with regards to possible solutions and targeted interventions. It is hoped that the resulting data will help camp management and other service providers operating within Malakal PoC site, including IOM, UNHCR and DRC, to better account for the concerns and needs of persons with disability in humanitarian programming and service delivery. This study builds onto and expands previous studies in Naivasha IDP Camp (formerly Wau PoC AA Site) and Bentiu PoC Site.

The definition of disability and disability related data collection and analyses - Applying the IASC Guidelines in the northwest Syria humanitarian response

UNHCR INCLUSION TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP, SYRIA PROTECTION CLUSTER (TURKEY)
February 2021

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Action by humanitarian partners to strengthen inclusion of persons with disabilities in the humanitarian response in an evidencebased manner remains highly needed – this note aims to support that effort by providing background and explanation on the definition of disability as well as on how to interpret and use data related to disability.

 

The note also provides elaboration on the Syria Protection Cluster (Turkey) recommended disability-related data collection methodology for humanitarian organizations and entities in northwest Syria. Thereby the note aims to stimulate and assist the broader humanitarian community in northwest Syria in adopting the Washington Group Short Set of Questions on Functioning, especially in relation to disability focused data collection and in understanding and utilizing assessment findings, specifically prevalence-rates of disability in northwest Syria.

 

For more elaborated description of the situation of persons with disability in northwest Syria and practical suggestions for humanitarians on enhancing inclusion of persons with disabilities in programming, this note is to be read in conjunction with the ITWG “Self-reported barriers to activities of daily living of persons with disabilities living in IDP sites in northwest Syria” brief report and recommendations.

 

Guidance note on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the COVID-19 CCCM response

UNHCR INCLUSION TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP, SYRIA PROTECTION CLUSTER (TURKEY)
February 2021

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This guidance note provides an overview of the risks that persons with disabilities face in the COVID-19 response regarding accessing humanitarian services and proposes actions to address these risks within the CCCM response specifically. This note draws on the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, 1 CCCM chapter, applying these to the northwest Syria COVID-19 response

Inclusive practices for disaster risk management: Experiences with social actors and government entities in Latin America

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
December 2020

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Twelve inclusive practices are presented that explore the application of the inclusive approach to disaster risk management, thus enriching these and encouraging contributions to create more inclusive and resilient communities! Collecting and sharing inclusive practices is one axis of the project, “Inclusive Disaster Risk Management: An innovative approach towards inclusion of most vulnerable groups”, which aims to disseminate inclusive disaster risk management in Latin American countries in order to increase protection and resilience in high-risk groups. The project accompanies and strengthens regional, national, and local actors from the following countries: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Peru. This regional initiative for inclusive disaster risk management is led by Humanity & Inclusion (HI), in partnership with Save the Children International Peru (SCI) and Cooperazione Internazionale Paraguay (COOPI).

Children with disabilities. Ensuring their inclusion in COVID-19 response strategies and evidence generation

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF)
December 2020

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Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, children with disabilities were among the most disadvantaged, facing increased exposure to abuse and discrimination and reduced access to services in many parts of the world. Understanding these pre-existing vulnerabilities can help anticipate how the COVID-19 pandemic could sharpen existing inequities and can shed light on where targeted efforts may be required.

The publication below draws on pre-COVID data to highlight how children with disabilities face greater risks in the midst of this pandemic. It documents what has happened to services for children and adults with disabilities across the world and includes examples of what has been done to address disruptions in services. It also discusses the challenges in generating disability-inclusive data during the pandemic.

Disability inclusion annual report 2020

UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY (UNRWA)
December 2020

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The number of Palestine refugees registered by UNRWA recently grew to 5.7 million (from 5.5 million in 2019) in all its five field of operations in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank. Among them are Palestine refugees with disabilities, who have long-term impairments, which in interactions with attitudinal, institutional, and environmental barriers prevent their full and effective participation on an equal basis with others in society. Persons with disabilities constitute an estimated 15 per cent of the global population1, and may constitute a higher percentage in humanitarian contexts, such as Syria, the West Bank and Gaza, in particular, which are UNRWA fields of operations.

 

The main actions undertaken in 2020 discussed in the report are:

  • targeted and disability-specific services for persons with disabilities
  • disability inclusion through programmes
  • inter-agency coordination
  • international protection advocacy

Inclusive practices in disaster risk management. Experiences of social actors and government entities in Latin America

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
December 2020

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Twelve inclusive practices are presented that explore the application of the inclusive approach to disaster risk management. Collecting and sharing inclusive practices is one axis of the project, “Inclusive Disaster Risk Management: An innovative approach towards inclusion of most vulnerable groups”, which aims to disseminate inclusive disaster risk management in Latin American countries in order to increase protection and resilience in high-risk groups. The project accompanies and strengthens regional, national, and local actors from the following countries: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Peru.

 

This regional initiative for inclusive disaster risk management is led by Humanity & Inclusion (HI), in partnership with Save the Children International Peru (SCI) and Cooperazione Internazionale Paraguay (COOPI). 

Let’s break silos now! Achieving disability-inclusive education in a post-COVID world

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
November 2020

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Children with disabilities face multiple obstacles to access and thrive in education. In low- and middle-income countries, 50% of children with disabilities are out of school.  More than 40% of countries in the regions of Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean still lean towards segregated education systems. Obstacles for the education of children with disabilities exist both within and outside the education system. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated inequalities in education. In times of crisis, coordinated multi-sectoral approaches are even more important to address the complexity and interdependency of children’s care, safety, wellbeing and education. 

The extensive experience of Humanity & Inclusion and its partners across the 27 countries where they implement Inclusive education projects was crucial to develop this report and to nourish it with first-hand expertise and evidence. The Report contains arguments, testimonies, case-studies, and a list of actionable recommendations for governments in low and middle income countries, aid donors, and multilateral agencies

Gap Analysis: the inclusion of people with disability and older people in humanitarian response Part 2. Beyond the evidence: Implications for innovation and practice

PRYOR, Wesley
MARELLA, Manjula
ROBINSON, Alex
November 2020

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The first part of the Gap Analysis was published in July 2020, which presented the findings of an academic literature review and grey literature review.

Part 2 of the Gap Analysis presents the insights from individuals working in humanitarian response, disability inclusion and older age inclusion. This report begins by looking at how an agenda for the inclusion of people with disability and older people in humanitarian response has been established. The report then considers the ways in which standards and guidance inform humanitarian practice and the challenges associated with translating commitments into practice. Finally, the report identifies seven areas where there are key gaps and opportunities presenting the potential for innovation in research and practice

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
 

Inclusion and exclusion in humanitarian action The state of play.

BARBELET, Veronique
WAKE, Caitlin
November 2020

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This paper provides the foundation for a multi-year study on inclusion and exclusion in humanitarian action being carried out by the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) at ODI. It seeks to make sense of the concept of inclusion in humanitarian action, explore how it relates to humanitarian principles and other core concepts and outlines some of the key issues and challenges preventing more inclusive humanitarian action. Drawing on existing practice and evidence from a review of academic and grey literature, the study argues that vulnerability is a critical, but challenging, lens to inform the prioritisation of humanitarian assistance and protection, and that it has failed to lead to more inclusive humanitarian action. 

Self-reported barriers to activities of daily living of persons with disabilities living in IDP sites in northwest Syria

UNHCR INCLUSION TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP, SYRIA PROTECTION CLUSTER (TURKEY)
November 2020

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This brief aims to describe the lived experience of persons with disabilities in northwest Syria and highlight needs and key barriers to engagement in personal, domestic and community-based activities of daily living, which includes access to and engagement with humanitarian organisations. The analysis of these difficulties forms the basis of key pragmatic recommendations for humanitarian actors

Bridge CRPD-SDGs global training on Article 11

FLEURY, Tchaurea
UJAH, Sulayman AbdulMumuni
October 2020

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The IDA-IDDC Bridge CRPD-SDGs Global Training on Article 11 was the first-ever global training initiative on Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to bring together Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPOs) and humanitarian representatives. An outline of the eight day event is given and lessons learnt are reported.

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