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COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts: no excuses to leave persons with disabilities behind! Evidence from HI's operations in humanitarian settings

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
June 2020

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This collection and review of evidence aims to illustrate how the COVID-19 crisis triggers disproportionate risks and barriers for persons with disabilities  (men, women, boys and girls) living in humanitarian settings. It highlights recommendations for humanitarian actors, to enhance inclusive action, aligned with existing guidance and learnings on disability inclusion. It is based on evidence, including testimonies, collected by HI programs in 19 countries of intervention. Special efforts were made to reflect the voices of persons with different types of disabilities, genders and ages, residing in different geographical areas and living circumstances, including refugee and internally displaced persons’ settlements and hostcommunities.

 

Evidence has been collected through primary data collection among HI teams and partners, working in countries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in April/May 2020. Data was extracted from assessments conducted by HI and partners in Bangladesh, Egypt, Haïti, Indonesia, Philippines, Jordan, Lebanon, Somaliland and Togo. Testimonies from affected communities, staff and partners were collected in Kenya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Somaliland, South Sudan, Rwanda, Thailand, Uganda and Yemen.  

 

Displaced persons with disabilities face additional challenges to protect themselves and their families and barriers to access services, in camps that were not built for COVID-19

Protection analysis: impact of COVID-19 measures on PSNs in refugee communities in Uganda

PERSONS WITH SPECIFIC NEEDS SUB-WORKING GROUP, UGANDA
May 2020

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The Persons with Specific Needs (PSN) sub working group is a collective of over 20 organisations including UN agencies, NGOs, Disabled Peoples Organizations (DPOs), and Government (Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Office of the Prime Minister) which regularly meets within the Uganda refugee coordination model to discuss issues relevant to refugees with specific needs, with a particular focus on persons with disabilities and older persons.

 

April 2020 the PSN SWG members started to collect evidence from a range of sources on the specific impact of the COVID-19 crisis and containment measures on PSNs within refugee communities in Uganda.

The impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities: a rapid review. Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Query No: 35

MEANIE-DAVIS, Jessie
LEE, Harri
CORBY, Nick
April 2020

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There is currently very limited data and evidence on the impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities and pre-existing health conditions, with no disability-disaggregated data on mortality rates available in the public sphere. However, reports from the media, disability advocates and disabled peoples’ organisations (DPOs) point to several emerging impacts, including primary and secondary impacts including on health, education, food security and livelihoods.  Most of the available data is from high income countries (HICs) though reports from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are likely to emerge. Evidence was gathered by a rapid desk based review. Gaps are identified. 

 

The section concerned with lessons drawn from similar epidemics draws heavily on lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016, and touches on lessons from the Zika outbreak in 2015-2016 and the SARS pandemic in the early 2000s.10 It also touches briefly on SARS, MERS and H1N1 (swine flu). 

 

Primary and secondary impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities are reviewed.


People with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 not only because it can exacerbate underlying medical conditions, but because of attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers to their participation in and benefit from the pandemic response. For example, inaccessible public health messaging and healthcare facilities, and stigma and discrimination.

Somalia Disability Inclusive COVID-19 WASH tip sheet

Humanity & Inclusion
April 2020

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This tip sheet provides an overview of the factors that may put persons with disabilities at heightened risk in the COVID-19 pandemic and response in humanitarian settings; and proposes actions to address these risks within the COVID WASH response.

Somalia Disability Inclusive COVID-19 health tip sheet

Humanity & Inclusion
April 2020

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This tip sheet provides an overview of the factors that may put persons with disabilities at heightened risk in the COVID-19 pandemic and response in humanitarian settings; and recommends actions to address these risks within your COVID health response. This note draws on actionable and evidenced recommendations from the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, health chapter applying these to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO guidance for Disability inclusion in COVID-19 response, SODEN Statement on how COVID-19 is affecting persons with disabilities in Somalia and the practical field experience of HI and collaborating partners in Somalia.

Barriers Faced by Young Adults with Disabilities in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia Report of a Community-Based Emancipatory Disability Research (CB-EDR)

Sunil Deepak
February 2020

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An Emancipatory Disability Research in Mongolia was carried out as part of a project aimed at promoting independent living among young adults with disabilities living in the national capital Ulaanbaatar (UB). It was focused on young adults with disabilities living in the 9 districts of UB and was seen as a part of the process which provides information and skills to persons for independent living. It was based on the social model of disability - it looked at the different ways in which the society creates disabling barriers which block or make difficult the participation of persons with disabilities in the different domains of life. The idea of conducting the emancipatory research came from an interaction between some Mongolian DPOs and Tegsh Niigem, a Mongolian NGO active in the areas of rehabilitation, who then asked AIFO-Italy for technical support to conduct it. EDR in Mongolia was implemented through a new approach called a “Community-Based Emancipatory Disability Research” (CB-EDR). A group of young persons with different disabilities were identified as volunteer-researchers by their DPOs, trained and then supported to carry out research in 12 broad areas which they had identified, over a period of 18 months. The researchers, individually or in small groups, carried out research on one theme at a time by collecting information about it from the field. They met periodically to share and discuss the findings of their research and to build a common understanding about the key issues related to the selected theme, and what could they do to overcome the barriers they had identified.

Persons with disabilities in a just transition to a low-carbon economy

HASAN, Maria
November 2019

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Implementing a just transition to a low-carbon economy that aims to leave no one behind will require a context-specific and locally determined mix of legal standards, social protection, skills development and attitudinal transformation that create an enabling environment for green jobs to perpetuate and decent work opportunities for persons with disabilities to proliferate. If done right, a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all can contribute to the goals of achieving social justice, decent work, social inclusion and the eradication of poverty. At this unique time that climate action is accelerating and the transition to green economies has started to take form, a just transition - that is inherently disability-inclusive - represents a unique opportunity to shape a future that works for all.

 

Topics discussed include: Persons with disabilities in a world of work confronted by climate change; Understanding the future of the world of work; Existing frameworks to guide action; An inclusive transition to a low-carbon economy; Key recommendations

Disability & inclusion survey, Wau PoC AA

INSTITUTE OF MIGRATION (IOM)
HUMANITY & INCLUSION
CCCM CLUSTER
October 2019

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The International Organization for Migration's Displacement Tracking Matrix (10M DTM) and Humanity & Inclusion (HI) joined efforts to undertake an assessment of the level of access to services and the barriers faced by persons with disabilities within Wau Protection of Civilian Adjacent Area site (PoC AA or PoC site). The study, based on data collected in February 2019, aims to improve the knowledge base available to the humanitarian community about access to services by persons with disabilities living in the PoC 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 disabilities in accessing humanitarian services across sectors. It also seeks to empower persons with disability living within the PoC site, giving them the opportunity to express their concerns and preferences with regards to possible solutions and targeted interventions.

How do we improve access to healthcare for people with disabilities?

Disability Evidence Portal
August 2019

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Gaining access to healthcare is often a challenge for people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries. Part of this has to do with a general dearth of healthcare services in low-resource settings. But part of this difficulty has to do with structural, attitudinal, economic and social barriers to participation and healthcare which affect people with disabilities more than people without disabilities. This lack of access to healthcare is a problem because, in general, people with disabilities may need to access healthcare more frequently than people without disabilities. Full and equitable access to quality healthcare is a human right, and an important imperative of the global agenda. This evidence brief summarises what we know about how to improve access to healthcare for people with disabilities in low-resource settings.

State of the Education Report for India 2019: Children with disabilities

RAMCHAND, Mythili
et al
July 2019

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The past twenty years in India have seen significant legal and political commitments towards universalization of education and the right to education. This report documents the considerable effort undertaken in the country to protect the right to education of children with disabilities (CWD) and outlines what remains to be done to achieve its full realization. 

The report is based on extensive research of national and international literature and attempts to provide comprehensive information on the current status of education of CWDs, evidence of achievements and continuing concerns. It extensively draws upon a series of thematic research studies between 2017 and 2018. 

The report has taken a participatory approach with contributions, in the form of case studies, from specialists and those working directly in the field. 

Protection of civilians in armed conflict (S/2019/373) [EN/AR/RU]

UNHCR SECRETARY GENERAL
May 2019

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The present report is submitted pursuant to the request contained in the statement by the President of the Security Council of 21 September 2018 (S/PRST/2018/18). It also responds to the Council’s requests for reporting on the protection of medical care and on conflict and food insecurity, contained in resolutions 2286 (2016) and 2417 (2018), respectively. Section II provides a summary of achievements and challenges to the United Nations work on protecting civilians over the past 20 years. Section III reviews the current state of the protection of civilians and emphasizes the enduring relevance of the protection agenda 20 years on. Section IV focuses on the central challenge of enhancing respect for the law – the first of three protection priorities identified in the report of 2017 (S/2017/414) and discussed in the report of 2018 (S/2018/462) – with a particular focus on the conduct of hostilities. Section V discusses how the Council and Member States can rise to meet this challenge and, moreover, strengthen the practical impact of the protection agenda in the years ahead.

Family planning for women and girls with disabilities

FRASER, Erika
CORBY, Nick
January 2019

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Individual, environmental, attitudinal and institutional factors affecting access to and uptake of family planning for women and girls with disabilities in low and middle income countries are explored through a rapid literature review. Evidence of good practice concerning increasing full free and informed contraceptive choice is also examined.

 

Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Report. Pilot 2

Report on accessibility audit in Kathmandu, Nepal

December 2018

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In Nepal, the Accessible Physical Infrastructure and Communication Services directive for People with Disability 2013, is a key legal measure taken by the government for promoting accessibility. To supplement the government’s initiation in achieving the goal of making inclusive society for all, National Federation of the Disabled – Nepal (NFDN), in partnership with CBM, carried out accessibility audit of 150 public infrastructures as a model initiative. This included government buildings, public parks and open spaces, roads and streets, corporate sectors, commercial sectors and other infrastructures within Kathmandu valley and identified the remedial actions needed to make these sectors accessible for all including Persons with disabilities. To achieve this, a set of comprehensive audit tools and checklists were developed. The Kathmandu district, Lalitpur District and Bhaktapur District were assessed.

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

Disability in South Sudan. K4D Helpdesk Report

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
March 2018

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Decades of conflict in South Sudan, pre and post-independence in 2011, poverty and poor access to services have increased the rate of disability and rendered people with disabilities more marginalised and excluded as a result of the numerous attitudinal, environmental, and institutional barriers they face, and the lack of concerted efforts to include them. This rapid review identifies the available evidence on the experiences of people with disabilities living in South Sudan.

Strengthening environmental sustainability and inclusion in health and other development programs. Practical guidance for environmental sustainability, accessibility, gender, safeguarding and disaster risk reduction

CBM
2018

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The purpose of this booklet is to promote discussion and innovation for strengthening environmental sustainability and inclusion in health and other development activities. The case studies and checklists are designed to foster creative thinking and the ongoing gathering of evidence related to these topics. The booklet will be useful to anyone seeking high quality outcomes from health and other development programs. The information was first compiled for CBM’s engagement in the General Assembly of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness 2016, however will be useful for advancing sustainable development with inclusion in any context.

The case sutdies are: Environmental Sustainability in Eye Health, Caritas Takeo Eye Hospital (CTEH), Cambodia; and  Strengthening Accessibility and Inclusion in Eye Health. UMC Kissy Eye Hospital, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa

Disability in Somalia

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
January 2018

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People with disabilities have been identified as a particularly marginalised and at risk group within Somali society as a result of the numerous attitudinal, environmental, and institutional barriers they face, and the lack of concerted efforts to include them . This rapid review identifies available evidence on the experiences of people with disabilities living in Somalia. It was found that there are still numerous evidence gaps in relation to the experiences of people with disabilities living in Somalia.

New Earth Disability Newsletter - December 2017

Alex Ghenis
December 2017

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New Earth Disability is a groundbreaking project looking at how climate change will affect people with disabilities. NED is now a major initiative at the World Institute on Disability, a leading nonprofit focusing on disability research, education and partnerships.

Smarter, greener, more inclusive? Indicators to support the Europe 2020 strategy. 2017 edition

EUROSTAT
July 2017

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The focus of this publication is on showing progress of the EU and its Member States towards the goals and targets defined in the Europe 2020 strategy. The analysis of long-term trends, as described by the strategy’s headline indicators, is accompanied by additional contextual information, which improves understanding of the driving forces behind the developments that these indicators show. The current edition builds upon and updates the previous releases. The publication provides analyses based on the most recent statistics in the five thematic areas of employment, R&D and innovation, climate change and energy, education, and poverty and social exclusion. Each area is analysed in a dedicated chapter. An executive summary outlines the main statistical trends observed in the indicators. Additional country profiles describe the progress of each Member State towards its national Europe 2020 targets

DOI: 10.2785/760192

Improving mental health and related service environments and promoting community inclusion WHO QualityRights training to act, unite and empower for mental health (Pilot version)

FUNK, Michelle
DREW, Natalie
2017

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This document provides training and guidance on the key standards related to the physical and social environment within mental health and related services that need to be met to promote good outcomes, independent living and community inclusion. Service assessment and improvement tools are provided. Training tools (core and advanced) and guidance tools are introduced. Guidance is given for facilitators and learning objectives, resources and outcomes are provided for three topics: What makes a good environment?; The right to an adequate standard of living in mental health and related services; and Living independently and being included in your community.

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