CBM trains Scottish NGOs in disability-inclusive emergency response

Posted on: Thursday, 9th February, 2017


On the 7th February CBM ran a workshop for agencies in Scotland to show how people with disabilities can be included in humanitarian response. The session introduced agencies to CBM’s vital and innovative new mobile app, the Humanitarian Hands on Tool (HHOT), which will help people with disabilities access life-saving relief services during emergencies.

When disasters strike, people with disabilities are often among the worst affected and the last to receive help. With a distinct lack of practical advice on disability in disaster scenarios, and with 1 in 7 individuals living with some form of disability worldwide (80% of these living in developing countries), a large number of people are missing out on life-saving relief services like food, shelter or medical support.

The Humanitarian Hands on Tool (HHOT) developed by CBM and built by Studio 24 provides guidelines which gives practical information to field workers in emergency response scenarios on how to make relief services inclusive. It is currently at prototype stage and feedback is being provided both by people with disabilities and by agencies providing emergency relief to ensure that the content is as relevant and full as possible. The final version will be completed in 2017.

Kirsty Smith, Chief Executive of CBM UK, who chaired the workshop said, “Although we’ve developed this app specifically with people with disabilities in mind, the good thing about an inclusive approach is that it transforms systems and structures for everybody. We were delighted by the enthusiasm of the participants who attended the workshop.  It is clear that the HHOT will be a useful and valuable resource to help Scottish international NGOs adapt the way they provide emergency aid to build greater inclusion of people with disabilities. We look forward to working with these organisations as the app progresses.”

Zoe Hopkins, Senior Programme Officer at Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian aid agency, who Delegates from CBM UK training testing out the HHOT app.participated in the workshop said, “The session was an excellent insight into how to adapt our common emergency responses to be more disability inclusive. Interactive use of the HHOT tool revealed many practical ways of adapting all sectors of emergencies, from quick wins such as appropriate signage in a camp, to more participatory approaches of ensuring DPOs [Disabled People’s Organisations] are present at Cluster meetings.”

“The session also highlighted the need for mainstream NGOs like Mercy Corps to engage much more with specialised NGOs such as CBM in order to build a common understanding of disability inclusion before, during and after emergencies.”

Read more

·         Preview the HHOT online tool (beta) here: www.cbm.org/HHOT

·         CBM and Disability-inclusive Emergency Response

·         News: Mobile app aids life-saving relief to people with disabilities in emergencies


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