Humanitarian disability inclusion audit findings released

Posted on: Friday, 9th August, 2019
Participants at the high-level event in Abuja, Nigeria.

CBM and the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) have released findings on the first ever disability audit of humanitarian projects in Nigeria. The report was presented at a high-level workshop on disability inclusive humanitarian action in Abuja, in July 2019, days after a capacity building workshop in the north-east of the country where the audit took place.

In 2018, DFID commissioned CBM and the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), the umbrella organization of persons with disabilities in Nigeria, to review disability inclusion in four humanitarian projects funded by the North East Nigeria Transition to Development (NENTAD) programme. This is the first time such a review has been conducted of DFID’s humanitarian programmes.

CBM UK Chief Executive, Kirsty Smith, said:

“DFID is leading by example, leaving no one behind and trying to apply learnings from this audit across all of their humanitarian programmes. With decades of technical expertise of working with Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs), CBM’s capacity to bring positive impact to the lives of people living with disability is greatly enhanced and we can support key players such as DFID to be more inclusive.

This is particularly important in emergency and post-emergency contexts which leave behind people with disabilities and this is exacerbated in North East Nigeria which continues to be affected by insurgency. It’s essential that humanitarian responses make inclusion the norm throughout the project cycle; that aid staff are properly trained; and that the specific needs of persons with disabilities are met as well as disability being mainstreamed into humanitarian programming.

Drawing on some of the existing good practice, the audit makes specific recommendations for partners to be more inclusive while the policy brief gives much broader recommendations for anyone operating in a humanitarian context.”

The audit applied the Humanitarian Inclusion Standards for Older People and People with Disabilities and included a desk review, a self-assessment questionnaire, key informant interviews, observations of project sites and focus group discussions with community members, including people with disabilities. Data was analysed, findings validated with partners and initial action plans developed.

Involving people with disabilities in humanitarian programmes

Zara was able to access humanitarian aid through an inclusive CBM project.In 2016, Zara (a mother of seven) had been living in an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camp for two years and had received food and non-food items through the CBM-supported project. Until then she said that support for IDPs was not reaching them, and even when the support is available at the camp, it is usually not easy to access for someone with a physical disability.

During the high-level event in Abuja, Mr. Haruna Pali from the Nigeria Association of Blind (NAB) said, "I come from the North East zone and I know how our people are suffering, especially children ... Therefore, I want to thank CBM for implementing projects in this zone and really involving our members in the projects so that we can learn and benefit. With the experience and knowledge we gained, we started advocating for our rights."

Key findings from the audit
  1. A complex humanitarian context and security situation contributes to the challenges for disability inclusion in humanitarian programming.
  2. Disability inclusion must become the norm for humanitarian action.
  3. Inclusion should be taken into account at all stages of the project cycle, including the initial needs assessment and subsequent design and planning of humanitarian response.
  4. Improvements in the participation of men and women with disabilities are needed across the entire project cycle management; to achieve this, budgets need to incorporate necessary adaptations and accessibility measures.
  5. Collecting and disaggregating data about people with disabilities is key to effective inclusion in humanitarian operations.
  6. Technical capacity building for staff in inclusion and ongoing support to adopt inclusive practices is needed.
  7. Applying a twin track approach to humanitarian programming empowers people with disabilities and meets their specific needs, whilst also working to ensure inclusion is mainstreamed.
  8. Humanitarian actors should take every opportunity to build awareness about disability inclusion.

This represents a significant step forward in the goal to ensure greater inclusion for some of the world’s most marginalised people. For more details, read the Policy Brief: Involving people with disabilities in humanitarian response.

Images: Top – Participants at the high-level event in Abuja, Nigeria. Bottom – Zara was able to access humanitarian aid through an inclusive CBM project.


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