Towards a Disability-Inclusive Humanitarian Response in South Sudan?


Our project “Phase 2 – Leave no one behind!” promotes the inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action. Based on the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, we support a better understanding of the human rights-based approach to disability in humanitarian action.

To improve the understanding of challenges in implementing disability inclusive humanitarian action, and to document progress and good practices, part of the project is dedicated to research. 

Our second case study focuses on the implementation of the so-called four “must do” actions of the IASC Guidelines in South Sudan.

  • Misconceptions and prejudices against persons with disabilities continue to persist in society and among humanitarian staff. 
  • Reliable, countrywide data on disability prevalence is not available
  • OPDs have further professionalized due to support from inclusion-focused NGOs, which operate under a dual mandate, in both development and humanitarian sectors. 
  • In addition, aid services for people with disabilities are becoming much more inclusive. 
  • Some international organizations are setting up special focal points to make their project and programmes more inclusive.  
  • Humanitarian staff increasingly participates in training courses of so-called “inclusion-focused” organizations. In doing so, they increase their awareness of disability and strengthen their capacity in inclusive humanitarian action. 
  • However, more capacity building is needed to advance the inclusion of persons with disabilities. 
  • Particular attention should be given to data collection and analysis. Data must be disaggregated by age/gender/type of disability and become the basis of every project.  
  • In addition, there is a need for information sharing and data on the risks, barriers and needs of persons with disabilities, particularly in remote regions that are difficult to access.  
  • Moreover, persons with psychosocial or intellectual disabilities need to become more involved in humanitarian action. 

The project "Phase 2 - Leave no one behind!" is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office (AA) and carried out under the lead of Handicap International e.V.  and in partnership with the Institute for International Law of Peace and Humanitarian Law (IFHV) at the Ruhr-University Bochum. 

Access the study on Disability- Inclusive Humanitarian Action in South Sudan

An executive summary is available

Download the full study