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 high-level workshop on disability inclusive humanitarian action in Abuja, in July 2019, a few days after a capacity building workshop in the north-east of the country.
First humanitarian disability audit
In 2018, the UK Government Department for International Development (DFID) commissioned CBM and the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, the umbrella organisation of persons with disabilities to review disability inclusion in four humanitarian projects funded by the North East Nigeria Transition to Development (NENTAD) programme. This was the first time such a review has been conducted of DFID’s humanitarian programmes.
The review 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. Read the key findings at end of article, and for more details, see the Policy Brief: Involving people with disabilities in humanitarian response.
Dissemination workshop, high-level event and next steps
In July 2019, in collaboration with DFID, CBM's country office in Nigeria facilitated a dissemination workshop of the NENTAD disability review in Maiduguri and a high-level event in Abuja on disability-inclusive humanitarian action. Technical support was provided by CBM Emergency Response Unit. One of the aims of the workshop was to identify the capacity development requirements of the NENTAD partners in disability inclusive humanitarian response and agree on the next steps on how to collectively address these.
Involving persons with disabilities enriches humanitarian programmes
During the high-level event in Abuja, Haruna Pali from the Nigeria Association of Blind 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."
Bright Ekweremadu, CBM Country Director for Nigeria said, “The findings from the disability inclusion audit on the North East Nigeria Transition to Development (NENTAD) humanitarian response programme was an eye opener to me. Lessons and recommendations from it will, I believe, enrich future humanitarian programmes in Nigeria with more measurable impacts for persons with disability.”
Access in internally displaced persons' camps
Zara, a mother of seven and a woman with disabilities had been living in an Internally Displaced Person’s (IDP) camp for two years before receiving any support. She said that support for IDPs was not reaching her family, and even when support was available at the camp, it was usually not easy for someone with a physical disability to access.
In 2017, Zara received food and non-food items through the CBM-supported project. She was very thankful and said that she had never seen any organisation do such a thing for persons with a disability.
- A complex humanitarian context and security situation contributes to the challenges for disability inclusion in humanitarian programming.
- Disability inclusion must become the norm for humanitarian action.
- 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.
- 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.
- Collecting and disaggregating data about people with disabilities is key to effective inclusion in humanitarian operations.
- Technical capacity building for staff in inclusion and ongoing support to adopt inclusive practices is needed.
- 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.
- Humanitarian actors should take every opportunity to build awareness about disability inclusion.