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Gap Analysis: Inclusion of persons with disabilities in Humanitarian Response

A volunteers help disable man with his wheel chair walk through flood and he still smile in Southern, Thailand.
Photo: issaraanujun /

The University of Melbourne commissioned a Gap Analysis on the inclusion of people with disabilities and older people in humanitarian response. The Gap Analysis aims to understand the evidence base on inclusion and contribute to more effective and inclusive emergency response.

The work has been led by the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne and supported by Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund’s Office for Indonesia and the Philippines (ASB).

This is the first of two reports and presents the findings of an academic literature review and grey literature review. The second report, with additional findings from consultations, interviews, and case studies, will be published later in 2020.

The literature reviews drew on systematic review methods and were conducted separately for people with disability and older people to ensure a wide body of evidence was identified. A thematic analysis was completed to organise and map the articles. Both disability and older age articles were mapped across two sets of categories. The first set of categories is based on the Humanitarian Inclusion Standards for Older People and People with Disabilities (HIS). The second set of categories is based on humanitarian sectors or areas of work, such as shelter; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); or health. This provided a practical overview of how evidence is distributed across areas of humanitarian practice and facilitated the identification of key gaps. We also hope that by aligning to existing standards, it will aid coordination and collaboration to address the gaps.

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