Paper: From policy to practice: The evolution of disability-inclusive humanitarian action on internal displacement in Vanuatu and Nigeria

Paper details

Paper authors Louisa Yasukawa, Oliver Neuschaefer
In panel on Examining humanitarian action for forced migration: Approaches to the needs of vulnerable groups on the move in crises
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person & Online


There has been significant progress in global and national policymaking in recent years to enhance the inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action on internal displacement. Few studies, however, have sought to assess the extent to which such commitments have been implemented in practice.

This paper examines how humanitarian actors in Vanuatu and Nigeria have navigated their roles in supporting internally displaced persons with disabilities. The study is based on a desk review of existing literature and interviews with key informants from both countries.

The paper demonstrates that Vanuatu and Nigeria have developed national policies that call for greater disability inclusion in humanitarian programming. While this has raised awareness amongst the humanitarian community, the systematic translation of these commitments into inclusive practices are still limited.

Many humanitarian organisations have started to remove environmental and institutional barriers within their planning and responses to displacement and improved the collection of disability-disaggregated data. Gaps remain, however, in ensuring the meaningful participation of persons with disabilities and strengthening the institutional capacities of their representative organisations. In addition, humanitarian organisations continuously fail to tackle attitudinal barriers. By highlighting promising practices and ongoing challenges, the findings aim to inform inclusive programming in other displacement contexts.