Paper: The situation of disability inclusion in humanitarian actions in Rohingya response: People’s perception, challenges and ways forward

Paper details

Paper authors Asim Dio, Shiwendra Kumar
In panel on Disability Inclusion in Humanitarian Crises: Discourse, Implementation and Evidence
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


Bangladesh currently houses nearly one million Rohingya population, who took refuge after the influx in 2017, among whom 12% are persons with disabilities. Along with other humanitarian agencies, Handicap International – Humanity & Inclusion (HI) has been supporting this population with various specialized services such as rehabilitation, inclusive education, MHPSS etc. Additionally, HI has been supporting the mainstream humanitarian actors to make their responses disability inclusive through capacity-building training, and hands-on support in developing relevant tools and documents. To assess the impact of HI's initiatives, HI conducted studies to assess the situation of the inclusiveness of humanitarian actions in Rohingya camps. The assessment employed a mixed method to measure the people’s perceptions as well as the impact of capacity-building and technical support interventions to humanitarian actors. The assessment revealed that despite the efforts by humanitarian agencies and disability rights actors, the score for inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian actions for sectors namely education, health, shelter, WASH, etc. remains way below the average according to community people’s perception. Moreover, the knowledge, understanding and skills of humanitarian actors on disability inclusion yet to impact the humanitarian programming in the field significantly by ensuring disability disaggregated data collection, meaningful participation, addressing barriers, and empowering community people for disability inclusion. Based on the findings, the assessment recommends that all humanitarian actions must comply with Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) guidelines for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian responses with careful consideration towards ‘must-do’ actions on the participation of persons with disabilities, addressing barriers to enable access to goods and services, empowering the personnel and beneficiaries for a safer environment, and collection and analysis of sex, age, and disability disaggregated data.