Recording available: Persons with disabilities in humanitarian response

On 26 February, PHAP and ICVA organized a webinar together with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) secretariat and the Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action to introduce the new guidelines on more inclusive humanitarian action. The recently IASC endorsed Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action are a crucial step forward to achieve disability-inclusive humanitarian action and were drafted through a large number of consultations with member States, organizations of persons with disabilities, civil society organizations working with persons with disabilities and/or in humanitarian action, and UN agencies. 

During the live online session, attendees had the opportunity to hear from, and pose questions to, experts involved in the development and implementation of the new guidelines, including from the three interim co-chairs of the Reference Group, as well as one of the NGOs that has been implementing the IASC Guidelines in their organization.

Elham Youssefian, Inclusive Humanitarian Action and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Advisor at International Disability Alliance (IDA), introduced some of the fundamental concepts relevant to the guidelines, such as disability, inclusion, vulnerability, and organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs). Additionally, she briefed attendees on the three-year participatory and inclusive development process of the guidelines involving IDA, Humanity and Inclusion, and UNICEF, while highlighting the potential challenges in implementing the Guidelines in practice.

Sien Andries, Inclusive Humanitarian Action Specialist at Humanity and Inclusion introduced the four key objectives of the guidelines and what those mean for NGOs in practice at different levels of an organisation. She went on to explain the scope, principles, and content of the Guidelines while offering attendees practical means of initiating the use of the Guidelines in their work. 

In regards to promoting the implementation of the guidelines within the humanitarian sector, Kirstin Lange, Disability Inclusive Humanitarian Action Programme Specialist at UNICEF, introduced the accompanying tools (such as thematic and sector factsheets). Highlighting how they can be used for capacity development and roll-out in global mechanisms and country operations, she helped illustrate how organizations can start using the guidelines for organizational change and inclusive programming. 

Allan A. Calma, Global Humanitarian Coordinator at the Lutheran World Federation, spoke on examples of implementing the inclusion guidelines in practice. He shared his experience in Kenya, South Sudan, and Nepal, and how the IASC Guidelines have been used as a reference guide in his organization.

If you missed the event, video recordings and an audio podcast version of the event are now available on the event page. For increased accessibility, the YouTube version has captions in English and French (Arabic captions are coming soon). 

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