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Guidance note for cluster partners on collecting data on people with disabilities in the context of the Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC)

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Joint Document by – the Protection Cluster and Humanity & Inclusion (HI)


The inter-census data 2019 shows that the disability prevalence rate in Myanmar is 12.8% with the most common type being difficulties in seeing (6.3%), followed by walking/climbing steps (5.4%), remembering/concentrating (4.4%), hearing (2.4%) and communication (1.6%). Persons with disabilities and those with mobility challenges face additional risks to their lives because they may not be able to protect themselves or find disability-friendly infrastructure, and access to protection or other essential services may be compromised. It becomes particularly difficult in times of conflict when they cannot quickly access safe places or leave an area under siege. In addition to difficulties when accessing services due to infrastructure, people with disabilities also often face attitudinal and institutional barriers, resulting in difficulties for their daily living and access to humanitarian assistance and protection. Furthermore, persons with disabilities may experience targeted violence and abuse because of their disability. Targeted violence against persons with disabilities may include physical attacks, killings, denial of food and medicine, harassment, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, profound neglect, shackling, and confinement.

People with disabilities are likely to face specific risk and barriers and humanitarian settings. In addition to protection and assistance, they also require access to services response to their requirement, such as rehabilitation care, assistive devices, or nutrition support among others. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) recognizes persons with disabilities as “those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others” (Article 1).

“Disability” is a dynamic concept and not an attribute of the person: if a person with impairments in need access barrier-free and inclusive assistance and environment, his or her impairment might not lead to discrimination or exclusion. As such, people with disabilities require needs-based and inclusive services and necessary reasonable accommodations. This joint guidance note provides harmonized guidance on how humanitarian actors can promote inclusive humanitarian strategies and programs by enhancing the collecting use and analysis of quality disability data in the process of assessments and encourages all clusters to develop specific guidance on quality disaggregated disability data partners should collect in the process of monitoring and reporting activities.

This, in turn, should help promote targeted assistance and/or mainstream disability in the humanitarian responses2 and help non-humanitarian actors to plan a sustained/integrated interventions as appropriate. Collection of data on people with disabilities also allows partners to facilitate the process of inter-agency work to promote inclusion and inclusive referrals that ensures people with disabilities are supported in safely accessing needed services.