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The impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities: a rapid review. Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Query No: 35

MEANIE-DAVIS, Jessie
LEE, Harri
CORBY, Nick
April 2020

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There is currently very limited data and evidence on the impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities and pre-existing health conditions, with no disability-disaggregated data on mortality rates available in the public sphere. However, reports from the media, disability advocates and disabled peoples’ organisations (DPOs) point to several emerging impacts, including primary and secondary impacts including on health, education, food security and livelihoods.  Most of the available data is from high income countries (HICs) though reports from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are likely to emerge. Evidence was gathered by a rapid desk based review. Gaps are identified. 

 

The section concerned with lessons drawn from similar epidemics draws heavily on lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016, and touches on lessons from the Zika outbreak in 2015-2016 and the SARS pandemic in the early 2000s.10 It also touches briefly on SARS, MERS and H1N1 (swine flu). 

 

Primary and secondary impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities are reviewed.


People with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 not only because it can exacerbate underlying medical conditions, but because of attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers to their participation in and benefit from the pandemic response. For example, inaccessible public health messaging and healthcare facilities, and stigma and discrimination.

Making the future of work inclusive of people with disabilities

ILO GLOBAL BUSINESS AND DISABILITY NETWORK
FUNDACION ONCE
November 2019

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This is a first exercise to connect different areas of debate, looking at the key trends of the future of work from a disability perspective and seeking to identify specific action needed in order to shape the future of work in a more disability-inclusive way.

Chapters include: Work and disability - overview of current situation; megatrends of future work and persons with disability (technological revolution, skills revolution, cultutral change, demographic change and climate change); and Roadmap for an inclusive future of work.

 

The following five key objectives for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the future of work have been identified:

1. New forms of employment and employment relations integrate disability inclusion

2. Skills development and life-long learning made inclusive of persons with disabilities

3. Universal Design embedded in development of all new infrastructure, products and services

4. Assistive technologies, existing and newly developed, to be made affordable and available

5. Measures to include persons with disabilities in growing and developing areas of the economy

 

Governments, companies, disability NGOs, trade unions and academia must be encouraged to commit and contribute towards achieving these objectives through different actions. An inclusive future of work can be reached through coordination and alliances among the different stakeholders

Persons with disabilities in a just transition to a low-carbon economy

HASAN, Maria
November 2019

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Implementing a just transition to a low-carbon economy that aims to leave no one behind will require a context-specific and locally determined mix of legal standards, social protection, skills development and attitudinal transformation that create an enabling environment for green jobs to perpetuate and decent work opportunities for persons with disabilities to proliferate. If done right, a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all can contribute to the goals of achieving social justice, decent work, social inclusion and the eradication of poverty. At this unique time that climate action is accelerating and the transition to green economies has started to take form, a just transition - that is inherently disability-inclusive - represents a unique opportunity to shape a future that works for all.

 

Topics discussed include: Persons with disabilities in a world of work confronted by climate change; Understanding the future of the world of work; Existing frameworks to guide action; An inclusive transition to a low-carbon economy; Key recommendations

IASC Guidelines, Inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action

INTER-AGENCY STANDING COMMITTEE (IASC)
November 2019

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The guidelines set out essential actions that humanitarian actors must take in order to effectively identify and respond to the needs and rights of persons with disabilities who are most at risk of being left behind in humanitarian settings.

The recommended actions in each chapter place persons with disabilities at the centre of humanitarian action, both as actors and as members of affected populations. They are specific to persons with disabilities and to the context of humanitarian action and build on existing and more general standards and guidelines.

These are the first humanitarian guidelines to be developed with and by persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in association with traditional humanitarian stakeholders. Based on the outcomes of a comprehensive global and regional multi-stakeholder consultation process, they are designed to promote the implementation of quality humanitarian programmes in all contexts and across all regions, and to establish and increase both the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their meaningful participation in all decisions that concern them.

Social protection and disability in Zambia

KIDD, Stephen
WAPLING, Lorraine
KABARE, Krystle
October 2019

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This report presents findings from a short study in Zambia to examine its social protection system and programmes and identifies the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in accessing them. The study was undertaken by a visit to Zambia between 31st October – 4th November 2016 during which a range of interviews and focus group discussions were undertaken. The study was supported by a review of the literature and some limited analysis of administrative data.

Topics presented in the report include:

  • the broader context of Zambia particularly around issues of education, health and consumption dynamics
  • the national population of persons with disabilities
  • key challenges faced by persons with disabilities
  • the legislative and policy framework on disability in Zambia
  • the governance of social protection and support for persons with disabilities
  • the disability classification system and an overview of the social protection system
  • the evolution of the Social Cash Transfer and access to the scheme by persons with disabilities 

Bridging the mobile disability gap in refugee settings

DOWNER, Matthew
September 2019

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This case study highlights refugees with disabilities’ access to mobile services and the benefits and challenges associated with using these services in three different humanitarian contexts. The analysis is based on a representative survey of refugees in three contexts: Bidi Bidi refugee settlement (Uganda), Kiziba refugee camp (Rwanda) and with urban refugees in Jordan. It also includes qualitative data drawn from two focus groups conducted with refugees with disabilities in Bidi Bidi and Kiziba. The survey used the Washington Group Questions (WGQs) to assess prevalence of disability amongst the refugee population

Global humanitarian assistance report 2019

URQUHART, Angus
September 2019

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This report aims to reflect, respond to and inform efforts to improve the delivery of humanitarian assistance. This year's focus is on recurrent and protracted crises, to better understand how assistance is provided over the multiple years of a crisis. In the context of ever-more-complex and enduring crises and the increasing demand on limited resources, there is a pressing need to address the underlying causes of crises. The GHA Report therefore looks beyond humanitarian financing to examine other resource flows to countries in crisis, including developmental official development assistance (ODA less humanitarian assistance) and foreign direct investment, and the role they can and should play alongside humanitarian assistance to address crisis. 

Chapters of the report include: people, crisis and assistance; internation humanitarian assistance; wider crisis financing; effectiveness, efficiency and quality; and methodology and definitions. [Each chapter can be downloaded separately]

 

Associated datasets are also freely available

  • International humanitarian assistance provided by government donors, 2000–2018
  • International humanitarian assistance by recipient countries, 2000-2017

Summary Report. LEAVE NO CHILD BEHIND Invest in the early years

WALKER, Jo
BABOO, Nafisa
September 2019

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A summary overview of the findings of a study led by LIGHT FOR THE WORLD with its partners, supported by the Early Childhood Program of the Open Society Foundations. The aim of the study was to uncover the trends in aid for inclusive Early Child Development (ECD) for 2017. It further identified strategic commitments to ECD, as reflected in policy documents up until 2019. The research examined donors’ spending and commitments in three key areas: early childhood development; inclusive early education and pre-primary; and disability-inclusive early childhood development investments in the sectors of health, nutrition, education and sanitation.

 

This study presents a baseline on donor investment in ECD services in low- and middle-income countries for the children who are traditionally left behind. It draws lessons from six bilateral donor countries – Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) – as well as the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), European Union (EU) Institutions, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank. Donor advocacy briefs for each of these donors are provided.

 

The study focuses on donor contributions to scaling up ECD services in four African countries: Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe

The missing billion - Access to health services for 1 billion people with disabilities

KUPER, Hannah
HEYDT, Phyllis
July 2019

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One billion people around the world live with disabilities. This report makes the case that they are being “left behind” in the global community’s work on health. This lack of access not only violates the rights of people with disabilities under international law, but UHC (Universal Health Care) and SDG 3 cannot be attained without better health services for the one billion people with disabilities. 

Health and healthcare are critical issues for people with disabilities. People with disabilities often need specialized medical care related to the underlying health condition or impairment (e.g., physiotherapy, hearing aids). They also need general healthcare services like anyone else (e.g., vaccinations, antenatal care). On average, those with disabilities are more vulnerable to poor health, because of their higher levels of poverty and exclusion, and through secondary conditions and co-morbidities. People with disabilities therefore may require higher levels of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services. However, health services are often lower quality, not affordable, and inaccessible for people with disabilities. In many situations these barriers are even more significant for women with disabilities, compared to men with disabilities.

Rehabilitation for the realisation of human rights and inclusive development

COLE, Ellie
et al
July 2019

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This report illustrates how rehabilitation contributes to achievement of several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), improves global health, and promotes the realisation of human rights for all. The purpose of this report is to provide evidence to stakeholders upon which to build successful strategies to improve the availability of quality, coordinated, affordable, and user-centred rehabilitation. By situating disability and rehabilitation within global discourse and policy, it is intended to provide guidance on the implementation of effective rehabilitation-focused policy and practice, contributing to progress towards global development goals.

SDGs 1,3,4,5,8, 10 and 11 are considered

The report concludes with sets of specific recommendations for different stakeholders (states, donors and civil society, including disabled people’s organisations), which have the potential to strengthen rehabilitation services and improve the health and wellbeing of millions around the world. Included in annex are case studies of government donors and their progress towards meeting the recommendations set out in this report. These case studies are intended to serve as examples for stakeholders for how some of the recommendations have already been included within national policies and activities, where gaps exist and identify areas for improvement.
 

Guidelines. Inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action

IASC TASK TEAM ON INCLUSION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN HUMANITARIAN ACTION
July 2019

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The guidelines set out essential actions that humanitarian actors must take in order to effectively identify and respond to the needs and rights of persons with disabilities who are most at risk of being left behind in humanitarian settings. The recommended actions in each chapter place persons with disabilities at the centre of humanitarian action, both as actors and as members of affected populations. They are specific to persons with disabilities and to the context of humanitarian action and build on existing and more general standards and guidelines. These are the first humanitarian guidelines to be developed with and by persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in association with traditional humanitarian stakeholders. Based on the outcomes of a comprehensive global and regional multi-stakeholder consultation process, they are designed to promote the implementation of quality humanitarian programmes in all contexts and across all regions, and to establish and increase both the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their meaningful participation in all decisions that concern them. 

 

Chapters include:

  • What to do - key approaches to programming
  • Data and information management
  • Partnerships and empowerment of organisation of people with disabilities
  • Cross cutting considerations
  • Accountability to affected people and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse
  • Humanitarian response options
  • Stakeholder roles and responsibilities
  • What sectors need to do
  • Camp coordination and camp management
  • Education
  • Food security and nutrition
  • Livelihoods
  • Health
  • Protection
  • Shelter and settlements
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene

Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness (RAAB) and disability and equity survey. Nampula, Mozambique

SIGHTSAVERS
July 2019

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This report describes the findings of a rapid assessment of avoidable blindness (RAAB) conducted in Muchinga Province, Zambia in 2017.

The prevalence of blindness was just over 4% and the major cause was cataract, followed by glaucoma. Only 37% of people who require cataract surgery have received it, meaning there is an urgent need to scale up access to cataract surgical services in the province.

In addition to the standard RAAB questionnaire, an additional two sets of questions were administered to the participants to understand their disability and socioeconomic status: the Washington Group Short Set of Questions on Disability (WGSS) and the Equity Tool (ET)

Every learner matters: Unpacking the learning crisis for children with disabilities

McCLAIN-NHLAPO, Charlotte
et al
June 2019

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This paper was developed by the World Bank in partnership with Leonard Cheshire and Inclusion International. It is an attempt to add knowledge to the current understanding of the importance of learning achievements, with a focus on children with disabilities. While the premise is that inclusive education refers to the inclusion of all children, the focus of this paper is on children with disabilities.

The aim of the paper is to:

  • Provide an evidence-based review of educational participation of children with disabilities.
  • Establish a case for focusing on learning achievements for students with disabilities.
  • Take stock of current mechanisms of measurement of learning outcomes and review their inclusivity.
  • Explore evidence of practice and systems which promote disability-inclusive learning for all. 

Four case studies are provided - from Pakistan, South Africa, Canada and UK.

Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000–2017 - Special focus on inequalities

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
World Health Organization (WHO)
June 2019

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The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene presents updated national, regional and global estimates for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in households in its 2019 update report, Progress on Household Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 2000–2017: Special focus on inequalities. The report shows that in 2017:

The population using safely managed drinking water services increased from 61 per cent to 71 per cent
The population using safely managed sanitation services increased from 28 per cent to 45 per cent
60 per cent of the global population had basic handwashing facilities with soap and water at home

The report also focuses on inequalities between and within countries and reveals populations most at risk of being left-behind.

NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US! Cooperation with organisations of persons with disabilities in community programmes A learning guide

LIGHT FOR THE WORLD
June 2019

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Good practices of DPO (Organisations of Persons with Disabilities) involvement in Light for the World programmes are analysed and successful ways of supporting DPO empowerment are reported. The paper is based on interviews and focus group discussions with organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs), other project partners and Light for the World programme colleagues in Bolivia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Northeast India and South Sudan

Forgotten in a crisis: Addressing dementia in humanitarian response

GLOBAL ALZHEIMER'S & DEMENTIA ACTION ALLIANCE
ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE INTERNATIONAL
ALZHEIMER'S PAKISTAN
May 2019

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Every 3 seconds someone develops dementia and it’s one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Despite being some of the most at-risk in times of natural disaster, conflict and forced migration, there is a lack of awareness that dementia is a medical condition, meaning people with dementia are being neglected when they’re most in need of support.

This report investigates ways humanitarian emergency responses can protect and support people living with dementia. It draws on the experiences of people affected by dementia, Alzheimer’s specialists in affected countries, humanitarian organisations and inter-governmental organisations including the World Health Organisation and UNHCR.

Our findings reflect a wider issue of a lack of support for older people and those with disabilities in humanitarian response. We have found that people with dementia are systemically overlooked, due to a lack of global awareness of the condition and associated stigma.

The report is a collaboration between the Global Alzheimer’s & Dementia Action Alliance, Alzheimer’s Disease International and Alzheimer’s Pakistan.

Making it count: The power of youth advocates in the disability movement

WILM, Suzanne
LEONARD CHESHIRE
HANKS, Phil
May 2019

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The 2030 and Counting pilot project sought to give youth with disabilities a seat at the table on the SDGs – providing them with the tools and confidence they need to become their own agents of change. This report provides an overview of the project, together with learnings and recommendations for the future.

In its pilot year, 2030 and Counting brought together young women and men with disabilities and DPOs from Kenya, the Philippines and Zambia to report on and advocate for their rights through the framework of the SDGs

The project had three consecutive phases: Training, Story gathering (data collection) and Influencing. 

In total, 332 reports were collected between June and September 2018. The highest number of reports were submitted under the theme of Education (44%), followed by Work (33%), and Health (14%). The category of Other, which almost entirely focused on discrimination in daily life, accounted for 8%. 80% of reporters had smartphones, offering the potential to increase the use of this feature in future.
 

Protection of civilians in armed conflict (S/2019/373) [EN/AR/RU]

UNHCR SECRETARY GENERAL
May 2019

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The present report is submitted pursuant to the request contained in the statement by the President of the Security Council of 21 September 2018 (S/PRST/2018/18). It also responds to the Council’s requests for reporting on the protection of medical care and on conflict and food insecurity, contained in resolutions 2286 (2016) and 2417 (2018), respectively. Section II provides a summary of achievements and challenges to the United Nations work on protecting civilians over the past 20 years. Section III reviews the current state of the protection of civilians and emphasizes the enduring relevance of the protection agenda 20 years on. Section IV focuses on the central challenge of enhancing respect for the law – the first of three protection priorities identified in the report of 2017 (S/2017/414) and discussed in the report of 2018 (S/2018/462) – with a particular focus on the conduct of hostilities. Section V discusses how the Council and Member States can rise to meet this challenge and, moreover, strengthen the practical impact of the protection agenda in the years ahead.

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