Handicap International

Consultant (Case Study on Effectiveness and Functioning of The Deployment of An Inclusion Specialist)

Handicap International

Job Description

  Collecting, analyzing and using data for humanitarian programming is essential to meet the humanitarian needs of persons affected by conflict and natural disasters effectively. Reliable, comparable and robust data on prevalence of affected persons with disabilities, their humanitarian needs, the barriers and risks they face, and their protection concerns have been largely overlooked in the Humanitarian System. This gap has been acknowledged at the Humanitarian Summit in 2016. Since then, a first applied research and learning project implemented by IDA, the Washington Group on Disability Statistics and HI in partnership, has demonstrated that the Washington Group (WG) Short Set of Question can help addressing the data gap[1]. Other collective efforts have been done to progress tools on disability specific barriers and risks assessments for integration in existing needs and risk assessments, and monitoring efforts. Importantly, Policy and Capacity developments have been undertaken at global level to support humanitarian actors to better engage persons with disabilities in Humanitarian Action, namely the IASC Guideline on the Inclusion of Persons with disabilities in Humanitarian Action (2019), Guidance to enhance inclusion of persons with disabilities in the Humanitarian Response Planning (2019), and various Sector specific guideline adaptations. There has also been the rollout of the system wide United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS), and its related accountability framework which may have contributed to the uptake of disability inclusion in the Syrian Humanitarian Response[2].

HI has supported efforts to improve data collection, remove barriers, promote meaningful participation of persons with disabilities and empowerment action as well as Capacity Development of humanitarian actors in more than 20 humanitarian crises contexts, over the last 10 years. In the Syrian Crisis, among other efforts, it sought to support disability inclusion through strengthening the collection, Analysis and use of quality disability data in the humanitarian Coordination and programming mechanisms. It did so via capacity development for disability inclusive humanitarian data collection and inclusive programming, including in the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) and Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) processes across the overall Humanitarian Program Cycle (HPC). It is thought that by providing a Human Resource who closely collaborated with the Protection Cluster as well as other coordination mechanisms and humanitarian leadership in North East and North West Syria over the last 2 years, that this may have played an important role in improving disability inclusive data collection and creating pathways to quality programming, making the overall humanitarian system more inclusive, and strengthening related leadership.

Other dynamics which are thought to have influenced a wider uptake of inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian programming in the Syrian humanitarian response: · Over the last five years, a number of UN and donor agencies have engaged different resources to support inclusion in its programs[3].

· HI too had other projects supporting capacity development of humanitarian actors in different sectors to uptake disability inclusion in their respective programming, namely Health, COVID19 response, Livelihoods and Protection.

· The Syria Resilience Consortium (SRC), operational over the past 4 years, supported a Gender, Disability and Age based approach to reinforce Livelihoods which has promoted a better understanding of the intersections affecting the vulnerability and resilience capacities of the crisis affected population[4]. This understanding has been shared in the form of studies with the wider humanitarian community.

· A ground-breaking empowerment project for Syrians with disabilities to raise their voices in the humanitarian response has been effective since more than a year.

The Syria humanitarian context where dedicated technical assistance has been provided to support disability inclusion in the response has been somewhat unique. However, in the case of other cross-cutting themes and/or approaches such as gender, Prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), Accountability to Affected Persons, Principled Protection and protection mainstreaming, systematic efforts have been made to promote improvements at the country level in these different areas, supported by the global programs GenCap[5], ProCap[6] or NorCap[7]. These demand-driven mechanisms are based on an initial request by the Humanitarian Country Teams or UN Agency. Dedicated senior technical advisors on gender or protection have been deployed to address interagency capacity needs with the object to enhance leadership and/or capacities in humanitarian operations at field level. Evaluations of those have demonstrated the impact, i.e. change at system level, stronger leadership and accountability.[8] The effects and likely impact of providing dedicated human resources to support disability inclusion at the humanitarian system level has not been studied as such in any crisis, except a first related Lessons Learned Report looking at inclusive Humanitarian Needs Overviews and Response Planning[9]. The Technical Support provided to teams responding to the Syria response over the past 2- 3 years provides an excellent basis for a case study. This learning is even more needed to help planning for the operationalization of the IASC Guideline on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. Progress towards implementing this guidance is even more needed considering that in Syria 25% of the overall population, and 36% among internally displaced Syrians and 41% among internally displaced women are persons with disabilities (HNAP 2020), far more than the global average of 15% (WHO, World Bank 2011).


The objective of a case study on the Syrian Response is required to document and better understand the inputs, outcomes and likely impacts of a dedicated human resource that has been invested to promote disability inclusion within the humanitarian system in the Syrian response.

This case study will aim to collect information and insights to allow for evidence-based planning of similar deployments of disability inclusion experts at the humanitarian system level in other countries; enrich reflections on options for and the development of a Theory of Change around the provision of technical support on disability inclusive humanitarian action, taking place within Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action (DRG).

Case Study – Investigative Questions:

Given that (a) this is one of the few humanitarian responses with a deployment of a dedicated field specialist on inclusion, (b) the Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action is working on strengthening operationalization of the IASC Guideline on Disability and that (c) other Country Programs of HI and other actors have struggled to have such traction, its urgent to undertake a case study on the deployment of the Field Specialist on Inclusion. It is to investigate the following questions around effectiveness and relevance: 1) What impacts and/or outcomes[10] were achieved at the level of the Humanitarian System (e.g. Inter cluster/ sector coordination systems, humanitarian leadership, clusters: WASH, Protection; HNAP Data Collection and reporting), its mechanisms of coordination, capacity development and its annual HPC (incl. Pool Funds), policies and guidance documents in North East Syria (NES) and North West Syria (NWS) whenever applicable to Whole of Syria (WoS) approach, in relation to: a. What was the effect of more available and better use of disability data? b. What was the contribution of the technical assistance provided towards the more meaningful participation of persons with disabilities and the empowerment of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs)? c. What specific interventions contributed towards the capacity development of mainstream humanitarian actors? d. How did the intervention contribute towards the removal of barriers that limited the participation of persons with disabilities? e. What were the observable required steps (e.g. training, technical support etc.) that led to outcomes, and perhaps sustainability and/or impact, and what were the challenges? f. What types of inputs (dedicated time, support from HCT & Protection Cluster Leads, expertise, leadership in working groups or similar) and factors (e.g. humanitarian leadership, dedicated budget, existence of a mechanism to ensure inter-cluster engagement) required to achieve the outcomes and/or impact? and g. What is the likelihood that the progress achieved will be maintained and sustained in the future? And what would be required to support that? 2) What, if any were impacts and/or outcomes observed on the level of humanitarian programmers and programming, that is cluster members, including OPDs and coordinators in NES and NWS, in relation to: a. Availability and use of disability data; meaningful participation of persons with disabilities; empowerment of (Organizations of) Persons with disabilities; capacity development of Humanitarian Actors; and the removal of barriers? b. Observable required steps and factors that led to outcomes, and impact, and what were challenges? c. Type of inputs (facilitator, training, focal points, coordination & follow-up, etc.) required to achieve the outcomes and/or impact, and d. Likeliness of achieved outcomes to be maintained in the future? And what would be required to support that? 3) What was learned about the deployment of the Field Specialist on Inclusion that could further inform the design, mandate or resources required for future deployments? Consider: a. The Terms of Reference of the Field Specialist, looking at recommendations about what to include or exclude in future deployments; b. Placement and integration relative to the HCT, Cluster Lead Agencies and Clusters teams; c. Contributing factors in the humanitarian context that facilitated the deployment (or the reverse, the factors that impeded the success); and d. Success criteria.

Suggested Methodology

To explore above questions through participatory qualitative methods a consultant with relevant experience will undertake the following:
  • A Desk Review of policies and programming tools in relation to Data Collection & Humanitarian Monitoring, Coordination, Annual Plans, selective programming documents and ToRs of Cluster,
  • FGDs as applicable with representatives of the cluster and/or cluster members,
  • Key Informant Interviews with humanitarian actors, representatives from affected population with disabilities, incl. Cluster leads, HCT, OCHA & UNHCR representatives, representatives of Donors engaged in Donor Coordination mechanisms, Cluster Members from local and international levels
  • Facilitation of consultations with humanitarian actors to draw recommendations from initial findings.
The interviews and focus group discussions are expected to be done using online communication.

This being a participatory and qualitative approach, the consultant is expected to collaborate further with HI team to finetune objective and engage key actors to review the directives of the case study, as it is hoped to inform further programming and decision making of various actors.

Key Contacts

UNHCR, UNOCHA, HNAP/ IOM, Cluster & NGO Forum Coordination levels, as well as relevant other actors, INGOs and NGOs


Given security considerations and political sensitivity, the case study will work with a strict anonymized approach with regards to participating agencies and participants in interviews. The findings will be used internally and shared with key participants, but not made available for the public domain.


A total of maximum three months overall duration for preparation of tools, planning and facilitation, with an estimated 10- 15 working days.


An expert consultant with knowledge and experience of more than 10 years in the actual working of the humanitarian systems at country and global levels, capacity development dynamics in humanitarian action, Disability data and mainstreaming disability (or Gender, protection of added value) in humanitarian systems and programming, including coordination. He/she needs to show a high level of confidentiality, communication capacity and familiarity with a wide range of actors from affected population, to programmers, implementers, Data & Information experts, and coordinators.


  • Brief report with findings
  • Power point presentation
[1] Using the WG Set of questions allows to establish a prevalence, to identify persons with disabilities and determine their access to humanitarian service levels as part of the overall affected population, through disaggregation of data. For more information on findings of the Research, see https://humanity-inclusion.org.uk/en/disability-data-in-humanitarian-action ** [2] Though in the UNDIS Report, 2020 from the Secretary General, establishing a baseline for monitoring progress, information on the level of achievements of UN Systems for countries, such as Syria is less visible.

[3] Via action around the Guidance to support HRPs to become more inclusive, commitment to implement the UN DIS and so on.

[4] Such as SRC: Hidden, overlooked and at risk. The role of gender, age and disability in Syria. 2019 [5] GenCap (https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/coordination/gencap) [6] ProCap (https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/coordination/procap) [7] NORCAP (https://www.nrc.no/expert-deployment/aboutnorcap/) [8] See review of the Protection Capacity and Gender Capacity Project. Evaluative Review from 2019.

[9] Disability Advisory Group (FCDO-UN SBC): Disability Inclusion in 2020 HNOs/HRPs Lessons Learned. 2020 [10] Such as Strategic integration of disability inclusion in Humanitarian interagency Coordination or cluster level strategies or policies, HNOs & HRPs, Funding allocations, Meaningful participation of affected population in decision taking, etc.; (including a timeline of achievements over the annual HPC cycle) Interested candidates should send the documents listed below to u.last@hi.org and m.martinez@hi.org before the closing date.

  • CV
  • Sample of previous work
  • Proposal (including work plan and budget)
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