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Food for Thought – Inclusive Humanitarian Aid in South Sudan

Light for the World’s programme in South Sudan aims at disability inclusive conditions via a twin-track approach of sustainable development related interventions and inclusive humanitarian assistance.

Few years ago, Light for the World carried out an informal random appraisal of the accessibility of humanitarian services provided by various agencies in internally displaced people’s (IDP) camps. This random appraisal primarily targeted provision of education and rehabilitation services for children and adults with disabilities, general physical accessibility of the IDPs camps and knowledge, attitude and practices on disabilities of staff of various organizations providing humanitarian assistance.

It was found out that the competencies, vulnerability and the needs of persons with disabilities were ignored:

  1. Majority of the staff were not aware of the need for accessible facilities, and those contracted to build, were not only unaware but also lacked skills on accessible physical environment.
  2. In most of the programmes and services provided in the camps, there were no attempts by the relevant organizations or the government to mainstream the needs of persons with disabilities in the project design. Disability mainstreaming was seen as complicated and expensive, and, there was lack of internal capacity among humanitarian agencies to deliver disability-inclusive responses.
  3. Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) were not adequately involved in the whole humanitarian response framework as key stakeholders.

In the following, Light for the World started with a first sensitisation and awareness workshop with humanitarian iNGOs that ended with one question: “How?”.



First of all, Light for the World identified community-based rehabilitation (CBR) as a good method for disability mainstreaming. In the following Light for the World developed a comprehensive practical CBR training guide on basis of experiences of coordinating CBR services – a skills training handbook on early childhood intervention, inclusive education, health, livelihood, empowerment of DPO’s and gender & disability. On basis of this learning Light for the World started a pilot project under the lead of the Light for the World Disability Inclusion Lab to mainstream disability in Humanitarian Response with CBR in IDP camps as part of it.

Based on this insight, Light for the World started to support camp management teams and humanitarian agencies to make humanitarian response disability inclusive. As an outcome, some of the most influencing Humanitarian iNGOs in South Sudan have decided to spend 5% of their budget for inclusion.