This brief advocates for and highlights the benefits of disability-inclusive Early Childhood Development in Emergencies (ECDiE). It includes examples of good practice in disability-inclusive ECDiE programming from around the world; in addition, it provides recommendations for governments, donors, and programmers for a more inclusive ECDiE.
There is an urgent need to prioritize and invest in young children (ages 0 to 8 years old) with disabilities and developmental delays, and their caregivers living in humanitarian and development settings.
Young children with disabilities are among the most marginalized and at-risk people in communities affected by humanitarian crises. They are more vulnerable to higher rates of mental health issues (Jordans and Tol, 2015) and their impairments can be exacer- bated by humanitarian settings. As well as emotional and physical stress, children with disabilities face other challenges, such as experiencing new impairments, existing im- pairments worsening further, losing access to essential medications and devices (or not being identified for devices or services), and increased reliance on caregivers. Girls with disabilities are more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, including gender-based vio- lence, and their risk of malnutrition is higher than boys with disabilities (UNICEF, 2017).
Disability-inclusion in Early Childhood Development in Emergencies (ECDiE) programmes is necessary to ensure that all children are enabled to participate, learn, and contribute according to their evolving capacities and to reach their fullest potential. Early identi- fication and early intervention are critical to the success of disability-inclusive ECDiE. Delayed detection of disability and development delays can pose a serious risk to young children.
However, disability-inclusive ECDiE provision for young children with disabilities in humanitarian settings does not meet demand. A comprehensive global survey of 426 early childhood development and early childhood intervention programmes found that only 28% of programmes (119) were being implemented in countries affected by humanitar- ian crises (Vargas-Baron et al., 2019).
There are examples of good practice around the world that enable and mainstream inclusion across ECDiE programmes, activities, and project management processes as well as disability-specific initiatives. They provide targeted support and resources for children with disabilities to enable their equal participation in projects and in their com- munities.
This brief advocates for and highlights the benefits of disability-inclusive ECDiE. It includes examples of good practices in disability-inclusive ECDiE programming from around the world, and provides recommendations for more inclusive ECDiE, encour- aging governments, multilateral agencies, donors, and implementing organizations to:
• Improve the collection, storage, use, and dissemination of age, sex and disability (by type) disaggregated data to ensure inequities are targeted and to strengthen humani- tarian planning and investment.
• Standardize screening and identification tools for use globally to identify disability and developmental delays, improving early detection and enabling informed programming and investment.
• Collaborate to build stronger and more efficient humanitarian coordination between relevant sectors.
• Develop a set of standards for disability-inclusive ECDiE for quality in early childhood interventions and development programmes.
• Promote wider dissemination of models for and approaches to disability-inclusive ECDiE, including evidence on cost and the immediate and long-term benefits of inclu- sion, to help make the case to donors and governments.
Overall, disability-inclusive ECDiE promotes equal opportunities for children to attend, learn, develop and participate in learning and social activities; respects and celebrates di- versity and differences; value all children equally – it does not exclude, stereotype, stigma- tize or discriminate against any children on the basis of their differences; protects children from abuse, neglect, and stress by providing nurturing care and protection; and creates strong connections with families and communities as partners in child development and learning, and is attentive to their backgrounds, needs and situations.
World + 7 more
World + 13 more
ReliefWeb’s Terms & Conditions.
© 2022 all rights reserved.
Other OCHA Services