Disability and Data Collection Inside Syria
Over 9 years of conflict, infrastructure degradation and on-going displacement in Syria has exposed millions to physical injury and trauma, while also compounding risks for persons with pre-existing disabilities, undermining their access to essential services and support. Since 2018 the Humanitarian Needs Assessment Programme (HNAP) has employed the Washington Group Questions (short-set tool), the most widely used and tested tool in humanitarian environments, to assess the prevalence of individuals with disabilities. Pivoting from traditional investigations on physical ailments or function alone, the assessment now expands to define disability as an experience of attitudinal, institutional and physical barriers limiting individuals from carrying out one or more core human functions.
The functions are listed in the table below.
HNAP has prioritized the inclusion of data on persons with disabilities for all relevant household surveys. This has resulted in an exponential increase related to the prevalence of persons with disabilities, as compared to figures reported prior to 2018, and to the extent to which the presence of a disability impacts standard socio-economic indicators (employment, income, access to services, etc.)
Despite the increase in data related to disability, all figures related to household assessments are subject to a standard margin of error. This is influenced in part by the inherent sampling, and interviewing, of distinct households within a given region as well as the multifaceted complexities related to the Syrian context. HNAP continuously seeks to improve and adapt to the situation on the ground, as well as the needs of our partners, to whom it provides current and relevant findings. In recognition of the implication of disability findings for humanitarian partners, HNAP remains available to support stakeholders in achieving appropriate and inclusive programming for all populations across Syria.