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HI promotes Disability Inclusive Humanitarian Response in North East Syria


Inclusion | Syria | PUBLISHED ON June 7th 2023
A man giving a presentation to an audience in Syria.

© R. Mansour / HI

As part of the “From Guidelines to Action Project”, HI team and Disability Ambassadors delivered two Review, Adapt and Action Learn Laboratories (RAAL Lab) in North East Syria in March 2023 in English and Arabic.

Innovative methodology

The RAAL Lab methodology is based on innovative adult learning, combined with delivering a selection of modules from a learning package on disability inclusive humanitarian action. The learning package has been developed by the DRG (Disability Reference Group) - Working Group 1. Following the learning sessions, the participants are given the opportunity to review and adapt their own assessment tools, used within their own organizations, to make them more disability inclusive. 

The RAAL Lab process is based on applying the four Must-Do Actions, and other recommendations from the IASC Guidelines. The participants apply the newly gained knowledge, including how to promote meaningful participation, remove barriers, empower persons with disabilities, disaggregate data for monitoring inclusion, so their programming tools become more disability inclusive.  

Around 40 participants with and without disabilities from local and international humanitarian organizations working in different humanitarian sectors participated in the RAAL Labs. 

Meaningful participation

The trainings were co-facilitated by HI staff, and Syrians with Disabilities, called civil society “Disability Ambassadors”. Prior to the RAAL Lab sessions, Disability Ambassadors participated in empowerment and capacity building sessions, building their confidence and skills to organize and co-facilitate the training.  

“The experience we had with the RAAL was really useful. As ambassadors, we were able to share our thoughts with other participants from other organizations, in person, for the first time. We managed to draw their attention to the barriers people with disabilities are facing in everyday life activities," explains Odai, Disability Ambassador. 

Promising results

The RAAL Lab methodology enables participants to learn, not only from the IASC Guidelines recommendations and theoretical concepts, but also to create local ownership and find innovative solutions for disability inclusive programming. This is done through peer exchange, good practices, and by applying what they learned. During the RAAL Laboratory sessions, four organization’s tools were reviewed and adapted by the participants themselves, to be disability inclusive. The participants prepared individual action plans, that will enable them to continue the adaptation work after the training. HI team will conduct regular follow ups with them and will technically support the organizations. 

“I benefited a lot from this training, […] it was also a chance to be in touch directly with people with disabilities and make advantage from their personal experience to be reflected in our work programs and activities,” says Hana, participant. 

The “From Guidelines to Action” project is implemented thanks to the support of ECHO and CDP. 

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