Go to main content

Partnering for disability-inclusive food security and livelihood programming


Inclusion | South Sudan | PUBLISHED ON May 14th 2024
Group of 8 men and women sitting on a bench outside, one women is holding a flyer in her hand.

Discussion group in South Sudan | © HI

Between 2022 and 2023, the World Food Programme (WFP) and Humanity & Inclusion (HI) have jointly conducted research on the longer-term outcomes of a seven-month pilot project. The pilot project was implemented by HI South Sudan with funding from WFP South Sudan. It aimed at strengthening access and -meaningful participation of persons with disabilities to food security and livelihood (FSL) opportunities in Western Equatoria, South Sudan. The research was funded by and implemented through the Phase 3 – Leave no one behind! project, led by HI. We share about this research collaboration, the findings and recommendations.

Why we did a joint research?

  • To enhance evidence on disability-inclusive food security and livelihood programming. 
  • To provide technical support to WFP that is evidence-based. 
  • To identify common research objectives and learn from the research findings for replication and scaling of joint initiatives. 
  • To use the findings to inform and guide future collaborations and partnerships. 

How we conducted this research:

  • Preliminary consultation with WFP staff at headquarters, regional and national level 
  • Joint development of the research proposal, including the research tools, methodologies and timeline 
  • Support in primary data collection at field level and secondary data analysis 
  • Validation of preliminary findings and review of the research report and executive summary 
  • Joint development of a fact sheet, summarising key findings, recommendations and next steps 
  • Dissemination and joint presentation of research findings. For example, to the South Sudan Food Security and Livelihoods Cluster, to all WFP East Africa staff interested in disability inclusion and to WFP’s cooperating partners and former research participants in Western Equatoria, South Sudan.

What we wanted to learn:

  • What changes were initiated and sustained in WFP’s programming?  
  • What are the key success and hindering factors to anchor and maintain the four “must do” actions and the twin-track approach as part of an inclusive programming approach in line with the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action? 
  • What factors could foster replication and/or scaling in other contexts? 

What we found out:

  • The pilot demonstrated the relevance and effectiveness of the partnership between WFP and HI South Sudan. 
  • WFP’s ownership, commitment and support from senior management staff was essential in starting the pilot. 
  • Another success factor was the interest and willingness of WFP and Cooperating Partners staff before, during and after the project to learn more and apply their newly gained knowledge on mainstreaming disability into their work. 
  • The pilot project was guided by the four “must do” actions of the IASC Guidelines. 

The project ensured meaningful participation of persons with disabilities and their representative local group, empowered them to contribute to project activities, provided capacity development for WFP, cooperating partners, state ministries, community leaders and members with and without disabilities, and removed barriers that were identified during the collection of quality disaggregated data, using the Washington Group Questions (WGQs) and a barriers and enablers assessment

  • Many of the actions and good practices initiated during the project were continued or had an impact on other projects carried out after the end of the pilot project. 

Testimony of a person with visual impairment: “With the training the actors have received [...] they can do the basics in terms of changing the situations and the challenges that people with disabilities face in the contexts where they work.”

What we recommend:

  • Ensure meaningful participation of persons with different disabilities and/or their representative (in)formal groups who are interested, and have the capacity or are willing to build their capacity. For example, as project staff, enumerators or co-facilitators in trainings and sensitisation sessions. 
  • Provide sensitization sessions to decrease stigmatization and discrimination and ensure that these are inclusive of and accessible to persons with different disabilities. 
  • Provide participatory and tailored training and technical support, including training a pool of disability inclusion focal points to support and guide their own organisations on disability inclusion. 
  • Offer opportunities to persons with disabilities to learn about their entitlements to access and meaningfully participate in FSL programmes. 
  • Strengthen data collection using the Washington Group Set of Questions  and barriers and enablers assessments and ensure feedback mechanisms are inclusive of persons with different disabilities. 

What comes next:

  • We are disseminating the research findings externally and internally within WFP and HI. 
  • We are in discussion with WFP South Sudan to replicate the pilot project (activities) in other locations in South Sudan. 
  • We are in discussion with WFP at heaquarter and regional level to replicate a joint research with the lessons learnt from this joint research and identify further collaboration opportunities in other East Africa countries.  

If you want to learn more about the findings and recommendations, have a look at the full report, the executive summary or the fact sheet. All documents are available in English, in accessible PDFs and Epub on our project website.

More news