Inclusion - Age, Gender & Disability in Humanitarian Action

IAWG Age, Gender and Disability Inclusion sub group- Terms of Reference


The World Humanitarian Summit objective of putting people at the center of decision making and alleviating the suffering of the million people at risk of being left behind and the Secretary General’s Agenda for Humanity recognizes that “Honoring our commitment to Leave No One Behind requires reaching everyone in situations of conflict, disasters, vulnerability and risk” and places an emphasis on “reach[ing] the furthest behind first”. To achieve this aim, steps must be taken by all those involved in response – including National Governments, NGOs and civil society, UN agencies and Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies to address the neglect faced by the most marginalized and those at the greatest risk of being left behind, an inclusive approach is therefore required in the design, implementation, monitoring, reporting and funding of humanitarian assistance.

The delivery of inclusive humanitarian action is critical to the fulfilment of the core principles of humanity and impartiality. Initiatives to meet the needs of specific groups such as older people, people with disabilities, women and girls must be matched with a broader set of commitments designed to avoid the continuation of the current one-size-fits-all responses that are neither accessible nor adapted to the different needs of different groups.  Such steps including the full participation of the affected marginalized groups, collection of disaggregated data, impartial allocation of humanitarian funding based on the scale of need, capacity empowerment of humanitarian workers on inclusion and enhanced humanitarian coordination mechanisms will enable people to move out of crises and on to a path toward the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and make the Humanitarian Summit outcomes consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, both of which recognize the diversity of affected populations and commit to “leave no one behind regardless of their age, gender and  ability”


Purpose of the Sub group

To advocate, build capacity and provide evidence for the delivery of inclusive, impartial and accountable humanitarian action that promotes inclusion of the older persons and persons with disabilities.


Tasks/Responsibilities of the Sub group

Ø  Develop a collaborative framework for Operational research in Age, gender and disability.

Ø  Disseminate relevant lessons learned on inclusive programming and promote their use;

Ø  Promote respect for humanitarian principles, standards, charters and conventions on Age, gender and disability;

Ø  Promote and coordinate development and distribution of regional data analysis products on Age, gender & disability.

Ø  Identify, develop and promote understanding of Age, Gender and Disability mainstreaming tools, standards and frameworks within the IAWG Sub group of Inclusion membership.

Ø  Develop key humanitarian messages on Inclusive programming as the basis for joint advocacy with Governments, regional bodies and agency headquarters.

Ø  Strengthen capacity of national stakeholders and humanitarian actors on inclusive programming as well as the application of the Minimum Standards on Inclusion of Age and Disability in humanitarian settings.

Ø  In a humanitarian setting ensure the inclusion of age, gender and disability within the Humanitarian Response Plans, Cluster and Working Group Strategies and into the humanitarian planning cycles.



The IAWG Inclusion sub group is accountable to the Inter Agency Working Group based in Nairobi. The sub group will have the following structure:

·       Chair & Co-chair who take responsibility for convening and facilitating meetings as well as distributing relevant information among members including meeting minutes. Chairs will be elected by members and hold office for 2 years.

·       Secretariat (IAWG Coordinator) will take responsibility for meeting arrangements, drafting and circulating minutes, updating the group contact list & create and keep the Inclusion sub group web page up to date.



The group is open to all IAWG members plus invitees such as Govt staff, NGOs, UN agencies, Donors, private and public institutions with an interest in Inclusion agenda. Requests for inclusion will be forwarded to the chair and co-chair who will consult with members before communicating decisions at the next meeting. The group contact list will then be updated.

Lead Contact

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