ICRC_Call for consultancy: Disaggregating data by disability in practice

  • Anywhere
Organization: International Committee of the Red Cross
Closing date: 20 May 2022

The Consultancy:

The International Committee of the Red Cross (CRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance. The ICRC also endeavors to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.

The ICRC intends to conduct a study on disability disaggregated data. The purpose of the study shall be to identify best practices in operationalizing the collection and use of disability disaggregated data, with the intent to make data collection and analysis straightforward and actionable, with ICRC programs** being more accessible and relevant to persons with disabilities as a result.

As part of efforts to achieve this goal, we are seeking proposals from consultants with experience relevant to this study in order to respond to the following two questions, in line with the Terms of Reference of the study (see below):

  • How appropriate, effective and useful are existing sets of questions to collect, analyse and use data disaggregated by disability in the humanitarian sector?
  • What approach should the ICRC take to collect, analyse and use disability disaggregated data?

The study will be based on a desk review and interviews with relevant internal and external stakeholders, supported by workshops as needed to frame the study, develop and then validate proposed solutions.

Duration of the study: 30- 35 working days.

Persons with disabilities who qualify are encouraged to apply for this consultancy.

2. Terms of Reference (ToR):

In 2020, ICRC adopted Vision 2030 on Disability . The Vision is a ten-year organizational strategy on disability inclusion that aims to transform the way the ICRC addresses disability inclusion across the organization and its operations. Vision 2030 on Disability is a cross-organization collaboration that brings together four departments working on different aspects of disability inclusion: Inclusive Programming in addressing disability inclusion in operations – within a broader diversity inclusion agenda that recognizes that persons with disabilities are homogeneous; Physical rehabilitation program (PRP+) delivering quality, accessible and sustainable rehabilitation services to all persons with physical disabilities; the International Law and Policy Department supporting advocacy, legal and policy efforts by demonstrating the complementarity between IHL and the CRPD; and Diversity & Inclusion within the ICRC seeking to build an enabling work environment for persons with disabilities.

One of the objectives of Vision 2030 is building knowledge and capabilities to produce and share reliable sex-, age- and disability-disaggregated data on the number, needs and capacities of people with disabilities.

Problem Statement:

Quality humanitarian programming is built on an understanding of the requirements and priorities of all affected people during a crisis. This includes persons with disabilities. This understanding is generated by identifying the population of persons with disabilities; analysing the risks that persons with disabilities face and the factors that contribute to those risks; identifying barriers that impede persons with disabilities from accessing humanitarian assistance; and understanding the roles and capacities of persons with disabilities in the humanitarian response.

The collection, analysis, and use of disability data is a gap that many organizations are trying to bridge in order to develop interventions that are inclusive of persons with disabilities. In past years, the Washington Group Questions have risen in prominence, with a growing consensus of these as “sound internationally comparable data” (IASC Guidelines, 2019). Nevertheless, questions remain as to their applicability (see Study Questions).

Compared to the collection, analysis and use of sex and age disaggregated data, disability disaggregated data also poses a few logical and operational challenges:

  • Usually, people will not identify themselves as having a disability or specific difficulties in functioning, even when the difficulty is clearly visible. As collection of data using the Washington Group questions is through self-identification, how then is possible denial of a difficulty mitigated?
  • The form of the Washington Group questions has been reported by some implementers to be a bit lengthy. Adaptations of these questions have been suggested by some actors. When a different formulation of questions is adopted, the comparability of data is however lost.
  • On the legal side, data protection concerns increase when by collecting additional data, we also make people more easily identifiable.

Despite these challenges, the ICRC is committed to disaggregate data, including by disability (through Vision 2030, the Accountability to Affected People Framework, its Inclusive Programming (IP) approach, etc.). A Data Disaggregation Framework is being developed to define key concepts and establish a common baseline for data disaggregation across ICRC Operations. Before being able to recommend the Washington Group Questions or another methodology, there is a need to better understand how successfully these have been applied by the humanitarian sector and what will be most appropriate for the ICRC.

Purpose of the study:

The purpose of the study shall be to identify best practices in operationalizing the collection and use of disability disaggregated data, with the intent to make data collection and analysis as straightforward and actionable as possible, making ICRC programs being more accessible and relevant to persons with disabilities as a result.

One of the main objectives of the study is to inform the development of the ICRC data disaggregation framework which encompasses several elements, including but not limited to disability. Additionally, the ICRC will strive to make its results and recommendations relevant to and accessible to other organisations, in order for the study to benefit the sector.

Scope of the study:

Through this research, the ICRC will map out internal and external experiences to disability data disaggregation, the reasons for the methodologies chosen, and the pros and cons/limitations of each approach. From this, concrete recommendations will inform the ICRC Data Disaggregation Framework and the integration of disability disaggregated data as one of its elements.

Data collection and analysis tools that are used to collect disability disaggregated data in both humanitarian and development contexts will also be analyzed. Such “data tool sets” include but are not limited to:

a. Washington Group Question Sets on Functioning that include The Washington Group Short Set, Washington Group enhanced set, Washington group Extended set and the UNICEF- Washington Group child functioning modules.

b. WHO Model Disability Survey (MDS)

c. WHO Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS)

Key Study Questions:

  1. How Appropriate and usefulare Existing Disability Data Toolsets in humanitarian settings**?
    a) What experiences exist in the humanitarian sector and the ICRC with regards to the collection and use of disability disaggregated data, and how successful have they been?
    b) Are existing data tool sets appropriate to humanitarian settings in which ICRC works (ability to collect, analyse and use data)? If not, can existing data tool sets be adapted to such settings and if so how?
    c) Are existing data tool sets able to adequately identify a comprehensive number of impairments/difficulties in functioning and translate this in actionable information? What are gaps and limitations?
    d) How can existing data tool sets apply beyond the individual level? (i.e. at the household and community level)?
    1. What approach should the ICRC in particular and humanitarian organisations more generally take in terms of disability disaggregated data collection, analysis, and use Including:

a) What Disability Data needs to be collected?

b) When does it make sense (or not) to collect disability disaggregated data? In what circumstances can we rely on secondary data and when do we need to do primary data collection?

c) How should ICRC collect disability data? (Existing data toolsets vs other solutions)

d) How is disability data best analysed and translated into meaningful programmatic decisions for different areas of interventions?

e) For all the above: D**oes this differ by Métier or type of intervention on on hand, and for different levels of the population on the other hand** (i.e. Individual vs Household vs Community)?**Key Outputs

  1. A Report, including:**

a) Desk Review and analysis of sector practice (study question #1), including description of 3-4 external experiences.

b) Comparing and contrasting sector practice with ICRC experience to date.

c) Recommendations – in particular for ICRC, on how to collect, analyze, and use disability data in various stages of the humanitarian project cycle. (study question #2)

  1. An executive summary of the report which can be used as a briefing note.

  2. A list of short case studies identified during the report preparation and writing (appendix to report): Extracting good practices from internal/external experiences.

  3. Presentation of findings in two webinars (1 internal, 1 external) to launch and disseminate the study findings.


  • The main researcher will be an external consultant recruited through a competitive process. The consultant will facilitate the process and bring reasonable expertise in relation to disability data disaggregation.
  • The methodology will be based on desk review and interviews with relevant internal and external stakeholders, as well as workshops as needed to frame the study, develop and then validate proposed solutions.

Governance and steering:

The consultant together with the Disability Inclusion Advisor, Senior Inclusive Programming Advisor, DIGITOPS Operations Data Disaggregation Advisor and a co-opted external stakeholder will form the research team. The research team will steer and provide advice to the consultant, through periodic meetings aligned with the key tasks. The DI Advisor will coordinate the Research team.


Approximately 30-35 days from June 2022

End of ToR

How to apply:

How to apply

Interested consultants should forward their proposal with the heading: Consultancy, Disability Disaggregated Data by 20thMay 2022 to:

Name: Michael Mwendwa NG_AA

E-mail address: mng_aa@icrc.org

The proposal should include the following parts:

  1. Description of proposed methodology and timeline with key milestones,
  2. Financial proposal,
  3. Presentation of consultant(s) and demonstration of previous work relevant to this proposal.



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