Investing in Inclusive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): Lessons for disability and older age inclusion from the Central Sulawesi response

An older man uses accessible latrine in Pewunu Village, Central Sulawesi.

Despite the existing international standards and guidance for disability and older age inclusive humanitarian response, evidence of practice, including in WASH programming, remain limited. Literature documenting inclusion in WASH mainly focuses on the types of barriers from the standpoint of people with disabilities and older people, such as difficulties in accessing and using WASH services. However, there is limited evidence assessing the barriers from the standpoint of WASH service providers.

Given the lack of evidence in this topic, Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB) Indonesia and the Philippines conducted research to understand the barriers that hinder disability and older age inclusion in WASH humanitarian programming, using the case of the 2018 Central Sulawesi humanitarian response. From 2020 to 2021, ASB conducted this participatory research in a partnership with the Working Group of Pasigala Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) in Palu, Sigi Donggala, Central Sulawesi and the Center for Health Policy and Management of Gadjah Mada University (CHPM UGM) as co-researchers.

ASB developed some resources documenting the research findings that can be used as references to understand three main aspects:

(1) Experiences of older people and people with disabilities in accessing and participating in WASH services following the 2018 Central Sulawesi earthquake, tsunami and liquefaction.

(2) Implementation of WASH services based on the Humanitarian Inclusion Standards (HIS).

(3) Barriers and opportunities faced by WASH actors in providing inclusive WASH services in Central Sulawesi following the disasters.


This research is part of the “Investing in Inclusive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)”  project, funded by Elrha’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF).



Research report and snapshot 
Date published: 10 Jun 2021.
Publication type: research report and snapshot.
Language: English and Indonesia.Area of work: water, sanitation and hygiene, inclusion, disability and older age.
Region: Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

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Practical guidelines of co-researching with persons with disabilities
Date published: 6 May 2021.
Publication type: practical guidelines.
Format: full version, infographic, and easy read.Language: English and Indonesia.Area of work: inclusive research, participatory research, co-researching, disabilities. Region: Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.


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