"Using Sex and Age Disaggregated Data to Improve Humanitarian Response in Emergencies" Professor Mazurana Discusses

Gender and Development Vol. 20, No. 2, July 2012 pp. 219-232.

Published by Gender and Development Vol. 20, No. 2, July 2012 pp. 219-232.
Over the last decade, analysts have given increased attention to improving the quality of humanitarian emergency relief, and the drive to improve assistance has been central to humanitarian sector reform. Humanitarian actors – mainly United Nations (UN) agencies and International and local non-governmental organizations (INGOs and NGOs) – show significant weaknesses in the collection, analysis, and use of sex and age disaggregated data (SADD) in all stages of a crisis or emergency. For instance, there is evidence to suggest that in recent disasters, UN Cluster leads have failed in their duty to collect SADD. Elsewhere, INGOs and local NGOs often argue that collecting SADD is complicated and time-consuming. In other cases as our examples show, SADD are collected and used by agencies and authorities close to the affected communities. However, this sex and age-related detail is lost as data are incorporated into larger datasets by higher level authorities and organizations. This is despite acceptance of the fact that collecting and analysing information based on sex and age in all phases of a crisis is a prerequisite to understanding vulnerabilities, needs, and access issues, in regard to the provision of life-saving services.