Ensuring inclusion of older people in initial emergency needs assessments

The aim of this guidance is to ensure that the specific vulnerabilities and capacities of older people in emergencies are fully taken into account as part of a thorough gender and age analysis of humanitarian needs. To achieve this objective it is crucial that we analyse demographic and needs assessment data with a framework of the vulnerabilities, roles, responsibilities and positions of older people within families and communities as context. Together with gender, age must be recognised as a “universal determinant”. Universal as it is possessed by every person, determinant as it largely defines both the position and role of a person in the family and society. Critically for humanitarian operations, gender and age also largely determine how a person is going to be affected by a crisis. As such this guidance provides both the rationale for and practical suggestions on how to gather information to support an ageing-sensitive analysis of humanitarian needs. The guidance is directed not only to HelpAge’s staff but also to humanitarian partners carrying out assessments.