Niger is one of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries. Aid dependency is high, as the population growth is equal to or even surpasses economic growth, leaving own public funding per/cap for key development areas sadly deficient in the overseable future.
What happens in rural households when a global pandemic is added to existing challenges? And are households with children with disabilities hit harder than their neighbours? At this seminar, organized in collaboration with the Atlas Alliance, Fafo will present new research on these topics, and invites Norad and NGOs that are active in the region to comment on how development aid can contribute to finding good solutions in the time to come.
In 2022 Fafo conducted a survey among 1100 families with children with and without disabilities in Niger in 2022. The study describes changes in the life situation of these families since 2019, before the pandemic, when the same families took part in a similar study.
A key finding of the survey was that the areas studied had not only been hit by the government-imposed policy restrictions related to the pandemic, but also by erratic rainfall, influencing crops. In addition to this activity increased among armed groups in the areas studied. The research depicts a population living with a high degree of economic and political insecurity, and it describes the adoption of different strategies for coping. A main finding of the study was a worrisome increase in food insecurity in the households. As also households without disabled children were affected, the already more vulnerable households with disabled children lost important informal safety-net support.
As a response to a 2022 evaluation of Norwegian development aid to persons with disabilities, Norad director Bård Vegar Solhjell concluded that Norway has to do better. He stressed the importance of combining statistical research with a rights-based approach to produce helpful and practical interventions for persons with disabilities.
The seminar opens with a statement by Mr. Dan Firoun Mounkaila of the Fédération Nigérienne des Personnes Handicapées (FNPH), partner and sister organisation of The Norwegian Federation of Organisations of Disabled People (FFO) in Niger. Fafo will then present the main findings from the 2022 study, and Ms Lisa Knutsen Sivertsen (head of department, Norad) will give a comment. Finally a panel with representatives from Norad, Fafo, and the Atlas Alliance organisations will discuss their work in Niger.
- Gagan Chhabra, prosjekt manager inclusion, Atlas Alliance (Chair)
- Dan Firoun Mounkaila, Fédération Nigérienne des Personnes Handicapées (FNPH)
- Lisa Knutsen Sivertsen, head of department, Department for Human Development, Norad
- Kari Helene Partapuoli, national director, Plan International Norway
- Erik Lunde, Secretary General, Strømme Foundation
- Ingunn Bjørkhaug, researcher, Fafo
- Anne Kielland, researcher, Fafo
- Hedda Flatø, researcher, Fafo