We are Elrha, a force for change in the humanitarian community. The research and innovation we support equips the humanitarian community with the knowledge of what works, so people affected by crises get the right help when they need it most.
Our purpose is clear: to empower the humanitarian community to improve humanitarian response. We make this happen by supporting and championing the outcomes of robust research and proven innovations.
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Improving the lives of older people with incontinence
Empowering older people and their caregivers to have control in managing incontinence during humanitarian crises. Improve support from WASH, Health, and Protection actors through training, data collection, capacity building, and the creation of a training package for at home care.
WHAT HUMANITARIAN NEED IS BEING ADDRESSED?
Research has shown that there is a lack of data regarding the scale of incontinence within humanitarian settings, particularly within older populations whose needs are often deprioritised, and a lack of understanding amongst humanitarian practitioners on what incontinence is, the causes and the potential support that can be given across WASH, Health, and Protection. A significant psychological burden felt by older people with incontinence and their caregivers, and the need for more support for individuals to be able to manage incontinence at the household level were identified as key areas of intervention. Our project seeks to address these gaps.
WHAT IS THE INNOVATIVE SOLUTION AND HOW WILL IT IMPROVE EXISTING HUMANITARIAN PRACTICE?
This project builds on our previous research, funded by the HIF in 2019, that identified gaps in data, understanding, and treatment. With an understanding of these gaps, we will co-create training materials and provide capacity building to empower older people and their caregivers to better control and manage incontinence during humanitarian crisis.
Our approach – whilst not necessarily innovative – will have a high level of participation of older people and their caregivers in creating guidance to be used by humanitarian practitioners. This process often happens the other way around – that humanitarians provide guidance on the best way to create programming – but we are aiming for the creation of guidance to come directly from those who would benefit from it
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED OUTCOMES?
We aim to have worked with over 500 older people with incontinence and their caregivers, to increase the capacity within the humanitarian sector to routinely gather data on, collaborate with, and provide dignified solutions for older people and caregivers to better manage incontinence.
Materials produced will be openly available for use across the humanitarian sector.
A Home-Based Care Training Package (HBCP): practical home-based management of incontinence, co-created with older people and their caregivers and tested in two humanitarian contexts.
Comprehensive feedback from older people with and without disabilities and their caregivers about the most appropriate non-food items for managing incontinence in 11 different contexts. Guidance for humanitarian actors on key questions to ask, product types, and tools and approaches for determining preferences rapidly in emergencies.
Updated versions of a training for Humanitarian Practitioners on Incontinence, based on the package developed by Oxfam, UWA and ReGIG.
A new ‘Washington Group’ style question, tested across 11 contexts, which can be routinely incorporated into humanitarian surveys and discussions to better assess the prevalence and severity of incontinence in emergency situations.
ETHICS VS. ETHICAL APPROVALS IN HUMANITARIAN RESEARCH
Lessons from research to explore the incontinence needs of older people in Malawi and Ethiopia
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