HI and its partners (including other NGOs and local organizations, private companies and disaster risk management stakeholders, organization of persons with disabilities, etc.) have observed for years that small businesses are the backbone of HI intervention areas, since they employ members of the community, provide resources for the surrounding populations to meet their daily needs, and contribute to local business districts, as well as regional and global supply chains. Considering their key role in terms of local resilience and recovery, it has long been recognized that small businesses need to be prepared to emergency situations, so local economies can recover more quickly in the event of a disaster.
The same observation is made on a larger scale, when companies provide hundreds of jobs in urban areas, which are sources of incomes, autonomy and socio-economic status. Whether they are located in so-called ‘rich’ countries or in developing countries, small businesses and major employers have to cope with a series of hazards. When HI offers technical support on inclusive employment to companies employing persons with disabilities, it is essential to integrate them in the protective measures and protocols developed by these institutions. It is about ensuring the safety of employees with disabilities (particularly in the case of high-risk positions, in industrial and risk prone environments etc.), possibly also the public. It also appears necessary to reduce the employment barriers that concern persons with disabilities: many companies supposing that they cannot ensure the safety of persons with disabilities at their workplace, and therefore prefer not to employ them.
Finally, many private companies intend to be prepared to emergency situations, not only by ensuring the effectiveness of their alert and evacuation protocols in the first hours after a disaster strike, but in a longer term perspective, to preserve their entire production system in case of flood, cyclone, fire, earthquake... to avoid economic losses and technical unemployment. These ‘Business Continuity Plans’ and other emergency preparedness mechanisms are rarely inclusive of employees with disabilities.
In order to build populations’ economic resilience, several HI projects promote the employment of persons with disabilities by private companies (or coach them to create their own business), as part of a tailored technical assistance, notably in Asia. HI has been progressively, but still punctually, advising businesses on inclusive disaster risk reduction management (iDRRM) with a focus on Inclusive Emergency Preparedness. HI raises awareness about iDRRM challenges, accessibility issues, Emergency Evacuation Plan requirements, etc. HI has also developed training programs to provide technical support on emergency preparedness for employees. However, the organization needs to know if it has a more significant and systematic role to play in this area (Inclusive Business Emergency Preparedness) and to reinforce its skills/service offers.
The consultant will:
More specifically, the consultant will:
The consultant will be regularly in contact with HI technical teams in Lyon, and intermittently with colleagues based in the HI programmes that develop employment projects.
The consultant will deliver an assessment report that contains the market analysis and all the expected information mentioned above. A mid-term progress meeting will be organized, based on a synthetic mid-term project presentation. The analysis will be collectively presented by the consultant at the end of his work to the HI staff involved in this initiative.
At least one meeting at HQ in Lyon, France, would be highly appreciated.