HPC Recipe Eight, 2016

Recipe name: Counting the older people for inclusion in humanitarian interventions

Origin of the recipe

The number and proportion of older people aged 60 plus is increasing and will rise by nearly 21% by 2050. At least 50% of the old people work late into their 70’s, have caring responsibilities, have no income security and are more likely to have one or more forms of disability. All these factors contribute to increasing their vulnerability and yet they continue being one of the most invisible groups.

According to research findings, only 154 of the 16,221 projects implemented between 2010 and 2014 included at least one activity that specifically targeted older people. Inclusion of the elderly involves recognizing that they are also a vulnerable group, enumeration, conducting age specific needs analysis, and recognizing areas where they are being excluded. However, in order to achieve appropriate results, data needs to be disaggregated and the methodologies for collection should be age appropriate. This data can then be used effectively for analysis, inclusion and humanitarian advocacy.


Sudipta Badapanda
  • One informed and articulate presenter: Dr. Sudipta Badapanda, Programme Manager, HelpAge International. (View his profile HERE)
  • 21 representatives comprised of policy makers (Government officials and Donor agencies), United Nations Agencies in Kenya, Humanitarian Practitioners (INGOs), Academia (Universities and Scholars), Civil society (Disable Peoples Organizations and Older Persons Organisations) and Private sector players (Corporates).
  • One roving microphone
  • Lots of water


Place all the ingredients into the Amani room at the Boma Inn Hotel and cook evenly for 30 minutes.


  • There is need to engage with older people for more meaningful participation
  • Needs analysis should reflect specific needs of the older people
  • Data collected should be fully disaggregated
  • More understanding should be created among staff for inclusive programming for all vulnerable groups

Recipe reviews

What methods have HelpAge used in enumeration of the elderly that can be adopted by other agencies?

In IDP camps, data is usually readily available though not broken down. HelpAge tries to work with other agencies such as Handicap International to collect data. Community groups are also valuable sources of information as community members are aware of the older persons in the community. The Handicap International Minimum Standards for Inclusion of Age and Disability also provides guidelines in ensuring older people are not excluded.

Ongoing breakaway session with Dr. Badapanda

Does society view old age as a problem? What can be done to address this?

Old people are generally viewed as a problem in society, but people forget that they will all age at one point. This needs to be addressed as a social issue. HelpAge and WHO will be launching a campaign in October 2016 to start a conversation on the elderly and the type of language that we use in reference to the elderly.

Comment: Kenya has a national platform that focuses on data disaggregation accuracy, completeness and accessibility of data in  real time. Clear tracking mechanisms of trends on areas of interest is important. The questions that we need to be asking are: How do we ensure that the data collected is enough to meet everyone’s needs? How do we ensure that the people also understand what the data is for? How to get the elderly to be on the forefront of this agenda? Data collected should be  more responsive to the needs and capabilities of the whole population.


  • HelpAge International