As humanitarians, we need to deliver swiftly in complex and challenging environments. We therefore depend on approaches and tools that simplify our work rather than complicating it.
Sex, age, and disability data disaggregation (SADDD) – at first glance – does not look like an approach to simplify our work. And even at second glance, neither “sex” nor “age, let alone “disability” are straightforward categories.
If sex disaggregation uses a dichotomous approach of female/male, trans- or inter-sexual individuals or communities may be excluded. For instance, I recently came across an example from South Asia, where a group of transsexual people, living isolated from the rest of the community, were excluded from disaster-preparedness training, because in the specific cultural context, they could neither join the women’s nor the men’s group. And there was no budget for a third training. In other circumstances, however, it might put enumerators at risk if they even asked about “other” sexes.