Community-Based Rehabilitation and Disability-Inclusive Development: On a Winding Path to an Uncertain Destination

  • Pim KuipersEmail author
  • Louis Paluku Sabuni
Part of the International Perspectives on Social Policy, Administration, and Practice book series (IPSPAP)


The majority of people with disabilities who live in developing countries, predominantly in the global South, do not receive any formal disability or rehabilitation services. In those countries or regions where at least some disability services are provided, the community-based rehabilitation (CBR) approach, or some form of it, is likely to be the only approach available (Evans et al. 2001).


Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) Disability-inclusive development Rehabilitation CBR guidelines Gender Development 


  1. Betcher, S., & Wangila, M. N. (2016). Religion after the medical miracle: Recovering ‘disability’ as religious analytic of social suffering. In S. Grech & K. Soldatic (Eds.), Disability in the global South: The critical handbook (pp. xx–xx). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  2. Boserup, E., Tan, S. F., & Toulmin, C. (2013). Woman’s role in economic development. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. CBM. (2014). Disability and development work. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from
  4. CCBRT. (2014). Comprehensive community based rehabilitation in Tanzania. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from
  5. Corneilje, H., & Veldman, E. (2011). The dream of inclusion for all: Powerful CBR training materials. Alphen ann den Rijn, NL: Enablement.Google Scholar
  6. Crishna, B. (1999). What is community-based rehabilitation? A view from experience. Child: Care, Health and Development, 25(1), 27–35. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2214.1999.00087.x.Google Scholar
  7. Deepak, S., dos Santos, L. R., Griffo, G., de Santana, D. B., Kumar, J., & Bapu, S. (2013). Organisations of persons with disabilities and community-based rehabilitation. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 24(3), 5–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. England, P., Budig, M., & Folbre, N. (2002). Wages of virtue: The relative pay of care work. Social Problems, 49(4), 455–473. doi: 10.1525/sp.2002.49.4.455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Evans, P. J., Zinkin, P., Harpham, T., & Chaudury, G. (2001). Evaluation of community-based rehabilitation for disabled persons in developing countries. Social Science & Medicine, 53(3), 333–348. doi: 10.1016/S0277-9536(00)00321-X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Finkenflugel, H., Wolffers, I., & Huijsman, R. (2005). The evidence base for community-based rehabilitation: A literature review. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 28(3), 187–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gatjens, L. F. A. (2009). A basic manual for inclusive development. Nicaragua: Handicap International and Inter-American Institute on Disability and Inclusive Development. Retrieved August 11, 2014, from Scholar
  12. Ghosh, N. (2011). Challenging gender ideologies through CBR. Retrieved August 11, 2014, from
  13. Giacaman, R. (2001). A community of citizens: Disability rehabilitation in the Palestinian transition to statehood. Disability & Rehabilitation, 23(14), 639–644. doi: 10.1080/09638280110036544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Grech, S. (2012). Disability and the majority world: A neocolonial approach. In D. Goodley, B. Hughes, & L. Davis (Eds.), Disability and social theory: New developments and directions (pp. 52–69). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Handicap International. (2014). Community based rehabilitation. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from
  16. Hartley, S., Finkenflugel, H., Kuipers, P., & Thomas, M. (2009). Community-based rehabilitation: Opportunity and challenge. Lancet, 374(9704), 1803–1804. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)62036-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Helander, E. (1999). Prejudice and dignity: An introduction to community-based rehabilitation. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  18. Helander, E., Mendis, P., Nelson, G., & Goerdt, A. (1989). Training in the community of people with disabilities. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  19. IDDC. (2010). Contribution: OHCHR, Human Rights Council Resolution 13/11, ‘Human rights of persons with disabilities’. Brussels: International Disability and Development Consortium. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from
  20. ILO, UNESCO, & WHO. (2004). CBR: A strategy for rehabilitation, equalization of opportunities, poverty reduction and social inclusion of people with disabilities. Joint position paper. Geneva: ILO, UNESCO, & WHO.Google Scholar
  21. Khasnabis, C. (2011). Community-based rehabilitation (CBR)—A common strategy in the developing world for rehabilitation, poverty reduction and promotion of human development. Presented at Inclusive early childhood development—an underestimated component within poverty reduction, Bonn, Germany, 3–4 February.Google Scholar
  22. Kuipers, P. (1998). Community based rehabilitation (CBR) as engagement: Context, parameters and potential. PhD thesis. Brisbane: Griffith University.Google Scholar
  23. Kuipers, P. (2014). Empowerment in community-based rehabilitation and disability-inclusive development. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 24(4). Retrieved from
  24. Kuipers, P., Wirz, S., & Hartley, S. (2008). Systematic synthesis of community-based rehabilitation (CBR) project evaluation reports for evidence-based policy: A proof-of-concept study. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 8(3). doi: 10.1186/1472-698X-8-3.
  25. Lang, R. (1999). Empowerment and CBR? Issues raised by the South Indian experience. In E. Stone (Ed.), Disability and development: Learning from action and research on disability in the majority world (pp. 130–148). Leeds: The Disability Press.Google Scholar
  26. Lang, R. (2000). The role of NGOs in the process of empowerment and social transformation of people with disabilities. In M. Thomas & M. J. Thomas (Eds.), Selected readings in community based rehabilitation (pp. 1–20). Bangalore: Occasional Publication of the Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal.Google Scholar
  27. Lang, R. (2011). Community-based rehabilitation and health professional practice: Developmental opportunities and challenges in the global North and South. Disability & Rehabilitation, 33(2), 165–173. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2010.487923.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lorenzo, T. (2003). No African renaissance without disabled women: A communal approach to human development in Cape Town South Africa. Disability & Society, 18(6), 759–778. doi: 10.1080/0968759032000119505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. MacLachlan, M., & Swartz, L. (2009). Disability and international development: Towards inclusive global health. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mannan, H., MacLachlan, M., & McAuliffe, E. (2013). The human resources challenge to community based rehabilitation: The need for a scientific, systematic and coordinated global response. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 23(4), 6–16. Retrieved from Scholar
  31. Miles, M. (1996). Community, individual or information development? Dilemmas of concept and culture in South Asian disability planning. Disability & Society, 11(4), 485–500. doi: 10.1080/09687599627552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Miles, S. (1996). Engaging with the disability rights movement: The experience of community-based rehabilitation in southern Africa. Disability & Society, 11(4), 501–518. doi: 10.1080/09687599627561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Miles, M. (2010). Religion and spirituality. In J. Stone & M. Blouin (Eds.), International encyclopedia of rehabilitation. Buffalo: CIRRIE. Retrieved August 11, 2014, from Scholar
  34. Mji, G., Gcaza, S., Swartz, L., MacLachlan, M., & Hutton, B. (2011). An African way of networking around disability. Disability & Society, 26(3), 365–368. doi: 10.1080/09687599.2011.560419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mohanty, C. T. (1988). Under western eyes: Feminist scholarship and colonial discourses. Feminist Review, 30, 61–88. Retrieved from Scholar
  36. Priestley, M. (2001). Disability and the life course: Global perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rule, S. (2013). Training CBR personnel in south africa to contribute to the empowerment of persons with disabilities. Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development, 24(2), 6–21. Retrieved from Scholar
  38. Sabuni, L. P. (2004). Gender differences in attitudes and practices within households in rural areas of the north east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Liverpool: University of Liverpool.Google Scholar
  39. Stromquist, N. P. (1990). Women and illiteracy: The interplay of gender subordination and poverty. Comparative Education Review, 34(1), 95–111. Retrieved from Scholar
  40. Suharto, S., Dorsett, P., & Kuipers, P. (2013). Encouraging ‘difability’ thinking in community based rehabilitation: Addressing poverty and social exclusion. Presented at Development futures: Alternative pathways to end poverty, Sydney, 21–22 November. Retrieved August 11, 2014, from Scholar
  41. Thomas, M. (2011). Reflections on community-based rehabilitation. Psychology and Developing Societies, 23(2), 277–291. doi: 10.1177/097133361102300206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Thomas, M., & Thomas, M. J. (1999). A discussion on the shifts and changes in community based rehabilitation in the last decade. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 13(3), 185–189. doi: 10.1177/154596839901300308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Velema, J. P., Ebenso, B., & Fuzikawa, P. L. (2008). Evidence for the effectiveness of rehabilitation-in-the-community programmes. Leprosy Review, 79(1), 65–82.Google Scholar
  44. Vlassoff, C., & Manderson, L. (1998). Incorporating gender in the anthropology of infectious diseases. Tropical Medicine & International Health: TM & IH, 3(12), 1011–1019.Google Scholar
  45. Werner, D. (1993). Meeting the needs of disabled village children. Tropical and Geographical Medicine, 45(5), 229–232.Google Scholar
  46. Werner, D. (1995). Strengthening the role of disabled people in community based rehabilitation programmes. In B. O’Toole & R. McConkey (Eds.), Innovations in developing countries for people with disabilities. Chorley: Lisieux Hall.Google Scholar
  47. Werner, D. (1999). Disabled village children. Palo Alto, CA: Hesperian Foundation.Google Scholar
  48. WHO. (2003). International consultation to review community-based rehabilitation (CBR). Retrieved August 11, 2014, from
  49. WHO, UNESCO, ILO, IDDC. (2010). CBR guidelines. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  50. WHO, & World Bank. (2011). World report on disability. Geneva: World Health Organization. Retrieved August 11, 2014, from Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ILEP, Geneva, Switzerland, and Menzies Health Institute QueenslandGriffith UniversityMeadowbrookAustralia
  2. 2.The Leprosy MissionKinshasaDemocratic Republic of Congo

Personalised recommendations