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CBR Guidelines

Including everybody in development

A new set of Community-based Rehabilitation (CBR) Guidelines have been developed.

The aim is to support the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by including people with disabilities in development programmes at community level. The full CBR Guidelines can be downloaded from: www.who.int/disabilities/cbr/en

Why include people with disabilities in development?

There are an estimated 650 million disabled people in the world and there is a growing body of evidence that identifies people with disabilities as among the poorest of the poor. Despite this, there is no mention of disability in any of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), their targets or indicators. Unless people with disabilities are included, none of the MDGs will be met. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has also highlighted the importance of including disabled people in development programmes.

A girl taking part in a group game, Bangladesh
© Shumon Ahmed/CDD

What is CBR?

Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) is a bottom-up, multi-sector strategy that works towards "community-based inclusive development" by including community stakeholders, including people with disabilities, in development programmes. This approach is expected to impact on millions of people with disabilities in developing countries, many of whom currently live in situations of poverty and exclusion.

About the CBR guidelines

The new set of guidelines explain in practical terms how CBR programmes can be used to implement the CRPD in low and middle income countries. The guidelines are designed to support the inclusion of people with disabilities in health, education, livelihood, social, skills training and other services at community level. The guidelines have a strong focus on empowerment by facilitating the inclusion of disabled people, their family members, and community in all development and community decision-making processes.

The CBR guidelines were developed through the collaboration of the IDDC and three UN agencies (WHO, ILO, UNESCO), in close consultation with other key stakeholders on disability and development globally. It has taken five years to develop them, as they went through significant field testing to ensure their effectiveness. More than 180 individuals and nearly 300 organisations have been involved, mostly from low-income countries around the world. The IDDC is comprised of the world’s leading NGOs in disability and development, including Handicap International. As a member of IDDC, Handicap International and its partners contributed significantly to the document as a lead author, contributor and reviewer.

The CBR guidelines are comprised of an introductory booklet (including management aspects), and 5 core booklets: Health, Education, Livelihoods, Empowerment, and Social. There is also a supplementary booklet covering humanitarian emergencies, HIV/AIDS, leprosy and mental health. The full Guidelines can be downloaded from: www.who.int/disabilities/cbr/en

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