Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Community health workers in CBR program in Mongolia

The new article presenting research in eastern Mongolia on role of community health workers in CBR programme is now available on Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development journal. This research was carried out by Elena Como in collaboration with Dr Batdulam and other persons from the CBR team in Mongolia through an AIFO/Italy project co-funded by European Union.

There are few and rare examples of national level CBR programmes implemented through existing Government staff and Mongolia is one such example. The national CBR programme in Mongolia is part of national health and social services even though it started as a pilot project supported through an international NGO (AIFO/Italy) with technical support from Disability and Rehabilitation team of WHO.

Thus, I feel that this research is very important to understand how Mongolia has been able to implement a national level CBR programme.

In the article, Elena and Batdulam have mentioned different limitations of this research, especially the lack of involvement of persons with disabilities in these discussions. Thus it is fundamental to remember that this research is giving the views of one group of persons (community health workers or feldschers) about their perceptions of their contribution to the CBR programme.

For example, one of the conclusions of the research is that CHW feel that CBR programme focuses mainly on health related activities and they are not so active in other areas of CBR matrix. I think that this conclusion is very much linked to lack of other viewpoints in the research.

Thus, I feel that CBR programme in Mongolia, needs more research in different directions, for a better understanding of how it is working, how it is networking and involving other stakeholders (ministries, provincial and district authorities, NGOs, DPOs, federations).


Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Simple manual on conducting emancipatory research

Simple Manual on using emancipatory research approach in CBR: second draft version of this manual is available for download in PDF format (320 KB). Please feel free to share it with other persons and organisations who may be interested. Your feedback and examples for the manual will be welcome.

This manual is based on experience of conducting an emancipatory Research Project on "Impact of 10 years of a CBR programme" in India. This research looked at a CBR programme covering 9 sub-districts with a total population of around 2 million persons. The CBR programme reaches out to around 23,000 persons with different disabilities. This emancipatory research involved around 500 persons with disabilities from the communities and trained them to become researchers.

You can read other reports from this research at the following webpage.

If you need the document in word version and for any questions, clarifications write to: sunil.deepak(at)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Research report - Mongolia CBR project

Report of a research carried out in Mongolia CBR programme in September 2010 by Ms. Elena Como regarding role of community-health workers is now available in PDF format at the AIFO website.

Research Report - Vietnam CBR

Report of a research carried out by Dr Sunil Deepak in March 2010 in the Vietnam CBR project regarding opinions of different beneficiaries of project beneficiaries (persons with disabilities, family members, persons who attended vocation training, school teachers, CBR workers and CBR supervisors) is now available in PDF format at the AIFO website.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Emancipatory Research and Voices of children

A new article about the S-PARK/CBR research initiative in Mandya and Ramnagar districts of Karnataka (India) has been published in Disability and International Development journal. The article focuses on Voices of children with disabilities in the emancipatory research component of S-PARK/CBR. Read this article (in PDF format).

You can also check the Disability and International Development journal online.

Finally, the S-PARK/CBR research page on AIFO website has been updated. Check the updated news about this research.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

CBR and Research: Pre-Congress Workshop in Manila


Hotel Pearl Manila, Philippines, 27-28 November 2011

Download the workshop registration form in word format - in PDF format


The second Asia Pacific CBR Congress will be held in Manila (Philippines) from 29 November to 1 December 2011. The pre-congress workshop on “Conducting Research in CBR” will be held from 27 to 28 November 2011.

The pre-congress workshop is organised jointly by AIFO/Italy in collaboration with Disability and Rehabilitation team of WHO (WHO/DAR), CBM/Germany and other partners.


A large number of participants coming from different countries are expected at AP CBR congress in Manila. Thus it can be an important opportunity to use for strengthening the research capacity of persons working in CBR programmes.

According to WHO/DAR, research on different aspects of CBR continues to be extremely limited.

This workshop will focus on “Emancipatory Research”, this means, research where persons with disabilities and DPOs play an active role. Emancipatory research is based on human rights model of disability.


The workshop is targeted specifically at persons working in CBR programmes as well as persons with disabilities and DPO members involved in CBR programmes.

Participants should have some experience in a CBR Programme. No previous experience in research is necessary. Knowledge of English is necessary for participating in the workshop.

The workshop will have a maximum of 35 participants. The participants will be confirmed on the “first-come first served” basis. Persons wishing to join the workshop are asked to complete the registration form (in word format - in PDF format) and send it to Ms. Felicita Veluri by email at: felicita.veluri(at)


The workshop is being organised by AIFO/Italy on “no loss, no profit” basis. Thus participants are asked to contribute only to the actual expenses of workshop.

The cost of participation in the workshop is of 3000,00 Php (50 Euro) per person. This includes registration, course materials, tea, coffee and buffet lunch on two days of the workshop.

Participants need to make their own arrangements for hotel bookings, and for transport to the workshop venue. All participants will be asked to pay this amount on the morning of 27 November, before the start of the workshop.


Research means a systematic way of looking at issues, problems and their underlying factors for understanding them and for finding solutions. The proposed workshop has the following 3 goals:

(1) Understanding the basic concepts of health systems research for identifying problems suitable for emancipatory research.

(2) Understanding the role of different barriers and strategies used by CBR programmes to overcome those barriers.

(3) Planning a simple field research in CBR with an active role for persons with disabilities and their organisations.


The Workshop will be coordinated by Dr. Sunil Deepak (AIFO/Italy). Other resource persons for the workshop include Mr. Giampiero Griffo (DPI), Ms. Venus Illagan (Rehabilitation International) and Mr. Venkatesh Balakrishna (Disabled activist and consultant).

In addition, a group of 5 persons from India, who have conducted an emancipatory research in a district CBR programme covering 22,000 disabled persons, will also share their experiences. This group is composed of Dr Jayanth Kumar, Dr Parthipan Ramasamy, Mr. Ramesh Gariyappa, Mr. Cheluvaraju and Ms. Venkatlaxmi.


The workshop will be conducted in an interactive manner with group work and simulation exercises on actual issues faced by CBR programmes in the field, based on CBR matrix and the CBR Guidelines. Thus each participant has to play an active role in the workshop.

The workshop will be organised in 4 sessions for a total of 14 hours. Each session will be of three and half hours:

Session 1: Introduction to health systems research, understanding barriers, constructing problem trees and identifying problems for research.

Session 2: Introduction to different research approaches, understanding and planning emancipatory research

Session 3: Conducting emancipatory research, issues for CBR programme managers, role of DPOs and self-help groups

Session 4: Sharing the research findings, research and advocacy, using research to promote empowerment


The workshop will be held at Hotel Pearl Manila, General Luana street, Corner Taft and United Nations Avenues, Ermita, Manila, Philippines, Tel. 400.0088 / 400.0368 / 400.0369, Fax. 400.0077 Website:

The hotel, workshop area, and lunch areas are accessible to wheel chairs.


If you need any additional information, you can write to the workshop coordinator Dr. Sunil Deepak by email at sunil.deepak(at)

The participation form. Complete the Registration form (in word format - in PDF format) and send it by email to felcita.veluri(at) as soon as possible. If you are accepted for the workshop, you will receive an email confirmation.

Monday, 7 February 2011


Over the past 12 years, the Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal developed a readership base in 91 countries that included not only Asia, but also Africa, North America, South America, Europe and Australia/Pacific. The journal has attracted a wide range of articles on disability and rehabilitation, with an attempt to focus on community-based rehabilitation. Given the increasing importance of disability issues, in particular human rights and community-based rehabilitation, combined with the fact that the majority of people with disabilities live in low and middle-income countries, the time is right for the Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal to have a more global scope; to continue to be free and openly accessible for readers and free for authors; to reach higher international scientific quality; and to be published more frequently.

The Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal will henceforth be known as Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development.

The journal will address the needs of practitioners in the field (particularly those from developing countries), policy makers, disabled persons’ organisations and the scientific community. The journal will become an open access, on-line publication, which can be freely accessed. The number of print copies will be gradually reduced. Three to four issues will be brought out in a year. The editorial board will be revamped and expanded to include representation from stakeholders with different expertise, from all regions of the world. A secretariat will be established to manage the journal on a day-to-day basis, to reduce delays and speed up the process of review, acceptance or rejection and publication of manuscripts.

The journal will cover the following content themes, with emphasis on perspectives from developing countries:

  • Community-based rehabilitation
  • Inclusive education
  • Women with disabilities
  • Inclusive development
  • Human rights and self-advocacy
  • Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPOs)
  • Policy and legislation related to disability issues
  • Health-related rehabilitation and outcomes - perspectives from developing countries
  • Assistive devices - perspectives from developing countries
  • Accessibility (including inclusive design)
  • Disability and HIV/AIDS/reproductive health
  • Disability and conflict
  • Disability and emergencies

The first issue of the renamed journal is expected to be out by April 2011, with a limited number of print copies. We request readers who are unable to access the journal on the internet, to write to us. Only those who request for print copies will receive them.

The editorial team of the Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal thanks all the authors and readers who have been associated with the journal till now, and looks forward to a continued partnership through the Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development.

Dr. Maya Thomas