Sustainability: lessons from a community-based rehabilitation programme in Karnataka, India


  • Fairlene Soji
  • Jay Kumar
  • Sara Varughese


development, , knowledge management


Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) is a recognised strategy to promote inclusion, rights and equal opportunities for persons with disabilities within their community (WHO 2010). CBR programmes have been effective but it has been a challenge to make them sustainable beyond the funding period (WHO 2010). In this case study, we describe a sustainable CBR programme that was undertaken from 2008-2012 in 44 villages of the peri-urban Attibele community in the Karnataka district of Bangalore in India. The programme employed a twin-track approach to development across all five domains of the CBR-matrix , alongside the development of strong community structures (a registered society, self-help groups, children?s parliaments, community education centres, and a disabled people?s organisation). The case study presented is based on an evaluation conducted in 2013, one year after cessation of programme funding. It found that the programme supported the sustainability of interventions through activities involving the community structures. Drawing on lessons learned from the programme, we reflect on the importance of establishing, capacity building and promoting community structures to support CBR sustainability.