The effectiveness of community-based rehabilitation as a strategy for improving quality of life and disaster resilience for children with disability in rural Zimbabwe
Bongo, Pathias P.
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The study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the community-based rehabilitation (CBR) project in Ward 20 of Chipinge in Zimbabwe and ascertain the positive district changes in the quality of life and disaster resilience of children with disability. Effectiveness involved examining the role of the parents of children with disabilities and the general community in the CBR programme, the extent to which children living with disabilities (CWDs) have been empowered to live quality life and access basic social services and evaluate whether local resources and capacities were being utilised. Data were collected through key informant interviews, document analysis and focus group discussions. The CBR model borrows heavily from rights-based approaches to development. Its practical application is problematic because of difficulties in defining issues such as participation and the ability of developing and poor communities to generate resources for these programmes. The study found that factors that hinder the effectives of CBR programmes included continuous dependence on donor funding, lack of political will by government and local authorities to commit financial resources towards CBR implementation and unreliable referral systems for access of services for children with disability. Gaps identified include establishing appropriate context-specific strategies that suit developing countries. The government and local authorities should prioritise resource allocation for marginalised groups such as people with disabilities. Civil society should not be the major and only source of funding for CBR. Extensive consultations should be made to adapt the CBR model to the socio-economic context of developing countries. The referral system for access to services for CWDs should be strengthened.