Children with disabilities cheering and wearing medals after disability sports event at CORSU hospital in Uganda.

How we work

CBM UK is part of the global CBM Federation, working in over 60 countries to transform the lives of people with disabilities, their families and communities.

Here are some of the key principles of our approach to disability and international development.

Partnership working

We believe we can achieve greater long-term change by working with others, so partnerships are central to CBM’s development approach. We deliver our life-changing programmes by working with local partners bringing together CBM’s global expertise with hands-on knowledge of the local context and environment.

Local partners could be Non-Governmental Oganisations (NGOs), Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs), hospitals, churches or government departments. They may be small local organisations, or large international development organisations.

Our partners are non-commercial and enter into a formal partnership with CBM to implement projects and drive forward our ambitions. CBM supports these partners financially and technically, and partners are often chosen because of their specialist expertise.

Community-Based Rehabilitation

People with disabilities in poor communities face many barriers, often complex and interlinked. A person may be unable to attend school or work because of their disability and may be stigmatised by their family and their community.

To successfully break down all of these barriers, we cannot simply focus on the individual with a disability; we also need to focus on their community.

Because of this, CBM is committed to the Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) approach, which we played a key role in developing. CBR involves working closely with people with disabilities and their families to overcome physical and sociological barriers within communities through a holistic approach to a person and their environment. Together we tackle health, education, livelihood, social inclusion, skill development and empowerment.

A rights-based approach

We passionately believe that all people are equal and that our world needs everyone. People with disabilities have often been seen as passive recipients of aid, reduced to their impairment-related health needs.

At CBM, we are committed to a human rights-based approach to disability, underpinned by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

We believe that people with disabilities should participate in all spheres of society on an equal basis with their non-disabled peers.

We seek to involve people with disability in all stages in our programmes – planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, ensuring they have the very greatest impact on lives.

Disability-inclusive Development

CBM is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are included and involved in all development activity. We take a twin track approach involving:

  • Disability-specific CBM initiatives to support the participation and self-empowerment of people with disabilities.
  • Supporting other agencies to mainstream disability by removing the barriers faced by disabled people through the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development policies and programmes.

For more information on these themes, visit our policy section.


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