Community-based rehabilitation in a post-Soviet environment in Azerbaijan - Where society meets ideology.
This paper explores UAFA’s (United Aid For Azerbaijan) experience, since 2002, in working with Azerbaijani stakeholders to move from the medical approach to disability, propagated by the Soviet model of planning and implementation, to a social, community-based approach. The paper highlights the common misconceptions and how these can be overcome, including the policy gaps that challenge effective implementation. The importance of creating and maintaining a core team is discussed, alongside the process that UAFA has developed for building up teams of CBR workers. Finally, the paper raises the issue of introducing outcomes-based evaluation in a society that has no such prior experience, followed by an account of the continual challenge faced by most programmes–namely, how to achieve sustainable funding.