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Community-based Rehabilitation in a post-Soviet environment in Azerbaijan – Where Society meets Ideology

Author:

Gwen Burchell

United Aid for Azerbaijan, House 2, 520 Huseyn Javid Prospekt, Baku, AZ
About Gwen

Gwen has 18 years’ experience in Azerbaijan, which was preceded by experience in various UK charities. She has a MSc degree in Social Policy & Planning.

She has built up a leading development NGO called United Aid for Azerbaijan (UAFA) that is focused on the long-term development of life in Azerbaijan, with particular focus on children, health and education. Her role in UAFA ranges from fundraising, personnel development, project development and implementation, lobbying at policy-maker level and public campaigning.  She is also currently involved in establishing a private paediatric rehabilitation centre, a social enterprise that models best practices in social rehabilitation.  

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Abstract

This paper explores UAFA’s 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.

How to Cite: Burchell, G., 2015. Community-based Rehabilitation in a post-Soviet environment in Azerbaijan – Where Society meets Ideology. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 26(3), pp.123–130. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v26i3.466
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Published on 24 Oct 2015.

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