Monitoring of community-based rehabilitation as empowerment: experiences from the Asia Pacific region

Michael Millington, Sainimli Tawake, Rosamond H. Madden, Joaquim Soares, Peter Sindu, Sue Lukersmith, Charlotte Scarf, Casper Fa'asala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The learning community experiences of a team of practitioners and academics provide
the context for a discussion of the role of empowerment in monitoring community-based
rehabilitation (CBR) programmes. The theme is monitoring as a source of empowered
knowledge. The idea of empowerment is traced from the origins of CBR as a societal
response to global injustice in health care, to its complex and unfinished expression in
CBR practice, and on to its problematic impact on traditional monitoring practices. It is
suggested that knowledge systems are socially constructed to serve the powerful, and that
other social constructions are necessary to serve programmes designed to empower the
oppressed. An innovative path is suggested for the development of an appropriate
monitoring tool in a social justice frame that would strike a balance between external
support and local control in CBR. The translation of empowerment into such a
knowledge system is described through the developmental history of a monitoring toolkit
built within the social justice frame. Designing and building the CBR Monitoring
Manual & Menu (MM&M) brought academics and practitioners together as a learning
community. The tool and community have completed the first iteration towards good
practice in evidence-based monitoring, but more importantly, their work continues
through on-going, and empowered discourse. The reflection on monitoring and
empowerment resolves in lessons learned and an understanding that empowered
knowledge lies in the people who design the system that defines it, and that monitoring is
empowerment when people, process, and knowledge are united in community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-40
Number of pages15
JournalKnowledge Management For Development Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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