There is growing interest, internationally, in empowering people with disabilities, and the United Nations have identified individualised funding as one way in which empowerment might be achieved. ‘Individualised funding’ is an umbrella term for various publicly funded support structures that provide personalised and individualised support services for people with a disability. These aim to facilitate self-direction, empowerment, independence, and self-determination. The findings of a recent mixed-methods systematic review of studies undertaken during an approximate 25-year period suggest positive effects with respect to quality of life, client satisfaction, and safety, as well as very few adverse effects, although the evidence on cost-effectiveness was inconclusive. This paper involved a re-examination of the qualitative findings of that review by employing a realist framework to explore the interplay between key contexts and mechanisms, and how these facilitate or inhibit positive outcomes associated with individualised funding and its underlying programme theory.
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