General principles requiring contextual adaptation regarding optimal policy related governance of health related rehabilitation in less resourced settings were developed from a literature review and realistic synthesis. A systematic review of literature published since 2003 was carried out. Multiple reviewers selected articles for inclusion in the realistic synthesis. A Delphi survey of expert stakeholders refined and triangulated findings from the realist synthesis. Context mechanism outcome pattern configurations (CMOCs) were identified from the literature and then developed into statements for the Delphi survey, whereby 18 expert stakeholders refined these statements to achieve consensus on recommendations for policy related governance of health related rehabilitation. Several broad principles emerged throughout formulation of recommendations: participation of persons with disabilities in policy processes; collection of disaggregated disability statistics; explicit promotion in policies of access to services for all subgroups of persons with disabilities and service-users; robust inter-sectoral coordination; and ‘institutionalising’ programmes.