This paper presents an overview of findings from the formal evaluation of 9 socio-economic rehabilitation programmes (SER), in 4 countries in Africa, in Bangladesh and in India from 2002-2005. Bringing together the recommendations resulted in a description of best practices in the implementation of socio-economic rehabilitation programmes, derived from actual experiences in different contexts.
All the 9 programmes focused on supporting individual leprosy-affected beneficiaries or their families. Four projects also supported other marginalised clients. The usual interventions were micro-credit, housing and sponsoring of education for the children.
The recommendations touched upon each of the five steps in individual rehabilitation: Selection of clients, needs assessment, choosing an intervention, monitoring / follow--up of clients during rehabilitation, and separation at the end of the rehabilitation process. The evaluators also suggested ways in which participation of the client in their own rehabilitation might be boosted, made recommendations for the organisational structure of programmes, on maximising community involvement and emphasised the importance of information systems and of investing in the programme staff. A number of recommendations were specific to the types of interventions implemented i.e, housing, education or micro-credit.
Evidence of the impact of SER on the quality of life of clients is limited, but suggests increased self-esteem and increased respect/status in the family and community.
Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal, vol.19, no.1, 2008