Today there are Community-based Rehabilitation (CBR) programmes in a large number of countries. In many countries, the CBR approach is a part of the national rehabilitation services. However, there is a lack of reliable data about persons with disabilities who benefit from CBR and the kind of benefits they receive. This article reviews the disability data collection systems and presents some case studies to understand the influence of operational factors on data collection in the CBR programmes. The review shows that most CBR programmes use a variable number of broad functional categories to collect information about persons with disabilities, combined occasionally with more specific diagnostic categories. This categorisation is influenced by local contexts and operational factors, including the limitations of human and material resources available for its implementation, making it difficult to have comparable CBR data. Therefore, any strategies to strengthen the data collection in CBR programmes must take these operational factors into account.