Background: Evaluation of Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) programmes in Namibia has been primarily quantitative, focusing mainly on outputs, including numbers of persons with disabilities served, referrals made and activities implemented. Little or no evidence is available on experiences and quality of life of persons with disabilities, despite the CBR programme being operational for more than 20 years. The 2011 World Report on Disability recommended the use of appropriate tools to fill the research gap by integrating the experiences of persons with disabilities and their quality of life.
Objectives: The overall objective of the larger cohort study is to develop a monitoring and evaluation tool that can measure and integrate the experiences of persons with disabilities and their quality of life within the context of the CBR Programme in Namibia.
Method: An adapted photovoice process was conducted with six purposively selected participants over a period of 1 month. The World Health Organization Community-Based Rehabilitation (WHO CBR) Matrix was used to identify the themes and subthemes. Participants were requested to complete the World Health Organization Quality of Life (abbreviated version) (WHOQOL-BREF) instrument at the end of the photovoice process to determine their quality of life.
Results: Administering the WHOQOL-BREF instrument at the end of the photovoice process measured both the quality of life of persons with disabilities and at the same time indicated the convergence and divergence in the two data collection methods. The study demonstrated a stronger convergence than divergence of the two methods. A feasibility criterion was mapped for future studies.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that photovoice is a flexible method that can be used with a variety of disabilities and has the potential of being combined with the WHOQOL-BREF assessment form. A larger cohort study may consider implementing photovoice and WHOQOL-BREF on multiple study sites and be able to compare results, considering geographical and demographic variables. The feasibility of utilising each method alone and in combination offered valuable insights on future conceptual framing of CBR programme evaluation. This conceptual framing will allow CBR practitioners to appreciate how these two methods contribute to a rigorous process of CBR programme evaluation.