What is CAN?

CBR   Africa Network (CAN) is an independent Non-Governmental Organisation that facilitates information sharing on disability, CBR and inclusive development within Africa and across the World. It is an African regional affiliate of the CBR Global Network.

CAN’s Niche is information sharing hence the belief that information sharing can facilitate learning and improvement in service delivery for PWDs; and it is a key tool for inclusive development. This is important in the bid to realise equalization of opportunities, social integration and rehabilitation of PWDs in Africa.

CAN was established in 2001 following resolutions made at the 1st CBR Africa Regional Conference: ‘CBR as a participatory strategy in Africa’. CAN aims to facilitate the sharing of information about community-based services for PWDs and their families in African countries.

Prior to CAN’s establishment there was literally no information readily available about CBR to facilitate policy and decision making processes by stakeholders. Due to the oral tradition that dominates the communication process in Africa, there was minimal evidence of documentation and sharing of CBR experiences. This undermined the progress of CBR in the rehabilitation of PWDs, as good practices were not shared and programmes remained unevaluated. It was a threat, especially in African countries, which had embraced the CBR approach and yet lack the documented evidence to expressively defend the strategy.

CAN’s Vision, Mission and Values

Vision: Equalisation of opportunities, social integration and rehabilitation of people with disabilities in Africa.

Mission: CAN exists to promote access to appropriate information on disability and development for all people in Africa

Our identified Values

Rights-based approach: We value the rights of all persons with disabilities and therefore we are committed to a rights-based approach. We know that the rights of disabled people are consistently being denied; that health systems fail them; that they are not allowed to participate fully in community life and that they are less likely than others to be able to access opportunities. A commitment to rights means sending a loud and clear message to everyone with whom we work that things must change. It means telling disabled people and their families, as well as those in their community, about the rights they have and it means challenging government and development partners at all levels when those rights are denied.

Full Participation of Disabled People and their Families: This means ensuring that we, our members and partners not only involve, but also accurately represent, the people with whom we work. It means ensuring good practice in terms of building disabled people’s confidence to participate and involving them and their families in consultation, planning, implementation and monitoring, and ensuring that our board is representative of the constituencies with whom we work.

Strong and Positive Partnerships: We will build partnerships with organisations slowly and deliberately, so as to allow them the opportunity to tell us what they think and need. We will develop specific interventions and draft agreements together to ensure they reflect the needs of both partner organisations.

Equality, Honesty and Respect: CAN will not discriminate on any grounds. Rather we will seek to be honest with, and respectful of, everyone with whom we work. We will seek to ensure the full participation of groups who have faced discrimination because of their disability, gender or their national, local or self-defined identity.  We will promote these values throughout our work.

Transparency: We have a responsibility towards those who put their trust in us to be open in all undertakings.

Accountability: From our experience since 2001, we cannot underestimate the importance of accountability to our donors, members and partners. We are committed to the growth of CAN as a strong regional network through trust gained by being accountable for the resources entrusted to us. We will strive to ensure sustainability by fostering an environment of accountability with all our stakeholders and partners.

Strategic Objectives

  • Develop a strong CBR information management and sharing capacity
  • Establish a strong lobby for promoting effective CBR
  • Strengthen CAN’s organizational capacity.



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