Innovative Practice 2021 on Inclusive Employment and ICT

App with hands-on information on rehabilitation to fieldworkers in low-income countries

Enablement B.V. is a Dutch non-profit company specializing in community-based rehabilitation. In 2017 it developed RehApp, a freely available mobile app that enhances the capacity of fieldworkers in low-income countries to offer effective rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities. The app provides information about disabilities and options for rehabilitation interventions, collaboratively developed by over 70 disability experts. In 2020 there are 345 active users of RehApp.

“RehApp helped me to be on top of my game when encountering questions in the field.”

Andrew MainaOccupational Therapist
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:RehApp
Organisation:Enablement B.V.
Country
of Implementation
Worldwide
Start Year2017
Sub-CategoryA project related to ICT

FACTS & FIGURES

  • In 2019 more than 2,000 persons with disabilities were direct beneficiaries of the app
  • RehApp will soon have a video feature and will be available in eleven more languages

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Fieldworkers often are very minimally trained and have limited access to practical information to carry out their work.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

RehApp was developed for use in low- and middle-income countries by rehabilitation fieldworkers with a limited educational background and little training. It contains chapters on a range of disabilities, such as cerebral palsy and leprosy. Each chapter provides information on possible causes, signs, and symptoms as well as practical intervention options at the personal, relational, and societal level. All chapters are also available in a flashcard format.

RehApp is open source and thus can be downloaded for free and can be used offline. Consequently, fieldworkers always have relevant and practical information at hand, even in remote or rural settings with limited connectivity.

The layout of the app follows the Digital Accessibility Toolkit developed by CBM, an international NGO, as well as other guidelines for inclusive apps.
In 2017, Enablement B.V. started the app with a chapter on spinal cord injury, and has since been gradually adding more chapters and refining the content and design as it is field-tested. From 2018 to 2019 active users grew from 211 to 345.

A person with a tablet computer is explaining the RehApp to another person to his right. A group of six women sit on chairs in a circle. On a makeshift coffee table is a platter with a cake

A physiotherapist in Bahir-Dar, Ethiopia, introduces RehApp to a group of rehabilitation fieldworkers.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

RehApp is funded by 13 international NGOs, eleven of which are part of the International Disability and Development consortium, a group of civil society organizations promoting inclusive international development.

Over the next years Enablement B.V. plans to add 15 new chapters, create a dedicated website, and make the app available in Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, French, Khmer, Nepali, Portuguese, Tajik, and Vietnamese and more languages.

The organization estimates that the app will be used by 25,000 fieldworkers in 50 low-income countries once it has been translated into local languages.

FACTSHEET

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