Nicole Hughes/Nathan Grills

  1. Ms Nicole Hughes, Master of Public Health, The University of Melbourne and Dr Nathan Grills. Public Health Physician, Nossal Institute for Global Health, The University of Melbourne

The utilisation of church networks and pastors to lead to improving sustainability of wheelchair distributions.

Aims: Wheelchair distributions have a reputation for lacking sustainability – foreign teams flying in and out, and no follow up. This was the concern of North Indian organisations as they planned a wheelchair distribution, October 2015. They hypothesised that utilising local pastors and churches to both identify and follow up recipients would enable improved sustainability and experience for people with disability. The aim of this research was to investigate if utilisation of pastors in the operations of the wheelchair distribution had led to an improvement in sustainability after 6 months, and what factors were important in promoting sustainability.

Method: The researcher conducted nine semi-structured interviews: six community pastors, the hospital pastor, a staff member from the host organisation and a recipient of a wheelchair.  All interviews were recorded and transcribed.