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The CBM-LSHTM Case Studies Project 

The Case Studies Project was initiated in 2008 as a collaboration between the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the disability-inclusive development organization CBM. Responding to a lack of evidence on community mental health programs operating in "real world" settings in low-income countries, the Project developed a methodology for the systematic documentation, evaluation and comparison of community mental health programs in low- and middle-income countries.


The Case Study Methodology involves a combination of different approaches, such as review of program data and documentation, participant observation, photography, interviews and (where possible) longitudinal studies, to collect information across 14 different domains. The information collected is then synthesized to produce a narrative description of the program, a timeline of key events and major achievements, a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis, a summary of lessons learned and areas in need of further research. This can be carried out by an internal or external evaluator or funding agency, though ideally with an external supervisor to help mitigate bias.


The Case Study Methodology has been used to produce both internal and public-facing reports (see "Downloads") as well as a number of peer-reviewed studies published in academic journals (see "Articles"). These include both individual case studies and cross-site case studies comparing multiple programs. A routine data collection tool and database piloted as part of the Case Studies Project has also been further adapted and refined by MIND ME Africa and the EMERALD consortium.


  • Cohen, A., Eaton, J., Radtke, B. et al. Three models of community mental health services In low-income countries. Int J Ment Health Syst 5, 3 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1186/1752-4458-5-3 

  • Cohen, A., Raja, S., Underhill, C. et al. Sitting with others: mental health self-help groups in northern Ghana. Int J Ment Health Syst 6, 1 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1186/1752-4458-6-1

  • Koly, K.N., Abdullah, R., Shammi, F.A. et al. Mental Health and Community-Based Rehabilitation: A Qualitative Description of the Experiences and Perspectives of Service Users and Carers in Bangladesh. Community Ment Health J. 58, 1 (2022). https://doi: 10.1007/s10597-021-00790-0.

  • Ryan, G.K., Nwefoh, E., Aguocha, C. et al. Partnership for the implementation of mental health policy in Nigeria: a case study of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Programme in Benue State. Int J Ment Health Syst 14, 10 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13033-020-00344-z


Photograph caption: Members of the Community Mental Health Programme team after an outreach clinic in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. Photograph by Grace Ryan, 2018.

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