In 1505, the Polish Parliament stated, "Nothing new without the common consent." Today we understand that ‘nothing about us without us’ is the rallying cry for inclusion and change.
I recently returned from an international Health Systems Research Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia and then participated in a webinar entitled, “Sustaining Community Health Worker (CHW) Programs in the HIV response: Lesson Learned from the US. The single loudest cry from these events was, "Where are the CHW voices?" At CHW Central, a global resource for and about community health workers, we have over 800 international and domestic resources, but only a few address the importance of community voices.
We started CHW Central in 2011 as a global community for program managers, experts, practitioners, researchers, and supporters of CHW programs to find relevant material and kinship among users. We slowly realized our global aspirations but—I think—disregarded the huge US experience and the voices of health workers themselves.
In 2013, we broadened our website to include global and US-based resources and features. This gave us the opportunity to use this avenue to better understand how the US and the overseas experience could provide an opportunity for mutual learning and cross-cultural understanding.